Two days of inspiring spring weather. Uplifting: good for body and soul. When I walked down to the river at Scadsbury, the wild daffodils were already in flower. Small, delicately-pale cream-lemon-yellow petals, translucent against the light, the base and trumpet a brush stroke more vibrant, each flower set-off by green spears of thrusting leaves. Nodding, softly swaying in the breeze from the fast-flowing water, they resembled clusters of coy, yet animated, bonneted maidens. A far cry from their loud, brash and quarrelsome cultivated cousins.

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After the success of their outing last week I decided to take the cows up to silage barn again today. Still aggravatingly itchy from mites I felt they would benefit from the fresh air and sun on their backs. This week they were ready for me. Gone was the spontaneous joyful and scatty hiccupping down the lane, instead there was a wall of solid red determination! Ranks mustered, eyes forward, they surged as one. Occasionally a foot soldier would break ranks to snatch hastily at a particularly flavoursome plantain, a bind of ivy or a clump of rank, wet grass – otherwise they were single minded in their resolve – they were going out to grass. When we stopped at silage barn it took a lot of persuading and cajoling to get them through the gate into the yard. This was not the game plan. Yet once they knew my determination was every bit as strong as theirs they conceded, eventually, and didn’t have too bad a day. Returning to the cow palace for tea they ambled along quickening their pace as they got nearer home – there, in full view of the young stock, they milled around the pulling at grass, brambles, whatever was to tongue, and shouting, with mouths full, about the heavenly day they’d had out to grass.

Not to put a dampener on the glorious day I will leave my next post about bluetongue till tomorrow.

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