Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Cow Artist

I like cows. This is a pair that's interesting to me. The mother is a Hereford; her calf is a Black Baldy, which means Daddy was an Angus. It used to be that the hills--or rather, the prairies--were alive with the gorgeous rust-red of Herefords as far as your eye could see. It was red and white, all over the place, and hardly another color of cattle to be found. Problem was, Hereford heifers are small, Hereford bulls are big, you see the problem. So ranchers started breeding Angus bulls, which are smaller, to Hereford heifers, and they got more live calves and fewer dead mothers. But in so doing, they also changed the look of the plains. Now what you see is black and white, or just black, as far as the eye can see. In fewer than twenty years, the aesthetics of ranching in this part of the country has changed permanently.

I miss seeing fields full of purebred Hereford cattle. l loved the look of curly red and white on green grass in the summer and russet grass in the fall.

This pair was painted by The Cowboy Artist, whom I discovered only just now when I went searching for cows in Google Images. From what I can tell, she paints cows beautifully. To me--and trust me, I saw a few cows in my time as a rancher's wife--her cows really look and "feel" like the real thing.

I'd hang this painting on my wall, I really would, that's how much I like cows. I also like them in hamburgers.


Nancy P said...

("Heifer" is what female cattle that haven't yet been bred are called. A virgin, in other words. You're not a cow until you've slept around.)

Good morning in a few hours!

AndiF said...

Can't offer you herefords but if you come visit me, there's a field of Charolais at the bottom of the hill and I find them massively impressive.

My favorite Indiana farm scene is a field of beautifully green winter wheat, the breeze making it seem to roll over the rises and falls of the field in gentle waves.

AndiF said...

Oops, all that cow talk trampled the Monday Picture Post right out of me.

The only good thing about all the humidity is that it makes for pretty pictures.

Wet air I [LINK]

Wet air II [LINK]

FARfetched said...

I blather about the chicken houses a lot, but the other half of the in-laws' farm is cattle. It's a pretty mixed bag breed-wise, Charolais, Hereford, Angus, Brangus… no Brahma or Jersey, though. Also no dairy cattle, but with milk prices staying ahead of gas prices, that may change.

It makes taking the back way to the chicken houses interesting… watch those land mines.

FARfetched said...

Speaking of land mines (or their content), I learned the answer to a long-standing question yesterday.

Lisa Miller said...

Nancy, Hanging around you I just learn all kinds of things. You'd think for a Texan, I'd know all this cattle talk but I'm a city girl. I too miss the Herefords and cattle in general. When I was in high school you could look out the classroom window and watch cattle grazing in open fields. That area is all houses and shopping centers now. Many kids today are very removed from nature--a real shame.

I wanted to comment a moment on this blogging thing kinda the opposite from getting back to nature really. I'm new to the blogging idea. I've been looking at different blogs and they each have their individual flavor.
Nancy yours has quite the family feel. Friends checking in with each other on a regular basis,comfortable.
For me it's a bit like being a blind person thrown in the middle of a party. I catch snippets of conversations that I don't fully understand because I'm not on the inside. I can't tell who to go sit by, who looks friendly, who looks interesting.
I can't OBSERVE which is what I do when I go somewhere new. Well I guess I have been, lurking I think they call it, but that hasn't made me much less blind to who these people are.
Don't get me wrong--They seem to be very nice and I do know Beth and Kimberly from WRW and Nancy of course.
It's interesting how the dynamics of how we relate to each other has changed with technology. Wonderful how I can communicate with these people in far away places so easily. But human nature stays very much the same. My introversion makes it hard to join a party of new people.

Happy Monday all (that from a teacher off for the Summer when every day is now the same)

Nancy P said...

Andi. Pikshures. Pretty. Coffee.

Far. Phunny! More Coffee.

Lisa, I'll be back in a minute!

AndiF said...


While Nancy is still waking up, I'd thought I'd slip in here and encourage you to just join in -- I'm very much an asocial person but I find that blogs are perfect for a person like me. I can completely control the amount of sociability I can handle. When I sometimes find it to be too much, I just withdraw for awhile.

But it's amazing how quickly you can get get to know people in this environment. I met Beth here at Nancy's blog and felt so comfortable with her that I invited her to stay at my house on one of her cross-country drives. We had a fine time, no awkwardness at all because we had, in fact, already spent lots of time together. I think that's one of the side benefits to the online world I had never expected -- that it makes it possible for someone like me, who can't relax in social situations and so rarely makes new friends IRL, to make really good friends.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, all! And echoing andi's comments. We had a great time because we HAVE talked to each other daily, here. And we correspond off-blog occasionally, too. Ditto Far - I spent Thanksgiving with the Fetched clan, and we had a blast. Spent a day with Nancy and KB as I passed thru KS, and again it was wonderful. And met Kimber as a long-lost friend when we finally met in person at WRW.

I arrived as a stranger too, Lisa, and everyone welcomed me as a member of the family. Just keep visiting and soon you'll know everyone - check their blogs when you have time, and you'll get to know more about them. And chime in when the urge strikes. We're happy to have you here! Nancy runs a warm, cozy ship.

Anonymous said...

And thanks to everyone who helped me see the horse events this weekend in a different light. I'll keep your sage advice in mind as I navigate the minefield of being "Dad's girlfriend."

Big hugs to all for that...

I'm off to pack...anyone wanna help? :-)

Nancy P said...

What Andi and Beth said, Lisa.

I'm glad we're having this discussion. When a blog is well established with "regulars," it becomes a challenge to create a space where lurkers and newbies feel comfortable enough to hold their noses, jump in, and say hi (when they surface. This metaphor got quickly out of hand!).

At some blogs, they have regular Welcome Wagon days, and maybe we should try that here, too. Like, once a month? We might get zero responses, but it still might be worth it to try. That kind of thing gives newbies a chance to shyly raise their hands and whisper, "Hi," and it gives the regulars a chance to return the favor.

Whatcha think?

Nancy P said...

My personal experience with blogs is that every single time I have met somebody in Real Life they have turned out to be EXACTLY who I thought they were. I think that is very reassuring. At the very least, it tells me I can trust my instincts.

Just so you'll know *why* this seems so family, Lisa. . .several of us already knew each other from other blogs. A few others were already RL friends of mine, and there were some I'd at least met once at places like WRW. But all of us had to meet for the first time at some point, and we built up gradually to feeling like family. It's not always an instant thing, so don't worry if you don't automatically feel like a "cousin."

Beth's suggeestion about visiting the blogs that are represented here is a very good one. You can use my list of blogs on the front page for that. It will definitely give you a better feeling for who you're dealing with, and it will give you a sense of the "village" feel that we talk about sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy! I think (you know my memory) that there was a day a while back where you invited lurkers to de-lurk, and a few emerged. And it was great to hear from them. I know I get TONS of hits on my blog, and I always wonder who the heck these people are. Thankfully, of course!

You all made me feel SO welcome when I stuck my head in here the first time - although I wondered why everyone knew each other (since the blog was so new). I hope lurkers out there feel as welcomed as I was. It's fun having new folks join us.

So a long way to say why not, NP? :-) And wave at those of you who haven't taken the leap yet. We don't bite - really! :-)

Well, maybe the marmot will....

Nancy P said...

Andi, I love baby Charlais when they're still sparkling white and clean. If one ever happens to come up to you at the fence and say, "Take my picture," I hope you will! As for the adults, "massively" is the word for them, all right. Huge beasties.

Kelly McCullough said...

Good morning all!

Lisa, I posted this in yesterday's thread, but I'll repeat it here. Hi, nice to see you. I don't know if we've crossed paths here before. Have a cup of coffee or tea and whatever incredibly decadent dessert strikes your fancy--no calories at Nancy's place.

For Lisa, and any lurkers out there who would like more context, I'll also introduce myself in a post below.

I spent the day in the Cities yesterday so I missed the conversation. But never too late, soooo...

Stuff carried over from yesterday's thread:

Nancy, I haven't had to change the castle yet, but that's probably because for all of my Edinburgh stories the castle entered my brain as an artifact before any of the stories did. So, the space shaped them rather than vice-versa.

Andi, that driveway does look fabulous. Having spent a good bit of my childhood on dirt roads I know how much new stone and a regrade can change the driving experience.

Parasols: Laura (the redhead) uses a golf umbrella--it shades her whole body and it's actually very light. She gets some odd looks, but she also gets a lot of compliments for being smart.

"I used to pray that I wouldn't do anything that would end up in a book"

What Nancy said about author as vampire. Even in the darkest of moments in my life a part of my brain is one step back observing and jotting notes.

Nancy P said...

That marmot is dangerous, lol!

Beth, you're a good example of somebody who jumped in and quickly became family, but I know it took a little effort. You did the visiting blog thing, you let us get used to you while you were getting to know us. I'm so glad you're smack dab in the middle of the family now. :)

Any lurkers reading this. . . please know we welcome your "eyes." Not everybody wants to "talk." I read blogs on other subjects where I never comment, ever, and probably never will, but I still love to go there and enjoy the conversation.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get to chime in yesterday. My places are usually made up; it irks me when I read a story based in a place I know, and they get it wrong, so I avoid the problem. My protags are always 100% my creation, even tho my friends want to believe they're really me. My minor characters are often loosely based on friends (and enemies), because it's fun to honor them that way, and a lot easier than creating a slew of original people. Altho if they do something uncharacteristic - like kill someone - I warn the friend that the character isn't REALLY them. :-)

Hi Kelly - drinking green tea in your honor this am!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nancy - I'm glad I'm here, too! This family got me through a tough winter. Just wishing we all could get together for a big family party one of these days in person...

Speaking of which, anyone heard from fam? He seems to have gone underground again, which always worries me.

Why no, I'm not avoiding packing, why do you ask?

Kelly McCullough said...

I'm Kelly McCullough. My day job is a mix of writing contemporary fantasy novels and kept man (house husband if you prefer). My wife is a physics professor and the chair of her department.

I met Nancy at the Froggy Bottom Cafe some years ago along with about two thirds of the other folks who show up here.

I'm a Scotland-o-phile and was married in Edinburgh in a kilt. Picture a large athletic bald man in full regalia with a beautiful redhead in a green brocade dress, her hair hanging to her waist. At least one passing tourist bus stopped and told people to take pictures of the traditional Scottish couple.

Add in that I'm profoundly not a morning person and that I blog about writing here with the rest of my f&sf writers group, and you've got a pretty good picture.

Kelly McCullough said...

Hi Beth, hope you're enjoying the green. I didn't get tea this morning :-( because Laura's not big on brewing a hot drink on warm days and I'm not really allowed to operate anything that might be dangerous (see boiling water) this early.

Nancy P said...

::slaps forehead::

Kelly, you just reminded me that a big part of Welcome Wagon days is that the "regulars" introduce themselves. Since you're going to do that. . .thank you. . .I will, too.

I'm the Blog Mistress, which makes me think of "Ghostbusters," but nevermind. I'm the author of several novels, one non-fiction book about writing, a bunch of short stories, and a work in never-ending! progress. (It's going really well now, guys!!) Sisters In Crime is a major professional interest of mine. I live in the Kansas City area. (You don't have to tell any personal stuff, of course.)

My objectives for this blog are:
1. Help new writers.
2. Support experienced writers.
3. Welcome non-writers and strictly-readers.
4. Provide a welcoming, safe place--in terms of no fighting, no sniping, etc.--for nice people to hang out with each other.

So far, so good. :D.

If you're lurking and you feel like saying hi, feel free to use the "Anonymous" choice, if you want to. We have a wonderful poet who used to give us regular poetic treats as "Anonymous," but he finally outed himself. We have another regular who goes by "Anonymous," now, so she/he may fight you for that! Maybe you can be Anonymous, Too. :)

Nancy P said...

Beth, I'm glad you mentioned Family Man. I'm concerned, too.

Anonymous said...

I SWEAR I'm leaving after this...

It's fun to see how folks describe themselves. I'm a writer, hoping to have a novel published in the next couple of years, but will keep putting words on paper even if I don't. Live in North Idaho, but travel all over the world. Except now that I've met Mr. Right, my traveling bug is taking a well-deserved break. Nancy has kindly listed my blog on hers, so if you want to follow my misadventures, stop by!

And you will also find that Kelly isn't a morning person, if you stick around long enough. Although he tries!

Anonymous said...

(sending hot tea thoughts to Kelly with a smile and a hug)

Maybe you should switch to sun tea in the summertime?

AndiF said...

Quick delurk from work -- FM has been posting over at the BT Cafe pretty regularly. His most recent post was Friday.

Nancy P said...

Thanks, Andi!

Lisa Miller said...

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I want to know how you manage the time to do this blogging. It's facinating that everyone seems to have their own blog too.

These are people that have something to say. And often.
Hmmmm. I'm not sure my life is so fascinating and my thoughts so profound.

But then there are quite a few words associated with coffee and tea. That I can relate too.
Oh and Cupcakes. Just because of ya'll (yes I'm a native Texan) I found this cupcake place and had the best Banana with Dark Chocolate and Ginger with Lemon. You can't just eat one. I did space them out though.
So I guess you could say I'm already being influenced by new friends.

Got to go clean. Husband due back after 10 days gone with Boy Scouts to Wash DC.

Actually have more words but time is crunched. Will add more later.

FARfetched said...

Hey ho… since we're doing introductions, I'll throw my hat through the door too.

My nom de blog, FARfetched (I try to get my friends to call me FARf but it doesn't always take, oh well), is a two-parter: FAR, from "FAR Manor," which is an acronym for "Forget About Retirement"; and "fetched," as in "inflicted a blow upon." In other words, I got pushed by my wife & in-laws into buying this big house that we couldn't really afford. :-P

Tales from FAR Manor, which Nancy is kind enough to list on her blogroll, was originally going to be about all the maintenance I had to do on FAR Manor. There's still some of that from time to time, but it quickly became a chronicle of the weird stuff that goes on around me. I also post an ongoing fiction series, "FAR Future," about life in a near future world of declining energy resources (usually on Monday mornings but I'm a little behind this week & it might be tonight or tomorrow).

My day job is technical writing, which means I write those manuals y'all never read. :-)

Kelly McCullough said...

FARf? I had not idea that was what you preferred or I'd have used that rather than Far--I'll try do so in the future, FARf.

Nancy P said...

Far is also a fab cook and beverage concocter.

I never knew what FARfetched stood for, far, er, farf.

Banana with Dark Chocolate and Ginger with Lemon.

Omg. Want. Now.

As to how we do it time-wise, we're just a chatty bunch! :)

Kelly McCullough said...

..."no idea"...that is all. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Wow, everyone's wound up here today! Nancy, I enjoyed reading yesterday's post. I don't write so I didn't contribute, but I always find it so interesting to read the processes authors use to craft the art that I enjoy reading so very much.

The picture on this post reminds me of my aunt and uncle who owned a dairy farm "outside of town." It was MANY years ago, so I don't remember the name of the cows. I did greatly enjoy visiting and staying at their place. Watching my uncle milk the cows was really interesting and I still remember his admonitions to stay away from the stall housing the bull. One of the most enjoyable aspects was watching the dog (some breed of black and white shepherd) herding the cows in when it was time for milking. He was really good at it! It was so amazing to watch this little dog making these big cows do what he wanted them to do. Now THAT'S leadership! lol

Andif, once again your pix are spectacular! It's almost like going on vacation to look at them. Thank you!

It was nice to see Jen checked in yesterday. She obviously arrived safely in FL. I hope she had a grand time at the wedding.

As for me, I live in NE Ohio. I look forward to retirement a great deal! (Unfortunately, I'm not close unless I win that mega millions!) I am totally shy and fairly novice at this whole blogging thing. I don't write but LOVE to read and obtain wonderful suggestions for my to be read list from these wonderful people.

And I am drooling thinking about those cupcakes, Lisa! I haven't been successful in getting a franchise from Andif's niece here yet. lol

Maria Lima said...

::drops by quickly::

Still at work due to "Technical Difficulties" (e.g., read as problems with servers)

Hi all - hope your Monday has been better than mine!

I'm Maria Lima, a.k.a. chickwriter on LiveJournal. I write contemporary fantasy/paranormal mysteries. By day I'm Director of Client Services for a very nifty Interactive Agency in the DC area.

I've known Nancy for several years, via our mutual obsession with anything Joss Whedon, plus via her wonderful writing.

::running away again::

Maryb said...

Andi that first pic is enchanted. Andi's enchanted forest.

FaR that's so funny!

Lisa, hi! The web is perfect for introverts - we can take needed "away" time any time we need it - even in the middle of conversations. (I see that Andi said that better than me. )

Personally, I find this group intimidating because everyone is creative except me - they write or they take gorgeous photos or both. sigh.

Beth - um. Packing? gee, I'd like to help but ... I gotta go ... do something else.

I'll come back and do my welcome wagon hoe-down solo once the Advil kicks in and my work induced headache goes away. Back in a bit.

boran2 said...

Oh my. Those cows certainly look, umm, content.

Howdy all?

Knucklehead said...

Killer cows,
Hi Ms Nancy P
I almost was killed by a cow.
I had tied a rope to the bumper of a car, after throwing it over the roof of a very big barn. I was painting the ventilators on the very top of the hip-roof building, & this was my safety line.
As I was going from one ventilator to the next, the rope started jerking & tugging me to my probable death.
I threw myself prone on the peak & started screaming bloody murder.
I finally was able to get over to the ladder , untie myself & climb down to serve justice to whomever had terrified me. There was the cow contentedly scratching her back on the now slack rope.
She obviously had been previously laying into it, to get that itch satisfied. That was another one of my lucky days.
I still love cows.

Nancy P said...

Knucklehead, I'll be laughing in unseemly snorts all evening. I'll probably scare the cats.

Hey, Maria, Anon, and MaryB! We're an interesting bunch, by gum.

FARfetched said...

I love cows. On the grill. ;-)

I despise chickens, and eat them on general principle.