Cow Art

Have you noticed that cow art is all the rage?  In the NRS catalog, at Hobby Lobby, in my friend’s living room… bovine portraits are definitely trending!  I have to admit it, I’m hankering for cow art myself this Christmas — my living room just seems to be lacking a little something and I think cow art is it — and I happen to have found the perfect wall-hanging for our family, the Blakes living right here at PV Ranch headquarters, on Amazon:

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A little bit modern and funky, a little bit of a quirky (but appropriately Angus) spin on our livelihood… don’t you agree this gal would look splendid hanging over our couch?  Beau knows she’s on my Christmas wish list (what do you think I should name her if she somehow magically ends up under the tree and then on our wall?), but considering that we’ve got a baby coming in a month and still don’t have a vehicle large enough to fit our soon-to-be family of six, the two of us have agreed not to spend any money on frivolous items, like Christmas gifts for each other, for the foreseeable future.

Some people might consider cow art to be frivolous.  I’m not saying I’m one of them, but…

Someday I’m gonna hang that blue cow in my living room.

Until then, as I recently bolstered myself, I am surrounded by plenty of real cows.  Homemade cow art opportunities abound here at the PV, you might say.  That’s why, a couple Sundays ago, as Beau and Asher rode through the feedlot checking health, the girls and I took a little walk so I could practice my hand at bovine photographic portraiture.

Now, I realize that black cattle are not exactly the most exciting portrait subjects, and I think that’s why popular cow art is more likely to feature motley-looking bovines — those with banana horns and brockled faces — than plain ol’ Angus.  The thing is, we’re pretty much all black all the time here at the PV.  So as I meandered through the feedlot that day, I sought out the oddballs, the few weird bovines on the place, those misfits floating in a sea of cookie-cutter black calves.

We do, by chance, have a few white calves around this year (oops; neighbor’s bull on the loose in 2016):


And the black baldy heifer that belongs to a different neighbor:


And I managed to get a couple semi-pleasing pictures of blacks:


(I like this one because she’s No. 1000, and that must be lucky, right?  We’ll just have to excuse her freshly-weaned snotty nose.)


And I also like the breath steaming out of this coming-2-year-old heifer on a cool morning.


I’m not sure my photographic skills, i.e. my homemade cow portraits, are quite worth printing on canvas and hanging large as life in the living room.

Given my potential subjects are just out the front door, I guess I will just have to keep practicing with my ol’ camera.  And maybe I’ll capture the perfect bovine portrait sometime before I can scrounge up the $39.95 to frivolously purchase the blue cow from Amazon.

In the meantime, I got a few non-bovine photos on the same day:


^^^ Marsi hitches a ride with Daddy.



^^^ Emi.  She’s got a heart for animals.



^^^ And look at how long her legs are getting!  Yikes!  She’s been demanding to ride all by herself for more than a year now — must be a girl thing, this need to be independent, or perhaps it’s competitiveness with her big brother, who does ride all by himself as I wring my hands and send up steady prayers — and we’ve been telling her she can’t ride by herself until her feet reach the stirrups.  And now, all a sudden, she’s almost there.  Guess that’s what we get for making promises we might not be ready to keep!  I think a big part of me would feel better if I or their dad could just lead their horses around and never let them have free rein until they were 18.  At least.

Kids grow so fast.  Look at the next two photos:


(Beau at left and Asher at right, riding in the feedlot with Cowboy Jacob, two weeks ago.)


(From the archives:  Little Asher, riding in the feedlot with Beau, four years ago.)

(Doogan, the dun horse, appears in both photos.  Doogan is pretty much exclusively Asher’s mount these days, but four short years ago he was Beau’s top horse.  Sigh.  Horses age fast… and kids really do grow so fast.)


See?  He’s not such a little guy anymore.

By the way, he’s on the countdown for Christmas and has been busy wrapping presents most of today.  Yesterday we went to the dollar store and he bought a little something for pretty much every friend and acquaintance he could think of.  So if you get a pack of cards or a plastic platter or an elf hat or a nutcracker figurine from someone in our family this year… just know it was purchased with the best of intentions.

Five days to go!

© Tami Blake

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