Thursday, September 18, 2008

We Moved out of the Country,

To live in the country.

Seriously - I am not PioneerWoman.

I grew up in suburbs, went away to College in the suburbs and bought houses in the suburbs. I always thought it was cool that my mom got to grow up on a farm with goats, cows, etc... Although the milking goats in the morning didn't sound quite so appealing. And I've always been an outdoorsy girl - love hiking, been hunting (even took Hunter Safety when I was 14 yrs), can tell the difference between rabbit & deer droppings, large dog and mountain lion tracks - important things.

Since moving to Switzerland, we have been slowly educated re: life in the country. At least in this particular country. We are bordered by orchards and depending on what you consider a fence (bushes, sticks, string, a bit of chain-link), our backyard melds into a sheep/cow pasture.

I know I've complained at least once about the bellowing cows. I was complaining to my family the other week while cleaning out the garden because they are so dang noisy! The cows, not my family.

Unless 'tickle monster' is going on and that's usually what sends me out to garden in peace and quiet.

I found the culprit. And no, its not the cow who's obviously bellowing in the picture but the bull standing to her right. Complete with nose ring. Have I never shown a bull on this blog? Here (in die Schweiz) they still ring the bulls - they put the rings in when they are teensy weensy. Kind of like ear piercing a baby - easier while they're young - less likely to trample you. Oh he's ugly. And loud.

These pictures are post the Wanderweg/pathway incident. As my camera was not handy earlier in the day. I started walking toward home, said walking to be explained later, when I heard the cows bellowing like crazy and saw them staring at something. As I rounded the corner and reached a group of workers in the orchard, we finally saw what they were bellowing at - a loose mama cow on the Wanderweg. The young men started up the path and I followed slowly behind.

Pause - this is just the prettiest little baby. I need to grab the better camera and get some close-ups.

I say slowly behind because those yellow tapes you see going across the picture below - they are the only fence between us and that bull. And all the bull's buddies. He managed to get all the baby bulls to stand there and bellow with him - the mama cows continued to knosh while keeping an eye on the strange cow.

There is a small electric current running through those tape fences. Really! Bro-in-law Jason checked it out for us. Said "yep, got some juice" in a slightly squeaky voice.

The young men managed to get the runaway headed home, I managed to get home and the cows were quiet for the rest of the day. I've learned more about 'livestock' than I knew before and guess it's that "time of the year" for the cows.

But this cow. She doesn't look happy. She's not. She was chased down, worn down and finally gave up - allowing this adolescent to nurse. It's nearly as big as she is. I wouldn't be happy either.

This fence. It is the type of fence we generally go through when hiking or even on this Wanderweg. Because man and animal live in harmony as one in Switzerland. Except when the bull is in the field. Therefore I took the long way around.
To continue with my exciting day -

The reason I am walking home, etc... is because our street was filled with asphalt rollers, trucks, etc... as they repaved the street after finalizing the city pipe renovations that started last year.

So - we walked down to the car in the morning and walked back up after school (and I had trips in between). As you can see, we live a bit uphill (we are the last flat at the top). So I made sure we didn't need any groceries. I've gotten lazy since we first arrived and I carried all our groceries uphill on my back for weeks before we got a car.
And all the cars on the street.
And no, you are not imagining the hat, coats and boots in the middle of Sept. They are real. It was 40 degr. that morning. Ah, Fall.


Judy said...

I really think I would prefer bellowing cows than the neighbor's dogs. We have two right outside our bedroom window -- one a German Shepherd, so deep bark, the other a miniature pincher, so a high pitched annoying bark. Ugh.

I remember staying in a cabin on the north side of the Grand Canyon. We were on the edge of pastures. We woke up to bellowing cows one morning and it just made me laugh when I peaked out the window and saw a cow and her baby 6 feet from the cabin. (Possibly one of the few times I woke up laughing...not a morning person.)

Linds said...

The cows near my sister all have bells. I am sure it must drive them crazy! I love seeing them go up or down the mountain in spring and autumn with garlands round their necks!
I hope the road is fixed soon!

Anonymous said...

At dawn your mother and siblings heard two cracks--dawn, and my whip.
That is their story) They got up to milk the goats before school so that sister Sue could have goat's milk.
I didn't mind the braying of the donkey, the rooster's crow, nor the groaning of the goat milkers, but I did mind the crop dusters and mosquito abatement planes that buzzed over us each run they made. Oh, the quiet country side.