Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Why do cows all point the same way?

Autumn dog-walking

This morning’s walk was a bit of a quiet one.

The colours of Autumn were great, particularly the blood-red thorns on this bramble – very appropriate!.

The only real noises were from the crows shouting at each other for no apparent reason, intently watched by Nippy, our local stray cat, who has so many adoptive homes where she gets fed that she never needs to hunt, though I’ve seen her carrying mice along to some hiding place.

Nippy overseeing the crows' argument

Walking past the new allotments with their numbers, just waiting to be occupied, I was struck by the old conundrum – why do cows all graze in the same direction? Apparently Google Earth has confirmed that this is the case though they were unable to distinguish head from tails; it was still apparent that many groups of cows were aligned north/south. I confirmed this myself this morning; all these cows are facing South and presumably when they reach the end of the field, they’ll turn and munch their way north.

Molly enjoyed the walk

Molly the Spaniel enjoyed the walk though I can’t break her of the habit of giving a wide berth to the gateway where Izzy the St Bernard lives.

Passing Izzy's gateway
Unlike New York, our weather is still surprisingly mild and we’ve been suffering a plague of flies. It’s eased off a bit now, but I think we’ll have to wait for the really cold weather to get rid of them completely. We tried a couple of fly sprays but they are immune, unlike the wasps that came in from the nest under our floor. They died within a few minutes but we had to pay to get the nest eradicated.

The warmth is a bit incongruous as the city’s stores put up their Christmas displays.

John Lewis windows

Inside John Lewis - a bit 'Galeries Lafayette'?

The Shires Mall

Inside, there’s snow, Christmas trees and baubles while outside we’ve had a Moroccan market full of hot colours basking in the sunshine.

Leicester's Humberstone Gate

Great fossil sink

The Luggage (Discworld)

Mehndi (Henna)