Highland cattle, Living with Nature, Uncategorized

There was this cow sat at the bar…

Four swans fly downriver over peat dark water. Occasional pale sun illuminates thin game crops without warmth. There is no wind. I leave this morning with the cattle wandering the Apron heads down. I felt a twinge of guilt at such slim pickings as they must have finished their silage to forage for the remnants of the summer grass. I return at lunch, pick up JCB keys, loose the Nog and head for the hardstanding. The feeder is now surrounded by the animals – every one of them with their heads through the bars apart from Holly and the wee stott standing head to head like some strange octoped. I open the gate feeling like a visitor to a local pub where the conversation dies at a stranger’s entrance. They have plenty to eat – but are doing it as if to a signal. Billy wanders round to present his flank. I scratch abstractedly along the sides of his spine – careful not to get caught against the metal if he chooses to lean. There are things I don’t understand: more to learn.

The radio featured Dougie Maclean’s ‘Caledonia’ earlier today, part of the current Independance/separation obsession. I sang it in the car on my way home two years ago. the day before losing half my roof to the worst wind in fifty years. It is a day of signs and portents: the usual small dramas.This is where I live.

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