Eye Contact with Bessie?

Chocolate Brown Cow, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Nahal Dishon National Park, Upper Galilee, Israel

She and her calf weren’t there when I followed a primitive trail deeper into a corner of Nahal Dishon Park, Upper Galilee region of Israel. I’ve been sharing images of my February to March 2016 views, and some of what I share is the product of mixed weather, sometimes thick clouds, sometimes rain. It’s the end of their winter, and the acceptable amount of rain has enriched this verdant region with blankets of wildflowers, Lupines for example were all over, and sweet purple blush.

The drive from my SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel) field house quarters to this park was up, up,  up and up, around sharp curves, challenging the boy who is a wee bit uncomfortable with heights.

Back to Miss Bessie. The boy hailing from Brooklyn works his way back to where the trail (mind you not a developed trail – now I know who made this trail over eons of time) began. Then I see her, all 800? or 900? pounds of her. She is just off the trail. I reconnoiter the situation, and spot more sweet brown just a few feet from her. A calf! I slow my pace, and continue on the trail. toward them. What would Virginia or Louise or Dave or Phil, all of you who grew up on farms, do? Mr. Concrete, brick  and asphalt is once again on a trail, with a very Big Girl, she is watching me like, well a hawk, and . . . she’s got her calf, too.

Less than 2 weeks later, on Mt. Belvoir in the Golan region, I again found myself along on a trail with a huge, very interested cow. That cow never stopped watching me, and then she began moving toward me. I at least had trees between me and her, as you see I had between Bessie and I. I moved out down that Belvoir mountain trail, how do you say? Likity split.

Bessie let me be. There was no owner to be seen. Cattle roam here in the Upper Galilee. They roam in the Golan region. I have no idea how their owners keep track of them. Really close to Hot borders with Lebanon and Syria, armored vehicles (AKA tanks) are common here, and they too must be aware of the presence of cattle, here and there.

A share then of the unexpected. City boy cum butterfly photographer, and 900 pound powerhouses, alone together, all parties docile?


8 thoughts on “Eye Contact with Bessie?

  1. lol
    if the virginia you reference is this one typing…didn’t grow up with Bessies! grew up on a small island off the coast of Georgia with dolphins, sand dollars and more sand…however, have been fooling with them for 30 years or so as my husband raises them. Lets just say that i would have been as uncomfortable as you meeting one on the trail.

    had not thought the area would be so GREEN! not in my imagination…seasoned with the images you share combine to bring this ancient land into a (semblance) of reality i cherish


    • Yes the very same Virginia. 30 years of experience with Bessie’s and their Bulls works here. This is the north of Israel, good rainfall, slightly more moderate temps, and 68 years of effort to green up what was once a sparsely green land. Judging from your response, it shows!


    • Denise. I’m so glad she did. Philadelphia or Israel? Where are you? So I don’t have to convince You of the extraordinary place that is Israel? Do come by as often as you can, for you are always welcome here!

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      • I actually live in Oklahoma now:) Born and raised in Philly:) Blessed to have traveled to Israel in 2011 and 2014. Believing a return trip in future:) Once there, forever in my heart and soul. I too was there in mid February with a bit of rain. When I saw the red cow, I thought, “she looks like the cows I’ve seen in Galilee!”. What a delight to read your post! Thank you for touching back:) Time for bed, will visit again:)

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