I had never thought I had an affinity for cows. I grew up on a farm and cows were part of the landscape -- in green pastures in summer, in brown pastures in fall and sometimes in icy, even snowy pastures in winter. Cows standing belly-deep in cool ponds on hot days and cows with icicles hanging off their noses in winter.
Cows come in many colors. Long ago my father had a beige Jersey cow. Babe had large brown eyes. I liked to press my face against her warm hide and breathe in her scent.
On our farm were black cows, red and white cows and some black and white cows. The typical black and white cow we see on television urging us to 'Eat More Chickin' is a Holstein. During my teenage years, black and white Holstein dairy cattle spotted our pastures. I never thought they were pretty as the Jersey, Guernsey, Black Angus, and Herefords.
A couple of years ago, while riding through a particularly picturesque area, my husband said, "You really like cows, don't you?"
"I never thought about it. I don't think I really like cows. Why do you say that?"
"Because, every time we pass a herd of cows, you say 'purty cows'." He laughed. "I think you really like cows."
That got me to thinking, and I realize that I do, indeed, like cows. Recently on a fantastic fall afternoon driving east on Hwy 64 from Murphy, NC to Hayesville, as the sun slid toward the mountain tops in the west, it cast a glow over everything in front of me. I wanted to stop right there, in the middle of the road, and capture the scene of the hills, the cows and the blue mountains in the background. Of course, I couldn't do that. Highway 64 is one busy road, so I did the next best thing. I turned off, found a spot, and made a few photos. That was when I remembered Janice Moore's poem about cows. She grew up in the city, and I enjoy this poem in which she is first introduced to cows living near.