45 thoughts on “Moo-ving Into Spring

    1. I could have missed her so easily. From road level, only her ears were sticking up above the flowers. I had to stop and use the car as a ladder to get high enough to include some of that sweet face. When I got home and saw the photo, I couldn’t stop smiling.

  1. Do you remember the Blue Bell ice cream commercial that said it’s so good because the cows think Texas is heaven–cut to shot, very much like yours. Happy, happy cow! (And, great shot!)

    1. Of course I remember the commercial. As a matter of fact, if you enlarge the photo and look at the URL, you’ll see that it’s titled “belle3.”

      I was toying with referring to Belle, and the suggestion that Brenham is heaven, but I decided people who don’t know about all that would be confused. People who do know Belle, and Blue Bell, and Brenham, will make the association lickety-split — just as you did. (My dad told me once that a lickety-split was an ice cream cone shared by two people. Silly Daddy!)

    1. It was a delight to find her, and a few of her bigger friends. There’s a lot of open range on the Willow City Loop, so there weren’t any fences around, either. Somehow, that made things even more delightful.

    1. Sometimes a little technical imperfection doesn’t matter at all. The vision of that young’un in the flowers was simply delightful, and I’m just happy to have the photo. Thanks for your kind words!

    1. And now you’ve brought to mind that entire genre of jokes, circa 1955. For example: How does an elephant hide in a cherry tree? It paints its toenails red. And so on.

      You’re right that I couldn’t have planned this better — and of course, there was no planning at all. I just looked over, and there it was. If some other cars hadn’t come up behind me, I might have gotten a somewhat sharper photo, but by the time I moved the car and they’d gone on, the moment had passed. But not entirely — there’s still the photo.

  2. I love cows, and this one’s got the right idea, don’t you think? I guess you do! Black-eyed Susans already? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – just looks more like summer than Spring to me! ;-)

    1. This is how a cow should be able to live: if not in flowers, at least in a lovely pasture.

      I have seen a few black-eyed Susans around my area, but they’re still quite scattered. If I have it right, these are brown bitterweed. Despite their name, they’re quite pretty, and complement brown cows’ eyes very nicely. According to the wildflower.org page, “The genus is thought to have been named by Linnaeus for Helen of Troy. The legend is that the flowers sprung up from the ground where her tears fell.”

      I’m glad to report there were no tears on the Willow City Loop on this day.

        1. The Willow City Loop astonished me. One day wasn’t enough, so I went back for a second. Too bad it was windy and gray, but we coped. I made a list last night of species I saw for the first time and could identify (20), and new ones that still are unidentified (maybe 10). I had Enquist’s book with me, and after reading “Llano uplift” a few times, I did some quick research, and things (like Enchanted Rock) started falling into place. Clearly, another trip is necessary.

            1. Many are ones I’ve enjoyed on your site: blue curls and pincushion daisy come to mind. The best find was Viperina (Zornia bracteata). Enquist calls it a “little known, rarely seen” flower. Was I delighted? Almost as much as when I stumbled across an entire field filled with ladies tresses yesterday. There had to be at least a couple of hundred, and maybe more. I still haven’t come down from the excitement of it all.

      1. Cool – now that I look more closely, it’s more like a sneezeweed – another Helenium. Thank you for pointing that out. I like their shape. Yes, cows deserve a field of flowers or at least a lovely pasture. In central Oregon, where we just were, there’s ranch land everywhere; those cows don’t have too many flowers. Still, they looked so happy that we were saying, “Ah, more cows at their leisure” every few miles.
        A field of Ladies tresses! I used to find them once in a while in western North Carolina – but just one or two maybe, still, it was always exciting.

          1. I don’t have that. If I were to travel more widely, I think it would be useful, but I’ve built up a tiny library of books specific to Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. You know: the sort that give you line drawings of things like the kidney-leaf mud plantain. If I ever head more west, it certainly will be time to add to the pile — especially the geological roadside guides, which just knock me out. Who doesn’t love getting out at mile marker 372 to look at a pile of shist, or whatever?

            1. :-) I have one for western Washington but I haven’t gotten into it yet. I do adore pouring through the field guides though, and figuring out what that plant was that I photographed (and cursing myself for not getting the leaves well enough to see whether they have toothed margins!).
              If I had more time I’d sit in the midst of it all with the book but the reality is that more than anything, I want to be outdoors taking pictures. I know I can get the book out when I get home.
              I did sit on the beach several times one Spring on a coastal Georgia island, sorting out the sandpipers with my Peterson field guide, the only one back then that was good.

        1. The purple-headed sneezeweed is blooming now. I found some yellow this weekend, too, but I much prefer the purple. As for the ladies’ tresses, a friend loaned me her copy of Joe and Ann Liggio’s Wild Orchids of Texas, and I spent a wonderful hour last night completely confusing myself. So many of these species seem to differ only by a tiny yellow spot here, or a hairy edge there — for my purposes, the more general name will do.

          On the other hand, I’m going to dare a posting or two to iNaturalist, just because I think I did find an uncommon species. I’ve heard some stories about snippy or unkind responses when people misidentify, but that won’t bother me. I’ve been wrong so often I’ve gotten used to it.

          1. You must have a very rich flora in Texas to play with, and that’s a good thing! Even if it does get confusing (I know you’re not really complaining). I’m glad you’re tough – do post your findings. I thought about it but feel like it’s not the time for me to add another thing, if you know what I mean. I follow a local bird list, and I don’t post to it – reading is already enough.
            I had that experience once when I posted a mistaken ID of a bird I thought I saw in NYC – bot, did the reaction make me want to go hide in a hole! Never again on THAT listserv. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about the west vs. metro NY is that people are so much more forgiving here, and don’t tend to take themselves as seriously. (But taking yourself very seriously in NYC also creates much good).

  3. I find cows very comforting but I don’t see beige ones much around here. Mostly darker brown or those great black and white Holsteins. The beige ones seem so tranquil and sweet — I think I’d like a beige one best!

    It’s a great shot — how you saw her I don’t know! But good on you!

    1. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite breed, but I do like Jerseys and Guernseys — I think they’d make you happy, too. They aren’t always beige, but they’re close — and they have beautiful eyes.

      I think it was just luck that I saw her, but when I did, the first thing I thought of was the story of Ferdinand the Bull. It was one of my favorite childhood stories, and now I’ve seen my very own “Ferdinand.”

  4. Too cute!! Looks very wary! I took some pictures of cows here the other day…first time for cows really and it was such an idyllic scene. Why do cows grazing engender such feelings of rightness in the world? Of course I was interested in the cattle egrets keeping them company.

    1. It does look a little wary, but on the other hand, it didn’t make a move while I was stopping, climbing out of the car, climbing up on the car, and so on. It seemed perfectly to content to just laze away in the flowers, and I can’t say I blame it. That was a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

      Are we going to get to see your cows with their egrets? I always enjoy it when I come across them. The cattle egrets are funny birds — we’re a little short on cows around here, but they’re more than willing to chase behind lawn mowers to get their bugs.

    1. It’s funny how people have associated those flowers with spring, summer, and fall. We do have lots of yellow flowers through summer and fall (so many I can’t keep them straight) but there are some nice ones in mid-to-late spring, too. I suppose my favorite sunflower is one that blooms in fall — the Maximilian.

      I love those semaphore ears. I think they’re saying, “I really don’t want to be disturbed, so if you don’t mind…”

    1. She is a pretty one. Her little swirl of hair on top of her head — almost a cowlick! — brings back memories of 4-H, and helping to groom friends’ cows before they showed them at the county fair. I never raised livestock myself, but it was great fun to learn how to use all the combs and brushes and such to make the animals really shine.

      I imagine you’re ready to enjoy some summer. I hope it’s filled with flowers, and that all the critters you find are beautiful.

    1. Two good reasons to keep a milk cow, I’d say. Maybe her name should be Buttercup: both for the yellow flowers, and for all the good things made from her milk. Ice cream comes to mind.

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