Monday, January 09, 2012

The Mind's Eye

There is a mad bull on the loose behind our house. Apparently, he escaped while being dropped off at the farm next door then crashed through the fence and disappeared into the woods. He's not just angry, he's crazy, and as has been explained to me, it doesn't take long for a cow on the loose to "turn wild" and this guy is definitely resisting capture. A farmer never takes kindly to being chased by his own cattle.
After I get home from work on Mondays and Tuesdays, I take the dogs for a swift walk along the old road leading back into the woods before it gets dark. For the first bit of the lane, the woods belonging to the farm next door run alongside the fence on my right (on my left is our field) then they pull back some to create a small field which further along opens up into a larger field. At the top of the old road,  the woods close in again on both sides. As that first break in the woods appeared this afternoon, my eyes registered something out of place along the treeline at the other side of this small field. I knew it was the bull.
How many times have I walked up and down that lane, muttering to myself, deep in thought, watching the dogs, listening to the pileated woodpecke hammering on a tree trunk, or whatever; not paying the least attention to my surroundings. Yet today, instantly, with one glance, my mind registered that there was something different. Even in a stretch of trees that includes the light bark of old poplar trees, my mind knew that those clumps of white there were new, and thus part of the bull.
This was confirmed after I kept walking. When the out-of-place white clumps moved, it was obvious they were on the bull's face and massive chest. The very large, very red Hereford bull turned and slipped back into the shadows of the woods.
The brain is so amazing. Some neuroscientist would be able to explain this phenomenon to me but even without the explanation for how neurons and connectors and blah blah blah works, it was very cool to experience it firsthand.
Although only halfway up the road, the dogs and I returned home. My brain has a strong survival instinct, as well.

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