Updated: Sep 11
A quintessential English country scene, captured with my Fujifilm GFX 50R plus 32-64mm lens. I find this lens to be superb for general “walking around” photography. For readers interested in the technical aspects of this lens I have included some information about it at the end of this post.
Fujifilm GFX 50R plus 32-64mm lens.
I find the quality of landscape images taken with this camera and lens combination outstanding. Having printed this image at A3+ size (19” x 13”) and compared it to images printed from my APS-C cameras there is a clear difference in the results. Much smoother gradation between tones and colours to my mind.
Waterford Marsh & River Beane
The cows in this image had settled by the banks of the River Beane at Waterford Marsh in Hertfordshire. The marsh is a traditional “grazed common.” During the summer months there is always a herd of cattle present here. In the past, areas of common land were used by “commoners” to graze their animals. During the last century, this practice has reduced significantly, so Waterford Marsh is quite unique in this respect.
This River Beane is a tributary of the Upper Lea. It flows through the villages of Watton-at-Stone, Stapleford, and Waterford, before joining the River Lea in Hertford.
Why Do Cows Lie Down?
You will no doubt have heard the saying “ if cows lie down that means it’s going to rain.” Well, it had been raining before I arrived for my walk, but no further rain was predicted for that day.
So is that old wives tale really true? Apparently, cows do like to keep a patch of grass dry to keep their stomach’s warm when the air is cooler. So possibly there could be a tenuous link here in that cooler air might indicate some approaching rain.
I would guess cows often lie down because they're tired, which is probably why you would lie down too! As a communal animal, they could just be following the leader of the herd.
Cows are more complex than we think
A herd of cows is very much like a pack of wolves, with alpha animals and complex social dynamics. They consistently choose leaders who have good social skills and are generally intelligent and inquisitive. I have noticed this myself, they do seem inquisitive. Whenever I approached this group, one cow would stand up and walk towards me as I got close to the herd. Then all the others would follow. I have seen them all laying down in this area on several visits and there is a link further on in this post to prove it.
According to the peta.org website “cows are as diverse as cats, dogs, and humans. Some are very quick learners, while others are a little slower. Some are bold and adventurous, while others are shy and timid. Some are friendly and considerate, while others are bossy and devious.”
According to other research, cows are generally quite intelligent animals who can remember things for a long time. Animal behaviourists have found that they interact in socially complex ways, developing friendships over time.
I often visit this stretch of the River Beane and you can see more images (featuring cows again!) taken with the Fujifilm XT4 camera. Here is the link.
Some techy stuff!
For readers interested in the technical stuff, here is some further information on the GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens.
It has 14 elements across 11 groups, including an extra low dispersion (ED) element, one super ED element and a trio of aspherical elements. The lens has been designed very well, and its optics result in excellent image quality across the lens' focal length range and in a wide variety of shooting situations.