The cows are in and "just like that" winter has arrived at the farm on the M62

It’s quite a trek to school for us, so our alarm clock is always set early

Bringing the cows in was a challenge but they all arrived safely in the yard.

Whilst Paul usually favours the motorway, I avoid it at all costs and take the scenic route.

On a good day we pause at the top of Deanhead valley and admire the spectacular sunrises.

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John-William has reached the age where he can appreciate the beauty of the sun peeping its head above the horizon, casting a warm, ethereal glow on the early morning sky.

Some mornings, you could almost believe an artist has taken a brush and created a masterpiece with great sweeps of gold with red and orange hues.

It never ceases to amaze me that as quickly as a breathtaking sunrise can unfold before your eyes, it can equally vanish within minutes, leaving the sky a cold, washed-out blue. It’s a rare and cherished moment of calm we appreciate and share together before the mundane realities of the day take over.

We brought the first lot of cows in last weekend, as the land they were on was taking quite a hammering. We bedded the shed down, set the gates up in preparation and headed up to the meadows above the carriageways. Paul left John-William and I on the lane and drove in on the bike, not wanting to upset their routine.

He shook the corn bag and waited for the stampede. And waited. We stood watching as he got increasingly frustrated by their stubbornness to come towards the corn. Still nothing.

“They’ve spotted us,” whispered a little voice next to me. He was right, of course, they’d seen us lurking on the lane and knew something was amiss. After what seemed like an eternity we decided to join Paul in the field and try and run the cows down to the open gateway.

“Keep ’em steady.” Paul shouted. “Don’t spook them”.

I stared in dismay as the now spooked cows gathered pace, tails up, ears pricked, eyes out on stalks. They sped straight past the gateway and proceeded to do the wall of death around the field.

Expletives started to pour from Paul as the cows blurred into one, hurtling faster and faster around the heavily churned up field. They eventually spotted a break in the wall and taking advantage of the absent topping stones, crashed through into the next field.

“They’re definitely spooked dad,” said the little guy, with almost a hint of sarcasm. After more gates were opened, they miraculously spotted the exit and piled out into the lane heading for the top underpass.

I was already in front of them and ran as fast as I could, to check the route ahead was clear. I visualised a great mob of right to roamers marching up the lane, all with dogs, only to be met by a great mob of blowing, slightly out of control and most definitely spooked cows.

Thankfully, the path was clear and they headed in a mannerly order down the drive and into the shed with no innocents splattered. The door was quickly slammed shut amidst a collective sigh of relief and, just like that, they were in for the winter.