“Have cameras, will travel” is my usual motto on any given day. I’ll be driving through the countryside and see something, pull over, dodge (or sometimes stop) traffic, and I’m off to snap a picture or two. Not an unusual event in my life.
So on a relatively nice day in a northern suburb of Atlanta, a friend and I were on our way to tour a new real estate development. We’re laughing and chatting and all of a sudden I see a field that hadn’t been bush-hogged, and there was one lone cow standing in the distance. I rarely miss an opportunity to photograph cows.
Of course, my right foot stomps on the brake, my friend is wondering “what the . . . ” and I’m u-turning in the middle of a rather busy two-lane road to find a place to pull over, jump out and start photographing this cow. After almost driving off into a deep ditch on the side of the road, falling out of the car, grabbing my cameras, I’m off to the fence and here’s what I first saw.
So I head for a metal gate on the fence line and I pop up on the gate, hop over, gather myself and gear, and I’m ready to shoot away. Apparently, the rattling of the gate, my grunting as I’m crawling over the gate, and then the noise in grabbing my gear has alerted more cows that were down lower in the pasture.
So I raise my camera again, move up a few yards, and then I see more coming . . .
Okay, so I go back to my cameras, and then I spot him . . . the master of his herd . . . Mr. Bull. He eyes me and begins to trot toward me, not really at a leisurely speed but more of a “let me take a look” trot, and I’m at first frozen and thinking, surely not, he won’t charge me. He trots closer. Note, I’m not turning my back — yet. He stops, puts his head down, peeks at me through some brush, and I’m really thinking he’s trying to appear coy. There are no nostrils flaring, but I’m sure he could hear my heart beating or my friend saying, “You had better get back on this side of the fence.” Am I being warned? Probably. Could I help myself from taking pictures? Probably not. If I was going to be trampled, it might as well be with photographic honor.
Coming closer . . .
But after carefully contemplating my situation, not wanting to turn my back on this big guy, I took larger and a bit quicker steps back in the direction of the gate over which I initially came. I decided it was a much better plan to get myself on the other side of the fence, but in doing so, a little one called out to me from the distance and he might have been saying “run, lady, run!”
My friend and I hung out and watched as the bull moved closer — very close — to the fence and eyed me. I’m sure he was trying to tell me something, which I read as “stay clear,” but he did allow me to leave intact and with all equipment unharmed.
So it was just another on the farm for them and another day on the road for me.
Until next time . . . it’s Moo to You!