Many of you know I love cows. What you may not know is, why. When I was 16 I lived with a host family in Normandie, France. They had a farm. It was my first time living with animals. I had always wanted a puppy but my dad is allergic so I couldn’t have one. Boom, I end up with this host family where I have 7 host sisters and 1 host brother and host parents, and feel totally overwhelmed. Step in Amazonie – one of the family’s cows. She immediately took a liking to me and followed me around and licked me like a puppy dog. She made me feel seen and wanted at a time I felt somewhat scared and invisible. (That didn’t last long happily!) So, for me, cows are a source of creativity, curiosity, discovery and comfort – every time I go to a new country and feel lost, cows always make me feel found.
I love that there are so many breeds of cow in the world and hope to one day have a photo of them all.
I found some lovely cows in Portugal – they were either friendly or serene and powerful looking in the distance. In Scotland, the Highland cows are massive, yet like all other cows, stick their tongue in their nose, and that just adds a level of humor to any cow that might have seemed scary. They have so much hair, and what’s amazing is their eyes. I’m so accustomed to those big brown eyes that when a gust of wind blew the hair away from one of the Highland Cow’s faces, I was in awe of her beautiful blue eye – almost human. (And I wonder, too, can they see where they’re going with all that hair? Why don’t they get a hair cut?)
In Scotland I have seen so many fields where sheep are separate from the cows which are separate from the horses, never together (except once I saw cows with sheep.) I thought perhaps they don’t get along, but found out that, in fact, they all eat different grass. If I recall properly, horses like tall grass, cows like medium grass, and sheep like well cut grass. So, farmers rotate the cattle as the grass is eaten down.
Anyway, now you know why cows are so important to me – they are lifelong friends that I like to visit every place I go, so stay tuned for more!