This is a photo of Sophie I took yesterday during my stock check. I came out the house to find all the cattle sat in the paddock close by chewing the cud, so I grabbed my camera and went for a walk amongst them. I like the picture because not only is it a nice portrait, but it marks a sort of milestone for me in my farming career.
I am about a meter and a half away, zoom out on the camera when this was taken. You can see Sophie is watching me, but she is calm; no wide, afraid eyes and she is not poised to get up. There was no head shaking or mooing and she was not looking around for an escape route. To my right was Jessica, same position and behind me the rest of the fold dotted around, similarly at ease.
Amongst the quiet I had a moment of reflection: a year ago I would have been about 50+ meters away trying to get a decent shot, two years and I probably wouldn’t have left the car I was that afraid of the cattle. Gradually I am overcoming my fears and now feel a lot more comfortable working with the stock. To be fair to them the cattle have changed too. They now know who I am and no longer stare at me wide-eyed or gallop off as soon as I emerge over the brow of a hill. How far we have come!