"Kirsty" the Highland Cow
Hand built ceramic.
Size (including horns): Length 35cm Height 18cm
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About the Sculpture
We love to visit Scotland, and of course we always enjoy seeing the Highland cattle, who look so at home in this, their natural terrain. In the last photo above, the cattle you cam see were often milling around the cottage we were renting on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, so I had plenty of opportunities for sketching and photographing.
Highland Cattle live long and productive lives, and can be found the world over – but it is on large, open areas of windswept mountain and moorland, with high rainfall and poor forage, that they come into their own. They have a double coat (a downy underneath layer with a long, oily top layer) which protects against the weather, and they are fairly short in stature, always an advantage in windy places. They are also able to make a living from the poor nutrients which this land provides, and can dig through any snow with their long horns to find food. There is a fold (a “fold” is the correct term for a herd of Highland cattle) foraging 10,000 feet up in the Andes. They don’t however, cope so well with hot climates.
They are an ancient breed – first mention of them being in the 6 century AD. The first herd book (1885) mentions two distinct types of Highland Cattle, one from the Western Isles, and one from the mainland. Interbreeding between the two means there is now only one breed.