Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Wash behind your ears

Wash your hands is one of the current Government mantras, when I was growing up my Mum's was to Wash behind your ears. The red cow was doing it for her young calf (see also the Extra).

It's lovely to see calves back on the big pasture below the Knott, the small herd of red cows now have two little ones.

The highland cows disappeared one day last year, the story goes they were too difficult to handle, and clearly most of them needed serious veterinary attention to their hooves. They were feisty animals, liable to take more interest than was sometimes comfortable in a man with a camera and a dog.  But they were also recognisable individuals with their own personalities. I'm sure the red cows that replaced them are too, but to an untrained eye they all look alike and it takes longer to recognise their individual quirks. I did notice though that this lady is sporting a natty mohican.

When I last blipped them in January, Kiteseeker said they looked like red Devon cows. That's a good enough identification for me, it is an old breed that has a gentle, docile personality. And that fits with these, for while they keep an eye on me, unlike the highlands, I don't sense they are like to do anything unpredictable.  Whatever, they are doing their conservation grazing job well in the big field.

What I did get for my trouble photographing the cows was a tick which I found later in the day attached to my lower leg. I shall need to keep an eye on the bite given the prevalence of Lyme's disease in this area.  The field has a lot of ticks, and we usually scoot through here so that Gus doesn't pick them up.

I was reflecting that it was lucky the tick found a suitable area of flesh low on my leg and didn't need to explore further.  And that put me in mind of Redmond O'Hanlon's story of tapir ticks in the Amazon, described in his book In Trouble Again. This clip is worth a couple of minutes time to hear him retell the tale.

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