Hey! Don't go!
I pulled down the photos from my camera the other day, and found the last pictures I took of the cows from my garden.
I have no garden now; I have a yard. There's a wood behind the fence, instead of a pasture. I've looked around, in the two weeks I've been here (exactly, as of this moment) and I've not seen any cows. I suspect that despite the fact Northern Virginia is more rural than I thought, friendly herds of cows are not likely to be found this close to the nation's capital.
That's a shame.
That means Friday Cow Blogging is at an end. With no nearby cows, or the means to find any, I won't have a fresh stock of original cow photos. (It turns out farmers in the former colonies don't like nosy photographers snooping around their cow pastures. I could get shot wandering around cow pastures here. That's not a risk I'm willing to take for the sake of a few cow photos.)
Many of my cow photos in England and, occasionally, in Europe, were taken while on rambles along public footpaths. I've not seen any public footpaths here either, which makes me almost as sad as the lack of cows. Somehow, this country got settled by property owners who valued their property rights in a whole different way than generations of landowners in the United Kingdom. Trespassers will be shot, and that includes bloggers who only want a good shot of cows.
Maybe more than anything, I miss my cows. They represented something I found unique to England—if you include sheep and other farm animals. I've give anything to see a hillside dotted with cows or sheep, ringed by hedgerows, crossed by a footpath.
A few days before we left, I spied the cows from the kitchen window, and went outside with my morning cup of tea, still in my pajamas. I soaked in the view, knowing it wouldn't be mine for long.
This new land here is vast—any single state is as large as England—but it's also unapproachable. It's been built in ways convenient for shopping; not so convenient for rambling. It's also more dangerous: Even as I type this, there is a report on the local news of a possible cougar sighting, about a mile from here. And a friend's dogs were recently quilled by a porcupine—another danger to add to the growing list.
I try not to think about England and my cows—it's too painful just yet. I'll write more about the differences I've discovered, some good, some bad, later.
Meanwhile, enjoy this last glimpse of the cows. I bet they miss me as much as I miss them.