Critique Welcomed What I Did On My Vacation

Discussion in 'Animals and Wildlife' started by Brian Moore, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    We recently spent a week at my brother-in-law's place in Applecross in the Western Highlands. One afternoon, just as we were sitting down to coffee and home made ice cream with some friends, the phone rang. A calf had been spotted stuck in a bog.

    My brother-in-law maintains a small herd of Highland Cattle. They range freely over the hillsides. A calf stuck in a bog means a dead calf before long. Compounding the matter, the next day we were all flying off to France. An injured or sick calf would require nursing, so probably someone wouldn't be going to France. The lot of us, friends and family, headed out to the rescue.

    Upon arriving at the scene, some 15 or so miles along the road, we were immediately relieved to see that it wasn't a calf stuck in the bog but a cow, as evidenced by the horns. This was good. But it was also bad. Cows are bigger than calfs.

    I tried to document our rescue, but I was busy and so I did not get a lot of images. And some images I shot quickly from the hip so the compositions suffered.

    I used my Olympus XA2 (it's very pocketable) with Kodak Tri-X film.

    Initial Pull (I had gone to retrieve some more rope from the car and snapped this image on the way back across the field.)

    Roped by the Horns (The cow was very heavy.)

    Tourists stopped and helped (The roadway being a tourist road, several stopped to offer help, including this delightful young Dutch woman. The help was welcome.) At this point the cow was out of the bog. A combination of pulling and an umbrella poke to her back end got her moving. She was exhausted.

    The Fire Brigade Came (Someone called the local volunteer fire brigade but we had effected the rescue before they arrived; they were disappointed.)

    Refused to Follow Herd (One cow--a different one--refused to follow the heard. This confused us. I followed her.)

    Trying to catch the scent of her lost calf (We reasoned that she had lost her calf.)

    She Went in the Loch (Strange behavior. We deduced that she assumed her calf was on the other side of the little loch. We searched but couldn't find it. )

    Came Back Out (But then went back in, up to her nostrils! I had run out of film so I didn't get a picture of that.)

    We got to France the next day. But two days later we got a call. The cow who had lost her calf had been found drowned in the Loch.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  2. Dave Farnes

    Dave Farnes Well-Known Member

    That is an interesting set of pictures and story of the life of highland farmers, shame about the cow.
  3. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks Dave.
  4. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Great shots, Brian, and a wonderful story. I recall a similar one a year or two ago. Such a tragic ending to this one. The poor mother! Pain and misery can be utterly overwhelming, and all too common among all species. Sometimes I wonder why we bother.
  5. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks Rob. Its an unforgiving environment. Appreciate the comments.
  6. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    A super documentary, Brian. Sad outcome for one but a better one for the other. Nice to see people coming together too.
  7. Julian de'Courcy

    Julian de'Courcy Well-Known Member

    A wonderful set Brian, a story toboot . I've been watching a series on the BBC about farming, it is a documentary of several different farms throughout Scotlands highlands and Island. Gritty and real and they had in one episode a longhorn cow stuck in the mud by a river bank about to calf. All the neighbours and friends came out to help. It ended ok but they needed a tractor and ropes to pull the animal out. I can appreciate how hard this can be without the skilled farmer.
    I also do remember your posts from last year and a holiday which from memory took place a lot of the time on a beach.
  8. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks Pete. Such is life, right?

    Thanks Julian. A farmer's life is no bowl of cherries. I have great admiration for their skills and knowledge. A tractor would have been very handy on this day but luckily the ropes and the umbrella (and a lot of huffing and puffing from those of us on the other ends of the ropes) were just enough to do the trick.) Thanks for mentioning my photos from last year, Julian. I'm grateful you remember them.
    Julian de'Courcy likes this.
  9. Beth Anthony

    Beth Anthony Well-Known Member

    sounds like a busy vacation adventure. great photo essay.
  10. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks Beth. Appreciated.
  11. Roshni Patel

    Roshni Patel Active Member

    Great collection of your interesting adventure.
    Brian Moore likes this.
  12. Tony Britton

    Tony Britton Active Member

    Works extremely well in black & white. Your compositions are excellent.
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  13. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thank you Roshni.

    Thank you Tony.
  14. Ivar D. Larsen

    Ivar D. Larsen Well-Known Member

    I can only agree with everyone here Brian, a sort of documentary I appreciate albeit sad as it is.
    Brian Moore likes this.
  15. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thanks Ivar. Much appreciated.
  16. Rense Haveman

    Rense Haveman Well-Known Member

    Seen the movie? What we did on our holiday? It's hilarious...

    Great shots!
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  17. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Not seen the movie. Thanks for the comments Rense.
  18. Roshni Patel

    Roshni Patel Active Member

    Appreciative set of images.
    Brian Moore likes this.
  19. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Thank you, Roshni.
  20. Nice pictures! :)
    It reminds me my vacation days!!!

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