The 1,500 Pounds Behemoth Cattle Lazily Looked Up at Us on an Israeli Trail

Dairy Cattle photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in  Northern Golan, Israel

March in the northernmost Golan, Israel. As most of you know, as we worked our way down this trail, within a mile from the Israel/Lebanon border. Butterflies were abundant, and protected species of wildflower were in bloom. Nirvana!

The rule is the rule. Most of the time, the trail that you hike is the very same trail that you return on. So here, we reached a valley, with a stream running through it and began our ascent back up the trail to the trailhead.

More butterflies, mostly hurtling up the trail in the same direction that we were going. We saw wildflowers that we hadn’t noticed on the earlier descent. Fine.

Then, there they were: 7 or 8 huge cows were also working the trail. They were slowly grazing in the lush growth on both side of the trail. To our right, there was a sheer drop.To our left, we saw the sharp climb that almost begin at trail’s edge.

As you can see, the cattle lazily looked up at us, or didn’t. Our approach didn’t seem to mean much to these 1,500 pounds behemoths.

Although my Hunter College career advisor reported to me that my likes/dislikes best matched those of folks in agriculture, I am from Brooklyn, New York, then Long Island, also New York and now Pittsburgh. Rachel, nearly the same, with Georgetown, D.C. and Binyamina. So our choice was sit and wait as they blocked the trail, or do the serpentine thing and work between them. No cattle handler anywhere to be seen.

I was OK with that plan, after what my college advisor had said. Rachel took a few moments to buck up her resolve and we worked our way between the cows, who at three feet seemed more like elephants.

Back on the trail for butterflies!


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