Anne Notations

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Everywhere a moo-moo

A young ox and Kevin, Springfield, Vt.

Vermont is green and gloriously hilly. And it is also all about cows. It claims to be about moose, too, and we even saw some "Moose Xing" signs in our travels, but nary a moose crossed our path last week. From Brattleboro to Weston, Newfane (our home away from home) to Springfield, we saw cows and oxen aplenty. I like their big dumb honest faces. I like the colors they come in, and the placid stare they level at you. I cringe when I see their hides shuddering to dislodge merciless clouds of horseflies. I don't mind the odor of fresh cow poop -- an admission that sent our kids into spasms of "ewwwww, GROSS, Mom!"

We went to an agricultural fair in Springfield last Sunday and saw lots of cows, mostly oxen, but some pretty dairy types, too. The pulling contests are my favorite events. There were no draft horses this time, but the oxen were dramatic in their enormousness and power. Some were stolid; a few could not contain their excitement, like the very large black ox on the left, below. He was so frisky, it took the woman in the red shirt four tries to get him and his partner hitched to the sled.

And when they were given the signal, man, did those beasts PULL.

With a black ox here...
And a white ox there...

And spotted ones everywhere...

In pastures during our drives, we saw heifers doing the horsefly ballet...

... or not.

Melinda's favorite was this "cow" in downtown Brattleboro. I guess you'd call it a people mooooover. (yuk yuk)


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