At the back of my house

Hubby is the dog walker in our family. Sometimes he takes them for a walk by Lake Windermere. At other times he takes them for a gambol in the fells off the road that heads up to Troutbeck village. Most times, however, if not at least once a day, the dogs go for walkies in the fields just behind our house.

Yesterday Hubby reported that the woodlands and fields behind our house is currently also the home of a herd of cows. Each year, the farmer will either put his sheep or cows or  both alternately to feed in the pastureland that borders our back garden. The sheep tend to ignore us, but the cows are usually young and extremely curious and friendly. Many of them will hang their heads over the low wire fence which divides our place from the National Trust lands on the other side.

Presently, there are foxgloves and other wild plants growing alongside the lush green grass that comes up against the fence. On our side, there is an artistically created bed of flowers and shrubs planted to look a little wild in order to complement the true wilderness of plants immediately beyond the fence. It seems to me that the greenery in this area grows more bushy and higher each year. Perhaps it is the plentiful rain that UK forecasters always predict which has contributed hugely to the spurt of plant growth this year. Perhaps too it is because the farmer has not placed any livestock in the pastures until now, in September, and thus the plants have had time to sprout heavily with leaves and flowers.

It is nice to see the cows in the fields, and guests staying in The Dalesway room will likely find themselves gazing into the placid faces of friendly cows when they look out of their windows. The cows seem to migrate from one side of the fell to another depending on the time of day. Cue: a funny story when one time they grouped together in the middle of the fell.

It was midday or thereabouts when I saw Hubby standing in our back garden and gazing up The Dales Way Footpath, smiling with great good humour as he observed the goings on at the top of the path where it first levels out. A number of Italian tourists had gone walking up The Dales Way and were now on their way back down to the little farm gate that gives access to Brantfell Road, which leads into Bowness town centre. As Blenheim Lodge is located at the top of Brantfell Road, Hubby was afforded an excellent view of the spectacle at the top.

The Dales Way Footpath at the back of our house. In the middle ground is the stone ‘seat’ where some of the walkers perched whilst the cows surrounded them round about. Lake Windermere may be glimpsed through the trees, of which we have excellent views from our guest house, Blenheim Lodge.

There were a dozen or so cows standing by the bench built on the levelled out ‘crossroads’ which is also home to a large Lakeland stone ‘seat’ that some walkers like to perch on. The cows stood almost in a circle around the walkers, who could not walk downwards, upwards, or sideways as their paths were blocked. A stand-off ensued, with some cows staring huge-eyed at their human ‘companions’ whilst other cows, being more blase, began cropping the grass around them.

Come 2:30 pm, and it was time to take the dogs out for a walk. Hubby decided that he would walk the dogs away from the cows as the latter always want to make friends with our two canines, despite Zack’s antipathy towards them. However, Hubby never went into the fields in the end. As he pulled on his gumboots at the back of our house and looked upwards to the stone ‘bench’ in the field, he could still see the Italian walkers sitting there with the number of hoofed companions surrounding them quite unchanged.

‘Practicality is the better part of valour’ is Hubby’s motto, and so he decided that the dogs should go for walkies by the Lake instead. Hubby knew that the cows would not budge now until some inner timer called them to wander away to their regular pasturelands west of the walkers around 5 pm. When we next looked at The Dales Way again at 6 pm, we could see the cows settled in the far corner of the fells and not a single Italian walker could be seen gracing the pastoral backdrop against which our guest house nestles.

The walkers had finally escaped!

The fells behind our Bowness-on-Windermere bed and breakfast, ‘where the deer and the antelope play’. Well . . . not quite! But certainly where the sheep and the cows graze.

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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