Monday, November 16, 2009

The Amazing Red Poll - Part 4

The farmer walked over to the barn and his cattle watched him intently, clearly hoping he'd return with something tasty:

But all he brought was hay. There seemed to be some disappointment amongst the red ladies and their children, a feeling that they had a large pasture full of green grass and dead grass wasn't much of a treat. But after a bit of hesitation, they all came over to eat some hay. A cow has a lot of body to maintain and a lot of milk to produce. A calf has a lot of growing to do. An opportunity to eat should not be ignored:

When occupied with the business of eating, the cattle were even less worried about humans getting too close. And I was impressed that there was no pushing and shoving:

The bull, who had up until now been lounging out in the field, roused himself to amble over and eat some hay. The cows let him have the hay all to himself, though one calf partook of a meal with his dad. The farmer walked over to the bull and stroked his back. This bull is 10 years old and remarkably docile, though no intelligent person gets too chummy with a bull. Especially a 10 year old bull as they tend to get crankier as they age. This bull is so sweet and produces such lovely calves that his retirement to green pastures is assured. He'll be allowed to die of old age and be buried on the farm. As I'd read on the internet, folks who raise Red Polls tend to get uncommonly attached to them:

The farmers took me into their house and served me lunch. They gave me photos of their herd and some Red Poll Association literature. I thanked them and began the long drive home, beginning with the drive northward up the Susquehanna River Valley:

Across the river from the rather depressed looking town of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, I stopped to snap a photo of a church spire up on a hill:

The highway I took crosses that bridge into the town of Susquehanna, then curls back to the left and meanders through those rolling hills:

And of course I had to stop to let the dogs out for a break. They were all quite ready to do so:

C'mon Dad, can we get out of the car now?!?:

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