I like cows, but they can be nervous creatures. Escapees from the local dairy farm are quite common and not a big deal (unless I stop to consider the very large bulls sharing the same fields these cows escape from so easily). The cows rarely get into trouble, in part because they have to travel more than a mile before reaching the main road.
On this day, I was walking down the dirt road to the coast when this cow galloped around a corner, a quarter-mile distant, headed in my direction. She’d clearly been panicked by something and I knew that when she saw me, she might panic again.
The road widened just ahead so I eased up to that spot and hugged the fence line, hoping the cow would carry on past without becoming alarmed. She loped along, up on the bank on the far side of the road. Then, about 100 yards from me, she stopped, ears up, eyes staring. Clearly, I’d been spotted. I didn’t look her way, turning around and pretending I hadn’t noticed. The last thing I wanted was for her to head back the way she came with me walking along behind, stoking her fears.
Luckily, her existing anxiousness got the better of her and she thundered past along the bank, which is when I took this photo. What generally happens is that, eventually, someone from the farm sees the cow or cows on the road and rounds them up. The cows are inevitably relieved to be back in their pasture and all is well – until the next time.