20 photos

I am ambivalent in my feelings about cows. Sometimes I think, I don't like them much. They can seem kind of stupid and I get why applying the word bovine as a description is a bit of an insult. They are not clean in their habits, pooping anywhere and everywhere and in a way that often bespatters their own backsides. (Blech.)

However, I live in a spot where many of my nearest neighbors run cattle. I find myself oddly fascinated by their comings and goings and there are many instances when I can't help but point a camera in their direction because - something interesting is going on.

My opinions have also changed greatly over the last several years - I used to think that they damaged the land where they graze, and I'm sure that's still true if poor management causes overgrazing. I've learned that their presence is more often beneficial and I admit that I do feel gratitude that their vegetation-munching habits reduce the fire danger.

Some individual cows have earned my respect, specifically the Spotted Cow, whose portrait is included here. I appreciate her wily nature.

On many occasions, I have been busy taking pictures of other things - a mushroom or a flower - and become aware of a prickly feeling that means I'm being watched. When I look up, I find myself being observed by a cow.
Spotted CowLong-horned CowBullBull RisingYoung BullsCurious Cow ICurious Cow IICurious Cow IIIJersey BullJersey Bull EncounterCow CallingSpotted CalfNothing Like a Good ChewThe Gate Bull IThe Gate Bull IICleaning Up the Little OnePeeking OutDairy Cow on UC Merced Vernal Pools PreserveCurious Cows IVBull in Fall