For us, it's not just a figure of speech.The weatherman is predicting a nasty winter storm tomorrow, so today I led the old cows home from the fields they have been grazing all winter.
It has been a great winter for the cattle. They were living the good life as they grazed harvested cornfields. I had it easy as well, because I didn't have to feed them every day as I did last winter. It costs about half as much to rent corn stalks to graze as opposed to feeding hay.
The cows usually make this trip without much encouragement. They have had to fend for themselves all winter, and are typically enthusiastic to have me deliver dinner every day. They know that their best chance of an easy meal is back home.
It was about 2.5 miles home from the corn field. Cows usually walk 3 mph. With the snow on the ground, they were a bit slower today. Right now I'm following the last 75 cows home. They stopped to dig some green grass out from under the snow about 1/2 mile into the journey. They obviously didn't hear the forecast.
So in case you've been waiting "until he cows come home" to get something done, they'll be home by dark tonight.