Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ghost Cow

Cow or rock?
I keep seeing the Ghost Cow, but nobody else does. Perhaps his spirit still lingers because in the seven-month grazing season on the Dipper Ranch this year, I frequently spoke of frogs, newts, snakes, thistles, even the weather, but I hardly wrote about the cattle.

I hereby take this opportunity to share photos of the Ghost Cow's brethren in the hope that the Ghost Cow will finally walk through that corral gate.

The cattle arrived in January in all colors.
Hey, there's the Ghost Cow when he was a little guy, ahhh.

Some had fancy faces.

Some had fancy rumps.

They spent most of their time grazing and drinking.

Sometimes they got up on the wrong side of the bed.

We manage the numbers and location of the cattle and the season of grazing
to increase the biodiversity of the grassland, reduce the fire hazard,
and support the region's rural agricultural heritage.

Do they know they graze in paradise?

There's the Ghost Cow on the right.
Final Note: I wrote this Ghost Cow post last night but retired before adding the photos. This morning at 6AM I woke up to a loud "wree-wree-wree" call and jumped out of bed thinking it might be the peregrine falcons reported in nearby Devil's Canyon. I stumbled outside and could hear but not see them. In between putting on boots and field pants, finding camera and binocs, stumbling over the cat, getting distracted by a Cooper's hawk, and briefly seeing 3 peregrines raptors, I saw the Ghost Cow lurking about the distant shade. In the next half hour, I caught further glimpses of the peregrines raptors, and spotted a red-shirted cowboy riding the Pasture 2 road with a steady black dot trotting beside him. The red-shirt, dog and horse rounded up the Ghost Cow and then everyone went inside as it reached 100 degrees by 10 AM. Having received their overdue attention, the cattle spirits are now at rest.


  1. I love your writing. Deu tell about the peregrine/raptor cross-off situation?

  2. I'm still learning my juvenile raptors. I checked with an in-house expert and he confirmed what I photographed was a red-tail j. Then he showed me his photos of peregrines - wow, the adults are really white from underneath. That means I still haven't seen the peregrines yet this year - a goal! Photos of various raptors coming up later.


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