Yesterday, I had a slightly surreal experience. I went for a walk in Hatfield Forest (National Trust property near Stansted airport). The usual mix of lovely autumn colours, kids on bikes, a lake, lots of ducks, a café. So far, so good. But then I passed through a gate and suddenly there were lots of cattle in amongst the trees. It was the oddest feeling! Now, you expect to encounter some cows as you walk across fields in the British countryside. But in a forest??? I’d never seen that before! And somehow it reminded me of being on safari in Namibia. You spot some animal in amongst the vegetation, try to figure out what is it, and whether you should be getting any closer. OK, so these were not exactly lions and zebras and giraffes – but this bull looked huge (even from a distance) and I decided that getting any closer might not be a good idea. (Isn’t the tree just amazing, though?)
I went a bit further and there were lots of cows and calves that had come up against the border of “their” area. One seemed to contemplate crossing the cattle grid but wisely decided against it. After having a good scratch on the bin and the fence posts, the disappeared among the trees.
Walking back, I was glad to go make it to the gate, as I had no idea where the bull had gone and I had no desire to suddenly come across him!
So, a mini Safari – quite fun – but to be honest – NOTHING like the real thing – not even close!