Magnetic Cows?

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a long 100+ mile bicycle ride and was between Petaluma and Pt. Reyes and saw a number of cows on the hillside.

If you’ve ever been on a long bike ride, you know that after the 4th hour, your brain runs out of normal things to think about. In the first hour, you think about how you could solve issues at work, or how you should probably call your mom more often. In the second hour you are thinking about becoming a strategist for a presidential campaign, or how to bring peace to the Middle East. In the third hour you start thinking about food, and for me, at that point, it’s usually juicy fruits, like plums, peaches, melons…

By the fourth hour, you’ve pretty much gone over all the major themes, and are grasping at straws. “Hey, I wonder if that bug that flew under my helmet is still there? How’s he going to find his way home?”, “If I could have just one wish from a magic genie, I would wish that anytime anyone threw their garbage out their car (which is often judging by how much crap I have to avoid on the side of the road), those tossed items would find their way back to the bed of that f’ing litterbug!”

I had one of these moments as I looked up upon a hill by the side of the road and saw these cows:

They were all grazing. Odd, while there weren’t a whole lot of them, they all were grazing/pointing in one direction. Woo hoo! My brain had just found something to do!! Ok, so could it be they all like to sun their butts? Or face away from the sun? Face the wind? Maybe they could see their food better with the sun shining from behind them? How about if they all were beginning to think about making their way back home? Or are they magnetic and were all are pointing to an iron field, or the South pole?

I think that thought entertained me for about half-an-hour, before I discovered the massive blackberry bushes and had to stop and get some nourishment.

Today I see this article on nature.com: ‘Magnetic Cows’ are visible from space.

Cool.

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~ by mz on September 1, 2008.

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