We set out in the suburban, cameras in hand, to take cattle pictures in the area. We had pulled over in a ditch and were hanging out the windows voraciously snapping pictures from the road along Circle C Ranch, when a grain truck pulled up behind us. It was the Circle C ranch manager and he said if we would come back when he was through feeding, he would take us around in the feed truck and we could take all the cattle pictures we wanted. There was a particular cow he wanted me to see, the one I’m calling Curly Q. She has enormous asymmetrical horns! She’s never had a calf, but they keep her around because she is so cool looking. I have never seen a cow with horns quite like hers and I am excited that I got some pictures. I really hadn’t realized until I started painting all these horned cattle, that none of them are exactly symmetrical and many are off quite a bit. I love the variation! We take our own photos for these original paintings and that is half the fun! The sun was lovely that afternoon and we had a blast looking at cows and taking pictures. It was a wonderful day in northeast Texas!
The banana horned cow was my sister’s cow. Granddad got each of us girls a cow when we were young and every time those cows calved he sold the calves and put the money into a savings account for each of us to help pay for college. Tanessa’s cow actually got struck by lightning, but before she died she had her one and only heifer. So that calf, which grew up to be the banana horned cow (we just referred to her as Banana Horn), replaced her mother for Tanessa’s college fund. She was a really good mother; she loved her babies, always weaning heavy calves. We hoped before she got too old she would have a heifer to replace her, but year after year she had bull calves. That was great for Tanessa’s college fund, but not so good for her commercial herd to grow. Tanessa is about to graduate college with a degree in English literature and thanks to Banana Horn, she was able to do a study abroad in Oxford, England, for a semester.
We are so fortunate to have such a generous grandfather. It’s neat to see the results of his planning!
This original oil is a memory from Camp Cooley Ranch.