Cows in the Country – Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

“The cow by itself is just a cow, and the meadow by itself is just grass and flowers, and the sun peeking through the trees is just a beam of light, but put them all together and you’ve got magic.”

Wendelin Van Draanen



This week my husband and I spent several days in Asheville with good friends at their home in the mountains of North Carolina. On Saturday we took a fun hike which eventually led to a beautiful open meadow – whereupon we came across a herd of cows. I’m not sure who was more surprised, the cows or the hikers :-), but they proved to be perfect subjects for this week’s photo challenge “Contrast”.  Do you suppose the little fellow above will someday deliver milk in chocolate or vanilla?!  And what about the sweet-faced, big-eared baby below?



“When I encounter a sunrise, a painting, a woman, or an idea that makes my heart bound like a young calf, then I know I am standing in front of happiness.”

Nikos Kazantzakis

Contrast can be seen in many ways – some much more serious than others. But for this week’s challenge I’ve taken a literal and somewhat light-hearted approach. Below, a contrast in both size and age.



 “As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.

Joan Gussow

We saw several calves nursing, and were surprised at how large some of them were.  I suggested that they were obviously La Leche cows :-). Here, a stark contrast in color as well as size.



The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other, milk.

Ogden Nash

The smallest calves we saw were these young siblings happily playing in a field of flowers.  How sweet of them to stop and pose for me, their caramel-colored coats contrasting nicely with the yellow buds.



 “Now I’ve a sheep and a cow, everyone bids me good morrow.”

Benjamin Franklin

There were other examples of contrast in our hike, not the least of which was the contrast between the bright green of the leaves against the dark of the forest we’d just exited – or the golden grasses contrasting that same bright green.





 “Contrasting color is the best means of capturing and incorporating the dramatic effects of light”

Desmond O’Hagan

But as unexpected as it was to come upon the cows, the shot below captures the biggest surprise of the day. Of course we all wondered what had happened to the owner. Had he walked away bare-footed? Surely not if the cows were anywhere nearby, as the evidence of their very efficient digestive systems was everywhere; just waiting for one misstep to ruin the day!!



 “Unmitigated seriousness is always out of place in human affairs.”

George Santayana


Care to check out some other bloggers’ contrasts? Click here.

94 thoughts on “Cows in the Country – Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

  1. I love these Tina, and your commentary, excellent as always. I’m a big fan of fields and cows, and used to live south of Asheville, outside of Brevard. Beautiful country! Good place to run to when it gets too humid down there on Kiawah.

  2. Seeing your series, Tina, I’m reminded of a fun encounter we had with about 70 cows in Colorado during our North American road-trip two summers ago. We’d just seen the Jazz for Cows moment (pasted below), and thought we’d serenade them a bit too. 🙂

    Really like the Calves & Flowers shot too – captures the look of curiosity on their faces.

  3. enjoyed the post -ha! and so funny because one of the first gifts my husband bought me was a small magnet – we were dating and he had the chance to explore his home state of CO – and so coming back from Telluride he brought me a cow magnet – (it was for our future fridge – ❤ – lol) and we still have it to this day.

    anyhow, loved your variety – -oh and I was thinking of you as Hurr. Arthur was around – hope you are safe and well. 🙂

    • Thanks Yvette – loved your little memory story! Makes blogging so much fun when people interact, doesn’t it?! No worries with the hurricane here – he wreaked his havoc on north carolina this time around. Hope you’re having a lovely summer!

  4. We were nearby. We spent the weekend camping at Hot Springs. Had lunch in Asheville on Thursday. 🙂
    Glad to see farm animals getting some photographic love here. 🙂

  5. Beautiful walk “through” your photos…I smiled a lot, still am… And the quotes – spot on Tina, as always! I am still working on my trust issues – can’t decide between cows and sheeps but chemists are definitely off my list! 🙂

  6. Pingback: You (Alternate) | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

    • Thanks Charlie – “knowing” you as I do, I’m not sure I believe you miss much of importance at all but I appreciate you saying I helped you to remember 🙂 Have a great week!

  7. Tina, I especially liked the first two shots. He/she seemed to be aware of you with those big puppy dog eyes.

  8. Tina … La Leche Cows 😀
    Love the huge ears and long lashes combination hmm think only a calf could pull that one off !

    • Happy to have brought you a email I*Kan! I too am a fan of Ogden Nash but don’t often post anything light-hearted enough to use him. Nice to do something different now and then 🙂

  9. A great post that really leaves me at peace, maybe because it brings back memories of my youth. The 1st and 5th photos take me there, but then it is the last couple with movement that bring me back to today ~ love those shots. My imagination was such that if there is a stream/pond nearby ~ the shoes were lost (or forgotten) after a quick dip 🙂 Wonderful post Tina.

    • Thanks Randall! I like your thought on the shoes 🙂 and am happy to have reminded you of fond memories. You’re quite a long way from home in more ways than one, aren’t you?!

    • Thanks Uday! I really liked that quote too. It was originally penned about painting but I think it applies just as well to photography, and even just to the way we see the world.

  10. Cows are so cute when they’re calves and so…different when they grow up. 🙂 I like “Calves and Flowers” and “Leaves and Trees” best. And I love the last quote.


  11. I grew up around my grandfather’ s cows… He always had the sweetest names for them. These photos remind me of their gentle eyes … Thanks for taking me back to the farm! Only you could chance upon those shoes left behind…

  12. I think the owner of those well-worn shoes must have been ‘raptured’. 🙂 What a pity you can’t speak cow language. I’m sure they could have solved the mystery for you. Gorgeous images of the nursing calves, and I love the Joan Gussow quote. I can definitely tell Stork from butter.

  13. Wonderful shots..contrasts…..they look they could be related to my friendly cows down the road!! LOVING the shoes…quite the mystery????

    • Thanks April – I’m sure you’ve cows a-plenty up there! Re the shoes, I’m thinking they may have had too many cow pies on the soles and were therefore abandoned. But I wasn’t willing to pick them up to see LOL

  14. Cows have such lovely faces, it’s the long lashes that do it for me. But that dark brown calf does look a bit too big for nursing still – should have weaned him long ago!

  15. Hang on Tina, elementary Biology tells me a little fella will NOT produce milk…was this a wanton typo on your part, or are you privy to information that I am not? 😉

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