Phenology Files: April 2022

phenology fi-ˈnä-lə-jē 1 : a branch of science dealing with the relations between climate and periodic biological phenomena (such as bird migration or plant flowering) 2: periodic biological phenomena that are correlated with climatic conditions.

The crowd lined the fences of the Dungeness Valley Creamery in tempered jubilation; only the youngest children were making noises. We were there to see the corps de ballet–the cows–dance.

And dance they did!

Onlookers watch the Jersey cows frolic with joy at Dungeness Valley Creamery.

When the rains pick up in Fall/Winter, the cows at Dungeness Valley Creamery are brought inside to protect them from the elements, and to protect their hooves from the cold, muddy fields. In Spring, as the weather shifts and the grass grows tall, the cows are released from their barn to return once again to open, green fields. This annual farming cycle marks shifts in seasons, much the way certain flowers, like skunk cabbage or snowdrops are heralds of Spring, and the return of Trumpeter Swans remind us that Winter is near.

To say the cows love being turned out to pasture would be an understatement. With the exuberance you’d expect from a puppy, these cows moo, pas de deux, twist and jump, and even twerk! I know it sounds like we’re making this up, but it’s true. If you don’t believe it, check out our instagram post showcasing this dance flashmob.

A special thanks to the folks at Dungeness Valley Creamery, who welcome the community to their farm to learn, laugh, and delight in this place we love to live.