My like-affair with cows probably began when my parents bought an old farmhouse next door to a working dairy farm.

When little-girl-me pulled up a handful of grass and held it out to a friendly cow, my new bovine friend would take from my hand, drawing my fingers close enough that I could feel her smooth wet nose. There’s nothing quite like a cow’s muzzle.

Teenage me spent a week one year at the county fair, helping with the 4-H dairy judging. Not judging them, of course, but distributing ribbons. I watched, and listened, and plodded around the ring, stepping over fresh cow-pies, handing ribbons to my peers dressed in showman white.

“I really like the dairy-ness of this cow,” the judge said about an exceptional animal, and, to this day, I have no idea what he meant. It was a cow. A dairy cow.

When adult me traveled to Bosnia this year, I put together a little photo album of my family to show the family we were helping. Since I had a few empty pages at the end, I stuck in a view looking across the valley from our front door, and a picture of the cows down the road. The Bosnian women loved looking at the photos of my children. One of the Bosnian men got very excited about the picture of the cows. He pointed to the picture, then pointed to me, then back to the picture, obviously asking, “Are these yours?”

I shook my head. “No, they live down the road from my house,” I said. When it was translated to him. he looked sad. Maybe he was hoping to talk dairy.

I don’t know much about dairy, but I do appreciate cows’ wet muzzles, sorrowful eyes, and the clunky gait they have when they run.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this week, part of her Alphabet with a Twist series, is the letter C – The C word needs to be at least 4 letters in length. C-O-W-S — yep, that works.

Below is a series taken from a junior livestock show near us.

On the way to the show
Saying hello
Waiting to enter the ring
Refusing to enter the ring
Walking the perimeter of the show-ring while the judge watches
Posing — so the judge can get a good look
The judge asking a few questions


7 thoughts on “Cows

    1. I have a whole series of pictures on that one. She lay down and there was no getting her back up again. She actually rolled onto her back at one point.

  1. I love cows. I never tire of them. When I first moved to France I woke up on my first morning to find a little agricultural show taking place in the park in front of my apartment (which is in the old school building – the downstairs is still the nursery school). I was enchanted. I will now ponder for a long long time what your judge meant about liking the dairyness of a particular cow. I wonder what un-dairyness is and whether it is a disgrace. I loved your pictures. A wonderful homage to the beauty of the bovine 🙂

  2. Our property where I grew up had a back yard that ended half at a wood lot, half at a field. The farm was a dairy farm, and on a regular basis the cows would be in that pasture near the fence, so cows were always a part of my life growing up.

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