Monday, 11 January 2010

Madonna and child

This is all that is left of Number 6, the cow that died with her calf on board. She went down in a dry creek bed on Christmas Day and was pretty much in this state a week ago, except that the black stain around her bones was a bit slicker and oozier than it is now. It is as if her body liquified and was sucked into the thirsty bed.

If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it you can see her full term calf's bones lying within what would have been her belly, which confirms my theory that it was either in breech of transverse presentation and she couldn't deliver it.

The thing I find astonishing is the rate of decomposition. 10 days for all that flesh to simply melt into the ground. You can't watch something like that happen without it crossing your mind that we share the same fate; all that life, all our dreams and imaginings, all that energy will bleed back into the same earth in the same way.

But I find it strangely exhilarating rather than depressing. Getting up close and personal with death is oddly refreshing to the soul in that it renews your sense of purpose and moves all those 'things to do before I die' to the top of the list of daily priorities.

All we have in life, really, is time. Best not to waste it.


  1. Died also - sadly. At the bottom of the previous post. She's way too stinky to get close to just yet. She's at rest just over the crest of our eastern ridge - down wind. Not a bad spot actually - the view is worth a couple of squillion bucks

  2. Hughsey thats a cracker of a photo, a little disturbing that from the angle you took it the mandible of the calf is foreshortened & looks a little um hominid. Ugh.

    As you may have read I had "issues" with a Noahs Ark recently. If there is anything worse smelling than a week dead bull shark I do Not want to know about it. Old cop trick is to smear vicks on your top lip before dealing Mr Stinky as it deadens the smell nerve endings, even this only worked briefly.