Highland Cattle

Highland Cow

Hardy Souls:

Each week, I will post a photograph as part of a challenge from the Daily Post – you are invited to participate. This week, the challenge is entitled, Atop.

Please show me your interpretation of the subject by adding a comment, with a link to your Website post, Facebook photo, Flickr image, etc.

Experimenting with our point of view in a photograph allows us to establish a setting, tell a specific story, or rethink our own perspective. This week, consider your point of view as you respond to this challenge’s theme, “Atop.” If you’re physically on top of a thing or a place — a mountain, a skyscraper — what type of scene do you want to share in your frame? Consider, too, other interpretations of “Atop” — what does it mean or look like to be on top of a soapbox? A bestseller list? The world?

Gorgeous Foragers

On the Cumbrian fells, the weather can be pretty unforgiving at times. This time of the year, ferocious winds, heavy rain, snow and ice give a stark reminder of the power of mother nature.

This afternoon, I ventured up to Cold Fell, to capture some stills of real hardy souls that appear impervious to the harsh weather. I’m talking about Highland Cattle.

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These animals, with their thick coats, originate in the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland where the weather conditions are not too dissimilar to here in West Cumbria. The cattle appear to love foraging for food atop of our Cumbrian landscape during the cold winters.

Highland cattle have long horns and long wavy coats that are coloured black, brindle, red, yellow, white, silver (looks white but with a black nose) or dun, and they are raised primarily for their meat. They have an unusual double coat of hair. On the outside is the oily outer hair—the longest of any cattle breed—covering a downy undercoat. This makes them well suited to conditions in Cumbria, which has a high annual rainfall and sometimes very strong winds. Their skill in foraging for food allows them to survive in steep mountain areas where they both graze and eat plants that many other cattle avoid.

This breed of cattle have a docile temperament and the milk has a high butterfat content, so have traditionally been used as house cows. They are generally good-natured animals but very protective of their young.


  1. Your opening capture is simply wonderful. I had the pleasure of meeting these charming beasts during our trip to Scotland and fell madly in love with them Brought home some really fun shots but your opener is a stunner!

    • Thanks ever so kindly, Tina. The photo owes itself to the animal – they’re lovely creatures. I’m glad it brought back memories for you 🙂

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