Thursday, April 7, 2011


I am satisfied!

A month ago I decided I HAD to have a picture of a most unusual bunch of cows that were grazing in a field about 6 miles from our house. They were standing right at the fence, as if they were looking for a way to get out onto the roadway. As you know, I am a big city girl by upbringing and barely know one end of a cow from another. Now I’m going to tell you a secret to illustrate how little I knew about cows. I was not sure whether the word “cow” was a generic name for both genders of an animal (that is, cows, like ducks, or sheep, or horses) or whether it was specific to one gender or the other. I knew I was going to be doing a blog on them and I didn’t want to expose myself as a real rube, so I did a Google search on “Define: cow.” Google told me that a cow was the mature female of a bovine animal. I’m glad I checked before writing this.

Anyway, once having decided that I needed a picture of them, I made the trip back down to their field more times than I’d like to admit, and every single time they were as far from where I saw them as they could possibly be. I used to have a wonderful Canon T90 camera with a 200mm fixed focus lens before I got my little Canon digital camera that is nothing more than an old “aim-and-shoot” and those cows were so far away even that old 200mm wouldn’t have brought them close enough to satisfy me. But I decided to see what I could get anyway, so I put the little camera in my purse in case a propitious moment arrived.

And today, on the way down that road to do the weekly grocery shopping, I found those lady bovines standing out in their field close enough to me that if I was lucky and the stars were lined up right, I MIGHT get a viable shot for my blog.


Now, I hear you collectively saying, “SO?????”

Guys, look at those reddish-brown cows with a white midsection. It looks like someone took a roller, dipped it in white paint, and painted a very large band around their waist. Er, belly. They are the strangest looking cows I’ve ever seen. For my money, most dairy cows I’ve seen appear to be black and white mottled or spotted. These were just too much!

I did a Google search on Cow breeds and came up with several possibilities: The first one was called a Buelingo, the name coming from Mr. Russell Bueling of Ransom County, North Dakota who developed this breed. But then I found Dutch Belted, Swiss Belted, American Belted – and I decided I didn’t need to know that much about my cows. After all, if I was really interested I could figure out where the owners of this dairy lived and ask them. But no, I decided it was enough to know a few new things: a cow is a female bovine! The white around the middle is called a belt! And that the black cows with the white belt are colloquially called “Oreos”!

But best of all, on Mr. Bueling’s website I found a real gem of a poem about this breed. There are a multitude of verses to it, many of them speaking of cow-y things that only a breeder would understand. But the first two verses were an exact description of my efforts to find them. I can’t say that for sure the cows I found are Buelingos. But they look like Buelingos, act like Buelingos – and now you’ll see why I think they must be:

When I dream about the perfect cow,
There are some things I must mention,
First of all when you see her,
She must attract attention.

She is easy to spot in a pasture,
You don't have to hunt or shout,
She is easy to see on the highway,
If she should ever get out.


marciamayo said...

I think they are American Belted since they live in America. I love how you took a question you had and learned so much in answering that question and then sharing the information with us. They are really attractive cows.

Olga said...

I have seen those belted cows before. I admire your intellectual curiosity and dedication to research. i just figured they were a breed developed after Woody Jackson copywrited Holsteins for his paintings.