Christmas Day at the Dairy!


Four years ago I had the best Christmas…touring a dairy.  The photos I took are among my favorites.  I hoped, (no, I longed) to return to the dairy, with my Canon 5D and improved photography skills.  Today was that day.

I was well aware of the risks involved.  Everything about me will smell like a cow—but I came prepared with a hat to cover my hair, old sneakers I don’t care about and clothes I wore two days ago that have been relegated to being ‘cow clothes’.  I could have spent the entire day there if given the chance.

I walked excitedly down the dirt road… but I seemed to be spooking the cows.  They backed away from the fence.  I decided to walk slower and eventually they seemed to get used to me.

Big Bertha's Adventures

I like to think this one is posing for the camera.

Big Bertha's Adventures Big Bertha's Adventures

Here’s a look at where the babies are kept.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Big Bertha's Adventures

They all have tags that indicate when they were born.  Twenty cows are born a day.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Just look at that face!

IMG_1953BB Big Bertha's Adventures

As we walked by, they would get up from the ground, expecting to be fed.

Big Bertha's Adventures

The cows are milked three times a day—each milking takes just 5 minutes.

Big Bertha's Adventures

We could watch the milk passing through on this gauge.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Here’s a glimpse of the cows waiting to be milked next.

Big Bertha's Adventures

We could also observe how the udders were reduced in size after the milking was complete.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Here’s a view of their food — a delectable mix of over 10 ingredients including corn, alfalfa and molasses.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Feeding time for the cows.

Big Bertha's Adventures

The next series of photos are gratuitous cow photos because I couldn’t narrow them down to just a few.

How can anyone resist a photo like the one below?

Big Bertha's Adventures

Along our tour we found a few brown cows.  I like to think that’s where chocolate milk comes from.

Big Bertha's Adventures

I can imagine the photo below being used to promote eating more dairy products.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Another brown cow.

Big Bertha's Adventures

I couldn’t resist getting a close up of the snout.

Big Bertha's Adventures

I happened to be at the right place at the right time with my camera for the photo below.  Seconds later the cow dropped the cardboard and was reluctant to pick it back up for a retake.  I was pleasantly surprised the photo turned out.

Big Bertha's Adventures

One final photo – Denise and the cows on Christmas Day.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Cameras used:  
Canon 5D Mark II, lens:  70-200mm
Canon G16

Tips:
–  Don’t forget to use the lens hood when you’re outdoors in windy conditions.  I forgot mine… but that didn’t stop me from taking photos.
–  Create adventures as often as you can with your camera.
–  Be prepared!  Have clothes ready for outdoor adventures.

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