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It is beautiful here today!  So warm that I drove home from Denver with the car window down – in January!

I took a trail yesterday that I hadn’t taken in about ten years.  The last time I walked it was with Kelsea.  It was spring, and we wanted to go dangle our feet in the water of the creek and this particular trail provides the easiest and safest creek access when dealing with a four-year old, which she was at the time.  I still remember being overly cautious as her little self trotted and weaved out into the flowing water, thinking that if she fell over, she would be swept away by the flood that barely came up to her shins.

Anyway, they’ve restructured the trail since then so there are boardwalks, gates and much less mud, but I did finally reach the familiar spot on the creek where there are some giant old cottonwood trees.  One tree in particular was so inviting that I couldn’t resist and I had to climb into it, rest my back against its trunk, and stretch my legs out on one of its long, low branches.  I did a little journeying, checking in with my animal contact on some information I had gotten in the morning, and basked in the warm sun for a time.  And then I heard something crunching around in the dry grass near the tree.  I had to peek to see if it was a creeper….or something else.

It was a creeper cow!  A big black cow trotted around the back of the tree into the creek right behind me, and stepped delicately around, breaking ice and slurping water.  She emerged with a straw in her lips and a light in her eyes and snuggled up to the left of me next to the tree.  I named her Lunch.

Then, yet ANOTHER black cow, this one even prettier than the first, approached on the right side.  She put her lovely cow face about a foot away from me, investigating, then took a step back and just stayed there, gazing at me.  And I named her Dinner.

Lunch, Dinner and I hung out for a good ten minutes.  I talked to them a little – we just kind of communed (cow-mmuned?)  Dinner spent a lot of time licking her nose, and I learned something new: did you know that when a cow licks its nose, it inserts its tongue UP each nostril?  (Disgusting, yet) fascinating to watch!

A third cow approached; Dinner started enthusiastically grooming him/her (hard to tell).  Then, a fourth cow.  At this point, it was about time to go anyway, since I had left “the zone” a bit, and was starting to feel a little surrounded by bovines.  The herd let me pass, without moving or commenting; I got the feeling they’d have been perfectly happy to let me stay and join them in some grass and grooming.

It was a wonderful episode, and reminded me of a saying we used to have in high school – “we all have bovine instincts deep within us.”  I wish I could remember why we used to say that, but apparently, it’s still true.

August 2022


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