My regular weekend gig is house-sitting out in the country for some friends who are touring musicians. It’s very pleasant out here and they have lots of cats and dogs to keep me company. The fuzz-heads don’t like to let me sleep in much, though. Usually their technique involves several cats walking across my sleeping body or an occasional solitary bark from one of the dogs.
This morning was different. Maggie was barking insistently that she needed to go outside NOW. I stumbled out of bed and headed for the back door, pulling on some clothes as I went. As I was passing through the kitchen, I saw something move up the driveway, but it was out of sight before I could look closer. I knew it was a large thing, so it wasn’t a chicken or some other wild animal. I assumed human and that I had an early morning visitor.
Maggie & Sophie dashed out of the back door barking their heads off, and I stood there stunned as a small herd of cows were hanging out under the apple trees. I know for a fact that my friends do not have cows, and even if they did, they would not keep them in the back yard. There was a human trying to herd the cows away, and presently they had moved out of the back yard towards the path up the hill to the barn. Mind you, that too is still on our property (“our property” meaning the property owned by my friend’s landlord, but having lived out here most weekends and for a while weeks on end, it feels like mine, too). They didn’t stay on the path, though, and ended up making their own off to the right. I thought, “Well, that was interesting,” and headed back to the house.
I stopped for a moment and got a shot of one of the new features in the back yard. That was when I heard some noise coming from down the hill (yes, still on our property). I don’t think it was the same cows, because it should have taken them longer to get there, but maybe they took a shortcut. In any case, I made sure I was in position to get a picture of them crossing the road.
When my friends get home, I’ll find out if the landlord is leasing the back fields to a cattle farmer neighbor, or if the herd just got loose and came for a visit. In any case, it was not what I expected I’d ever wake up to.