Local Loves - A Samphire grazing Herd on an Islandmagee Farm...


A few weeks back, we went to a beautiful Farm in Islandmagee to photograph a handsome herd of Friesian Dairy Cows... their adorable calves, and of course, the Bull!

They were absolutely enormous creatures - you don't realise quite how big they are when viewing from a field (insert Father Ted joke, here), and we were maybe just a little intimidated at first! ;)

But the lovely, lovely Jane, who runs the farm with her husband and son (and daughters when they're at home!) soon put us at ease... They have the most gentle nature, and they were very interested indeed in what on earth these two city types were doing in their field, photographing them!

I was absolutely captivated by how different each cow was - their different markings, and personalities, so we ended up shooting almost a series of portraits. It was a really special shoot. I love how they just stared down the lens at us... it was almost like they were looking inside our soul. Wonderfully intense creatures. The Bull was really incredible - an enormous mass of rippling muscle, so majestic - I don't think I realised just how close I was to him until we got home and reviewed the shoot... 

These cows have a pretty amazing life... after milking in the morning, and evening, they stroll down to the banks of Larne Loch, where they graze on Samphire, seaweeds and grass, herbs and wild flowers, until it's time to head back up to their hay lined beds. I have to say (apart from the milking!)... I wouldn't mind a day in the life of these lovely girls! The wee calves are all hand reared by Jane once their Mummy's are back to milking - they keep both the boy and girl calves, and rear them up until they're ready to join the herd or go on to be Bulls at another farm... they frolic all day in their cosy barns, and have great fun moo-ing at the top of their lungs! We got a wee cuddle with some of them, and they're so cute!

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse in to some local Northern Irish farming - we so enjoyed shooting this one...