whistlestop caboose

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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Saturday, December 09, 2006

This is Lilac, daughter of Lily, daughter of Lea


We were invited up to farmer Bernard's barn today for an Advent aperitif (more on that tomorrow) . We trudged through the snow, up the narrow farm path where Bernard's tractor or jeep had already packed down the snow, wet and muddy. We stood with the neighbors outside in the snow at noon, sharing wine that Jean-Pierre had made, a rosé, and the dried meat that several of the men had made together. We stomped and rubbed hands and shared the good cheer of the first snowfall, then we went inside to visit the cows.

They were wonderfully quiet, just a lowing sound now and again, with all the cows sitting down and contented in their sweet-smelling hay-filled barn. The calves were the great attraction, a group of nine of them that are a month old. These are Val d'Herens fighting cows, wonderful creatures, very intelligent, who live in the barn in winter and climb high in the alps in the summer.

My favorite was Lilac, who hasn't yet worked out that even with constant pushing, her head will not fit through two bars. Her mother, Lily, was a few feet away. And Grandma Lea, at the end of the barn and now nine years old, is the queen cow, the one that leads them all up to the good pastures.

1 Comments:

Anonymous tiegreen said...

They are so wonderful like giant puppies! More pictures please!

10:13 AM  

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