Highland cattle are a Scottish cattle breed that roam all over Scotland. They have long horns and long, wavy, woolly coats that vary in color and look adorable. Contrary to what you would expect after visiting all the art galleries and souvenir shops, they can be difficult to photograph . . . from a moving coach (bus) –through reflective glass. I was not alone in my mission to capture at least one “good” photo of the “Hairy Coo” as our guide called them, because I hear groans as fellow passengers also try to capture a photo.
Our guide told us quite a lot about the hairy coos, and explained that if we were lucky, we might get to see one or two, because they come down from the highlands in late spring to birth and raise their calves. He went on to explain that they were feral and could be quite unpredictable, not to mention that they can weigh up to 1800 pounds. So we were warned not to get too close to them.
For seven days, I whipped out my camera as we zoomed past herds of “regular cows” in hopes of spotting the hairy coo. At least twice a day, we would spot one sitting near the road, watching the vehicles go by. I have dozens of blurry shots to document my great search and fill up my ICloud, but nothing recognizable. I was losing hope.
With only two days left in our trip, we arrived on the Isle of Skye. We were met by a local guide who would take us on a tour of this beautiful island. No less than ten minutes into the trip, our guide mentions that we should get our cameras out because he spotted some hairy coos on his way to our hotel. “Look to the left just after we round the corner and they may still be there,” he says. We all whip out our cameras and hold our breath. We round the corner and start snapping photos as fast as we can. And then the coach driver pulls over into a long parking spot and we all bail out to get our photo.
“Wait a minute,” I think, “these hairy coos are in a pen and there is no way we could miss them. And wasn’t that just a bit too convenient that there was a bus long parking spot JUST ACROSS the ROAD?” I think we have been played. But I’m going to get a photo regardless. And my coo (Number 20) has an earring.
I decide to take a quick video for Tavi who loves all animals and I push my phone between the bars of the pen and start talking to the coo. I do notice that the coo is getting closer to me and remember the warning words of “feral” and “unpredictable”, but I’m intent on my goal and ignore the little voice in my head. I hear Gene say, “ahem,” which is his way of saying that I have pushed my limit a bit too far. I stop filming and step back just as the coo sticks his nose through the gate. Too close? No way!
The Isle of Sky has beautiful waterfalls, cliffs and landscapes. We truly enjoyed our tour and finally mastered the art of going to the grocery store and picking up snacks on our “lunch break.”