Rolling green mountains. Swaths of tartan. Long, endless lochs. Cobblestone streets leading to age old pubs where men wearing kilts slam down drams of whisky. A certain monster named Nessie.

There are many images that evoke Scotland. None shine as brightly for me as a certain wee hairy cow native to the country. The highland coo, as the locals call them.

Stuffed Animal Highland Cow

You’ve already had a peek into my bovine obsession during my first two photos of the week and even during my hike up Ben Nevis. But my obsession started long before my flight even landed. When I was on the fence about purchasing a zoom lens before this trip or waiting until next year, the idea of getting some great shots of these guys put me over the edge. And from the minute I got off the plane, my eyes were glued to the car window scanning for a sighting. If you’re starting to suspect that I’m gunning for the first page in google search results for “highland cow”- you’re right.

Highland Cow

Knowing my level of investment in getting enough photos to sell my own highland cow wall calendar at a kiosk in the mall, Mark brought me down a local road where there were usually some grazing nearby. I nearly squealed with excitement when we spotted not one, not two, but six of them! But with a high fence and a ditch between us, we could not go to the cows, we had to bring them to us.

Highland Cows

Well, when my logical reasoning with the cows went nowhere and they thoroughly ignored my gentle pleading and eventual bribes, Mark took things into his own hands. So if a picture is worth a thousand words, surely this video is worth at least a billion.

I love picturing the cow’s thoughts during the video when they come thundering towards us and then eventually just stop and look at each other like, “what’s with these weird cows? They stand on two feet and they aren’t very hairy.”

highland cow calf

So, What do you think? Is my obsession understandable now? Would you try the highland cow call? Most importantly, will I be able to smuggle one through customs?

  • Kathryn
    July 4 2011

    OK, the animals of your obsessions are getting bigger. You’ve evolved from gerbils, to guinea pigs, to turtles, to dogs, to Highland cows. I guess the Loch Ness monster is next?


    • Dad
      July 4 2011

      The video is terrific. Mark can always be a highland coo caller. The expressions on their faces is similar to Tucker when he thinks you are about to serve food, take him for a walk or a ride in the car. Intense interest. Do they really say “coo’?

      • Alex
        July 5 2011

        They do in fact say “coo!” One of the charming local pronunciations 🙂

    • Alex
      July 5 2011


  • Kris Koeller
    July 5 2011

    I do like these cows. The zoom lens was definitely a win.

    • Alex
      July 6 2011

      I’m kind of lazy so I don’t carry it everywhere but when I do, I’m happy!

  • Olivia Baackes
    July 6 2011

    I hope mark was wearing the highland cow hat you brought to ben Nevis to really throw the cows off. Ps the cow obsession is a LITTLE weird, just saying.

    • Alex
      July 6 2011

      No one is allowed to wear that hat except for me.

  • Auntie
    July 6 2011

    Always knew Mark was a wee bit weird. Talking to coos is NOT normal.Glad you are liking Scotland.

  • Camels & Chocolate
    July 11 2011

    You have no idea how happy these photos make me. Not only do I want that first picture of the coo framed on my desk to look at daily, but I’d also just like him in my apartment to cuddle when the mood strikes. Then again, I’m not quite sure where I’d keep him.

    • Alex
      July 12 2011

      I know! Its like how I always want to steal baby animals from the zoo, but then I remember that they grow up to be big animals…

  • Mike
    May 8 2013


    Did you happen to purchase the stuffd coo. We took a near identical picture of her and it looks like the same brand. We were in Scotland and my daughter saw one that we did not purchase as it was large and very early in our trip. Tried to find during the rest of the trip with no luck. If you do have it can you send the manufacture? Thank you

    • Alex
      May 9 2013

      Hi Mike, unfortunately I didn’t take that stuffed coo home with me… just posed with him in the shop 🙂 Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

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