Still a Cow Town?
When I announced to my former co-workers in New York that I was moving to Denver, I was pleasantly surprised by their reactions. Even though many of them were born-and-bred New Yorkers who would never think of leaving the city, several commented, almost wistfully, “You know, if I ever left New York, Denver would be one place I might go.”
If you know how New Yorkers feel about their city, then you know that’s high praise indeed.
It shows how perceptions of Denver have changed, even just in recent years. I recall hearing from Aimee Greeblemonkey that when she invited her east coast friends to her Denver wedding, they asked if cows roamed the streets. In all seriousness.
Uh, no. This is Denver, not Bombay.
Now, there definitely is more wildlife roaming around here than I was ever accustomed to seeing in and around the Lincoln Tunnel. When I came out for a house-hunting trip, there were seven deer in the front yard of the first house my realtor showed me. I stood stock still and just looked at them.
“Are you okay?” my realtor asked.
“Oh yeah,” I nodded. “But I just realized how far away from New York I am.”
Since then, I’ve spent many hours riding my bike on the Cherry Creek trail, observing rabbits and dodging snakes. I’ve read the posted warnings about coyotes – apparently there are some particularly aggressive ones in our neck of the woods – and I’ve gawked at the advice in local publications about how to deal with mountain lions.
Mountain lions? I’d rather run across a mugger than a mountain lion.
Last summer, Kyle and Oliver and I went out for a trail ride and had our coolest close encounter yet – three bucks wandering in a wooded area, only twenty yards or so from the trail. We were separated by a fence, but close enough that we could count the points on their antlers. We stood quietly and admired them for as long as they let us, wishing we had the camera to capture the moment.
But when a fellow triathlete forwarded me a link to the Denver Post article about the woman in Boulder who got knocked down and stepped on by a cow, it gave me pause.
I know mountain lions are aggressive, and coyotes can be, especially when people start invading their territory. Heck, even a pigeon can get feisty when protecting its young.
But cows always seemed so benign, with their big dark eyes and placid mooing. And this woman wasn’t even antagonizing the cow. She actually stopped to let the cow cross the trail, and that’s when the cow took her out. So much for showing common courtesy to the cow.
So I’ll add cows to the list of potential predators to avoid on the trail this spring. Who knew?