Critique Welcomed The Cow That Wouldn't Move

Discussion in 'Animals and Wildlife' started by Brian Moore, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Just got back from a couple of weeks on holiday in Applecross, Scotland. My wife's brother has a home there and some land and a small herd of highland cattle.

    In March he found an abandoned calf. He estimates it was about 5 days old. It was near death but he brought it home with him and bottle-fed it. It has responded very well. Since he brought it home it has resided in the glebe adjacent to his home (a former manse).

    The calf--which he has called Calfie--has teeth now so he is eating grass but he is still bottle-fed three times a day (and will be for another ten weeks or so).

    One of our tasks was to bring another (older) calf from the herd down to be a companion to Calfie so that he could bond with another of his herd and learn to be a bovine. (He thinks he's a dog.)

    Isolating the second calf required that we drive the herd from the hills to a pasture a mile or so distant. (We were lucky on the morning of the herding that the herd hadn't wandered too far into the hills.) Then, we had to herd the herd through a pen one or two at a time until we could isolate the calf who was destined to be Calfie's companion.

    There were eight of us and Bailey, my brother-in-law's labrador, on the cattle drive. We managed the job in a couple of hours. But there was one cow who refused to move. Eventually she followed the herd, but we wondered for a long while whether she would cooperate.

    We climb into the hills

    And we climb some more

    Bailey spots the cow that wouldn't move

    Mark (my brother-in-law), Bailey and the cow that wouldn't move

    She still refuses to move

    Herding some of the others

    She watches as most of us go by

    She turns to observe

    She continues to observe

    And she continues to observe

    Well, our relief she eventually joined the rest of the herd in our walk along the road to the pasture with the pen.

    We got the target calf isolated and into the trailer and hauled her down to join Calfie. The next task was to load Calfie into the same trailer and then take both of them to fenced in field where they could spend the next few weeks together bonding.

    However, we had some excitement. Before we got Calfie loaded up the target calf, spooked by the noise of the trailer gate opening, jumped out through a window in the trailer, which had been opened to feed her some grass. If we hadn't witnessed it we would scarcely have believed it possible. Fortunately she walked into the walled enclosure of the local Church of Scotland, which served good purpose as a corral until we could get the halter on her and coax her back into the trailer. Unofficially her name is now Poptart.

    I haven't developed all my film. If I have pictures of Calfie and Poptart I'll post them if there is interest.

    These shots were from my Olympus XA3 and Arista EDU 400 film.
  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Great tale there, Brian and a damn fine series to authenticate it (not, of course, that would not have believed you anyway - I mean, cows jumping through windows etc... Commonplace. Just as well the moon wasn't out, eh?! ;) ).
    Brian Moore likes this.
  3. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    It's nice to be trusted, Pete. ;)
  4. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Best series of the year, Brian. Wonderful story, and very fine photography. My fav is the dug and the coo spotting each other - perfectly framed. I'm going to return to these a few times.
  5. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks Rob. That one is my favorite, too. I was lucky to get that shot; it lasted an instant.
  6. John Allen

    John Allen Well-Known Member

    Great story and photos. I really like the fourth from the last where she has her head turned to watch you go by.
  7. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks, John. Much appreciated.
  8. Julian de'Courcy

    Julian de'Courcy Well-Known Member

    Enjoyed that Brian, thank you.
  9. Martin Carlin

    Martin Carlin Active Member

    Really liked these Brian very good set and story
  10. Ivar D. Larsen

    Ivar D. Larsen Well-Known Member

    Great photography from a Scotsman being back on home turf with little means and a great story which of course is hard to believe coming from such a source. But in doubt I :D
  11. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks for taking the time to read it, Julian.

    Thank you Martin. Much appreciated.

    Thank you Ivar. (I think....;))

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