When I first started sketching and painting, I used to paint lots of landscapes, but then quickly moved to just sketching stuff instead. Landscapes just didn’t hold my interest, though I do rather love sketching animals, so for today’s prompt of landscape, mine will be interrupted by this cow. Cows fascinate me because it’s rather difficult to guess what they might be thinking. This one could be sleepy, or a bit bored, or plotting to take over the world. It’s just impossible to tell really. Or perhaps, it’s simply thinking, “the next time someone ‘moos’ at me while passing in a car, I’m totally going to lose it!” But mooing at cows was quite a treat as a kid. I’m not quite sure why we only felt we could talk to cows. We didn’t really neigh at horses very often or attempt to communicate with chickens that passed by. Cows, though, were apparently just there waiting to have a little chat with us and so we always obliged. Looking back, they don’t really seem like chatty creatures at all and were probably just wishing we’d hurry up and pass by so they could enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.

Though I was often around cows for long periods of time on my grandmother’s farm they were always a mystery to me. It was years later that I learned they are actually rather intelligent animals who may seem to live a carefree and even dull life, but they have the ability to remember things for quite a long time. They will develop grudges against other cows who mistreat them and possibly irritating humans who like to moo at them while driving by. They are good at problem-solving and have been known to heroically escape slaughter by leaping a tall fence and then traveling miles to reunite with their calf. This isn’t really all that surprising. No animal ever really wants to be separated from its family. And lastly, they possess an emotional complexity that gives them another interesting ability. One that is often thought to only be something humans would ever bother doing. They have the ability to worry about the future.

This fact was the most startling, as I always thought we humans were the only ones bothering to fret about what will come next. I always assumed animals were just a bit smarter than we were on that front and could happily roll with the moment without letting something that hasn’t actually happened yet affect them.  So, in some ways it’s a bit comforting to know that many living beings contemplate what the future might hold. I can spend countless moments wondering and worrying about what might or might not come next. But, in those moments, I always have to remind myself that the future is not entirely in my control. And honestly, what’s happening in this very moment, is probably the most important thing of all. Something to relish and enjoy. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to think ahead on things, but only if it’s part of planning, with no real worrying at all. At least that’s what I know in my heart. So, I have to wonder sometimes, why I can still find myself side-stepping the present to worry about the future, like a cow in the field.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 10 - Like A Cow In The Field Watercolor Landscape - Doodlewash

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24 thoughts on “Like A Cow In A Field

  1. Some cow! To paraphrase Charlotte😁. The farmer whose pasture abutted my back yard passed away a few years ago, so alas, no more cows or horses visiting me over the fence. I miss those guys. They always shut up and just listened.

  2. I have been replying to oldest ones first in my attempt to catch up, but
    when I saw that awesome cow, I could not pass it by. It looks exactly like
    Daisy, our Guernsey cow. We had many dairy cattle but Daisy was a pet.
    We rode on her back, gave her baths with the garden hose, and let her roam
    around the yard at will (until she inadvisedly ate the gladiolas that Mother
    was planning to win a blue ribbon with at the county fair. After that indiscretion
    Daisy was confined to the pasture or the barn…Quite an affront for our moo cow
    calendar girl.

    Re: cows thinking…My dad used to recite this little poem:

    They are so much alike,
    the cud chewing cow
    and the gum chewing child,
    and yet, there’s a difference somehow,
    Ah, yes, I have it now,
    It’s the thoughtful expression
    on the face of the cow.

    The best of the best is:

    ” I always have to remind myself that the future is not entirely in my control. And honestly, what’s happening in this very moment, is probably the most important thing of all.”


  3. Growing up their used to always be fields with cows, sheep or horses everywhere I went where now I have to travel many miles to see any. I miss them. Your lovely cow brings back many memories of days gone by.

  4. Wonderful post, Charlie, and I love your painting. I did not know those things about cows, but I assume most animals are smarter than we think. We are just too human-centered to understand them and we lack empathy as mankind. After all we are also just an animal, the one thinking it is smarter than all the rest – while destroying its one and only home (-planet)… Yes, we’re really the smartest kind 😉 Have a wonderful weekend! 💕

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