Today, I could relax and be merry. I crossed Kendal Race Course escorted by a man stout of heart who knows a thing or two about cattle, a gentleman-farmer.
Anyway, out on Scout Scar the gentleman farmer and I encountered two Welsh Black bulls. One stood in the gap of the stone wall through which we purposed to walk, its bulk almost blocking out the light. The farmer's dog trotted by and the bull paid him no attention. ‘ Come on,’ he said reassuringly. And he walked by the bull close enough to polish the ring through his nose. I followed hoping to goodness I'd keep upright and not crash-land at the beast's feet on the slippery-wet limestone.
And turned to look back and take his photograph. ‘ Did you get the ring?’ he asked me. I did. And his calf came up beside him to pose for his photograph and the sun shot through his tail and found flame. (Guy Fawkes had lit the fuse and the trail of gunpowder hissed and flamed about him.)
From the photograph, you do get the feeling I'm small and down on the ground- looking up at the Minotaur and his son. The Minotaur is vanta-black, by the way. The deepest, most shadowy black in his subterranean labyrinth beneath the Cretan palace. Perhaps Ariadne should have given Theseus some sparklers as well as a ball of thread.
The gentleman farmer has signed the petition opposing cattle on the Race Course. He has seen how walkers respond on being confronted by the cattle. ‘ I’ve seen them looking warily about them. I’ve seen them turn round and go the other way. Just go away.’ And the uncertainty makes it worse. He thought there are sixty! And are they Holsteins or Friesians? And how does that affect the risk rating? Are we really supposed to know all this?
I heard mistle thrush, and a chevron of geese flew north calling. But no fieldfare. I've heard a rumour that they've been heard, but have not heard them. A goldcrest appeared in a garden birch this week.