We live near one of the very old paths that lead up the mountain. In the past, most of the local livestock was taken up the path in the Spring to remain on the high pastures all summer. One of our neighbours, he is about seventy years old, has told my bipeds stories of when he was a boy.

He said that once a week someone would climb the mountain with a donkey carrying food for the men who were spending the summer up there. He often went. The day before the trip, everyone in the village who had someone up on the mountain brought packages of food to his mother’s house. He would get up before dawn and load it all onto the donkey and he would set out just before first light. He would arrive at the pastures before the real heat of the day and spend the day up there, returning in the late evening.

Not many farmers take their livestock up the mountain anymore, but there is one farmer nearby who still takes his cows up every year. He brought the cows down a couple of days ago. They take nearly an hour to go past the end of our road. I don’t know how many there are in the herd. I would like to go out and supervise, but I’m never allowed to do more than watch from a distance!

Cows going by

Cows going by the end of our road

It looks really tranquil. Look a little closer and you will see that they are all wearing cowbells.

Cow with cowbell

Cow with cowbell

I had never heard cowbells until we came to live here. I had a romantic notion that they would sound pretty. I can tell you that there is nothing romantic about the cowbells in this area. They are purely functional and designed to be heard from as far afield as possible. The sound is like someone beating a big metal saucepan with a wooden spoon! Multiply that sound by the number of cows in the herd and you will understand why my bipeds say that they can’t hear themselves think when the cows are going by. Yet they still won’t let me go and hurry the cows along!

That’s two changes I’ve told you about – a seasonal one and a change that’s happening with the passing of the years. I now come to another change! I recently asked my bipeds to help me make some ch-ch-changes to my corner. They asked me what I meant and I explained I thought I’d like to give my blog a makeover.

There was hysterical laughter. They reminded me that my makeovers haven’t always been a success! They said the bathroom was a mess when I’d finished and that the bench in the kitchen collapsed. They laughed even harder and started talking about the changes I made to the water barrel in the garden and how I’d turned the lawn into a rabbit warren.

I waited patiently for them to come back to the matter in paw. They helped me decide what I was looking for in a new theme. The top of my list was that the theme should be responsive, so that it works well for you however large or small your screen.

I hope you think this makeover is a success! Please let me know if you have any difficulties with anything.

If you’re puzzled by my title, all will become clear if you listen to “Changes” by David Bowie.

See you next Wednesday!

132 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. I definitely like the mountain image with Clowie’s photo in the middle. Although, my computer screes is big so Clowie’s photo is a bit blurry. Perhaps a more focused photo? Maybe even a bit bigger? Not that I’m one to talk. My blog header is terrible and I’m thinking of getting a makeover too.

    • The size is governed by the theme, but I could use a photo with a better definition. I’ll probably swap it soon. Thanks for telling me.

  2. Love the changes! Looks great on my BIG screen. (I have one of those big ol’ monitors.) It’s hard to design for both the big and small screen – you never know what device folks will be reading on these days! (We knew the Bowie reference right away!) 🙂

    • Thank you, that’s good to hear! It is difficult to get something that’s right on every size of screen. I think a few of us are singing that song!

  3. I think your makeover is DELIGHTFUL!! I think it suits you much better! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  4. Mes thinks that your changes is fabulishious!
    Mes also thinks cow bells is furry noisy! Here, only the boss cows have then in the field at the end of the street! When the boss cows gets excited by coyotes or bears or cougars then the farmer (and tie village!) knows something is up!

    • Thank you, Nellie, I’m pleased you like it! One bell sounds sensible when they’re near the village. It would be deafening if they all had them. The sound does carry!

  5. I too like the changes….and sympathise about the cow bells.
    I’d just gone to visit the new house in Spain when i heard something like the noise you describe in the lane alongside….a flock of sheep being driven from one pasture to another….
    I’d wondered what on earth the neighbours were up to!

    • Thank you. It is surprising how much noise the bells make when the animals are on the move. We also wondered what is was the first time we heard them close by.

  6. Beautiful new blog headers but your picture should be bigger. Inneresting story. Do you think any of those cows were valerian cows and if so can you send them to me?

    • Thank you. The theme limits the size of the picture, but I will see if I can improve it. I’ll see what I can do about those cows for you!

  7. Lovely blog makeover Clowie! I think your bipeds had temporarily taken leave of their senses due to the effects of the cowbells and became hysterical when you suggested this change 😉 Don’t worry they can’t help these strange effects and no doubt will make a speedy recovery…eventually!!!! HoooOOOOOOooooooWWWWWwwwwwwLLLLLLLLL!!! Oh and Clowie….it will be time for the Galactic Winter Olympics in the not too distant future…snow chickens….chickens…chickens…. 😉 Hope you will be joining me when the time comes lol 😉

  8. Your blog makeover looks wonderful Clowie! When will our humans learn that our ideas are *always* good?! They do like to laugh at our expense sometimes, I’ve noticed that too. That’s so interesting about how the sheep were taken to the mountaintop for the summer, I wonder why? Better grazing? It’s kind of sad to see the old traditions end, although I’m sure you wouldn’t mind seeing an end to those cow bells! 😉

    • Thank you very much. I think there are a number of reasons why the animals were moved. The land on the mountain couldn’t be used for other farming, but the winter is too harsh up there for the animals. The land lower down dries out during the summer, it needs watering. They used to keep the animals closer to home in the winter, with shelter. They would be fed on hay cut during the summer.

  9. One tiny complaint I am afraid pal, for some reason on my screen I can only see half of what you have posted – the end of each line is missing. While I have very much enjoyed guessing filling in the gaps I (clearly typist) can’t figure out how to enjoy the whole story!

  10. The new design is very clean looking. I didn’t click on the Bowie song because just seeing it there is enough to get it stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

  11. Love the new format! Very clean and easy to read.

  12. Hey Clowie

    I’m sure you could get those cows moving past your house in way less then an hour!! Tee Hee

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  13. I love your new look, Clowie – especially the header photo. Gorgeous! I would love to watch the cow parade with you 🙂 BTW Big fan of Bowie – saw him live twice many years ago.

    • Thank you! It is interesting to watch the cows go by. Sometimes they get up to some mischief! My bipeds enjoyed seeing Bowie live.

  14. I think I like it. The mountains are beautiful. But the photo of you isn’t large enough, Clowie. You’re a handsome dog.

  15. I like the new look, Clowie! Even if I’m old school and still do my blog posting and reading on my laptop and not a tablet or smartphone. Frankly, the apps for them frustrate me to no end! I bet it would be fun to explore that old cattle trail. What a great sense of history must be there.

    • Thank you very much! We often walk part of that track, parts of it are a very steep climb. The lower part is through pine forest which was planted to stop the land eroding when people stopped farming it. Then it goes through a forest of oak and box, which feels ancient. We’ve come across a few interesting ruins hidden amongst the trees – shelters for humans with corrals for the animals. Some of the trails in the mountains have arched bridges made of stone, which date back more than a thousand years. The mountains are fascinating for the history and the wildlife.

  16. Love the new theme, looks great!

  17. Ch Ch Changes can be very good! Our mom needs to do a bunch on our site too. The mom’s grandparents came from a small village in Hungary, and all the village cows went out to pasture together every morning and were watched by one of the villagers. In the evening, each went home for the night, and all knew where its home was and none needed to be told where to go.

  18. Fantastic new look but same sweet Clowie what a dynamite combination!

  19. Clowie, your changes are beautiful! It feels so peaceful here with the new colors. Our mom says she likes the cow bells; she even has one hanging outside as a windchime, but we bet she never had to listen to them for an hour. Have a good weekend! Purrs…

    • Thank you, I also think the colours are relaxing. I expect your mom’s bell makes a nicer sound than the ones the cows here wear. Enjoy your weekend!

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