Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Monday, May 12, 2014

I Love Big Orange...Cows by Nancy Lee Badger

Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author, Nancy Lee Badger! Today she's sharing with us her love of Highland cows. Enjoy!

I Love Big Orange…Cows

by Nancy Lee Badger   

Orange? Thank the Highlands of Scotland for sharing the biggest, hairiest, cold-weather adaptive side of beef with America…the Highland steer. Known as Bò GhĂ idhealach in Scottish Gaelic, these large docile animals are best known with their long horns and shaggy red coats, but are also bred in black, dun, brindled, and yellow. Although this animal, bred for its lean tasty beef, was developed in the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles of Scotland, the Scots exported breeding stock worldwide. 

Their heavy coats protect them from the harsh climate of Scotland’s Highlands. High rainfall, strong winds, and hilly terrain are no problem. Even countries whose winter climates are even colder than Scotland have seen an explosion of herds. Their shaggy hair protects them during the cold winters, keeping the fat content low. They also have this uncanny skill to find food in steep mountain areas, or to graze on vegetation many other cattle refuse to try. Highland cows have a long history of living with humans, and the early Scots kept the family cow inside their homes during the winter.

I won’t go into the meat-producing aspects of the Highland steer. Instead, I will share photos I took at the recent Loch Norman Highland Games in Huntersville, NC. The festival is held at the Rural Hill Historic Site, a year-round historic village complete with a cabin, corn shed, blacksmith forge, and Highland cows. For the first time since I started attending these games, I was able to get close to the mama and her calf. Not too close, as Highland cows are highly devoted as well as protective mothers. Cows may produce into their late teens, which reduces the need for frequent herd replacement. Financially, they are a good bet.

The dad was brazen and begged for handfuls of corn. Did he notice men dressed in kilts and women in long dresses? Did he care that several fur-wearing men walked by with longbows across their shoulders. Did he worry that marching band members stopped to visit with dirks on their hips? Since bulls can weigh in at almost 1800 pounds, I was glad the sturdy fence was between him…and us.

I mention the cows in my latest release, My Lady Highlander, which is the first book in my Kilted Athletes Through Time series. Here is a short except:

“Are we close to the border?” Bull asked.
Izzy whispered, “Aye. The darkness will aid us in crossing the meadow unseen. If we be lucky, my former ale master has put up barrels of honey ale.”
“Let’s hurry!”
She laughed at his exuberance, slapping a hand over her mouth. Stealth would keep them alive.
When they reached the edge of the meadow, they crouched behind low branches. If the moon, hidden somewhere behind heavy clouds, reappeared before they traveled the distance across the meadow, they would be as visible as the Highland cows, mooing, to their left.
“What’s that sound? A cow?”
“Aye. Highland cattle, so stay to the right and watch yer step.”
“Great. I’ll probably trip, and land face-first in a pile of cow droppings.”
She chuckled.
“That was funny?”
“Nay. I was thinking…” She fingered the potions in her pocket. “I carry a potion bottle filled with what we call cow-cakes.”
“Why the heck did you bring that along?”
“That title be misleading. ‘Tis actually an infusion of giant hogweed, a potion that can burn the skin. ‘Twas the only weapon I could grab when we…were interrupted.”
“Don’t know where you’d use that.”
She shrugged. “Mind yer steps. If ye do step wrong, I shall do my best to get ye a bath.”

For more information on the breed, there are several breeding associations across the United States and Canada, and they can be found online. Please enjoy my photos.

About the Author
Fourteen books later, Nancy Lee Badger still loves chocolate-chip shortbread and wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander. Her stories tempt you with the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.  

Isobel MacHamish escaped a betrothal in ancient Scotland. She rebuilt her life in present-day New England, yet something-or someone-is missing. Arson, thievery, a stalker, and a handsome caber-tossing athlete turn her world upside down.

Bryce Buchanan saves a pretty woman-twice. Sent back to ancient Scotland-again-he is trapped between the skittish woman, and a man pressuring her into marriage. Battles, swords, a Scottish brownie, and a power-hungry laird make ‘Bull’ want to head home to New England.

To escape her former lover, and his murderous, father, Izzy finds her inner warrior. And, when the handsome athlete shows her what falling in love can bring, she is torn, because keeping her hands to herself, is one battle she will never win.

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger
Blog                                      http://www.nancyleebadger.blogspot.com
Website                                 http://www.nancyleebadger.com
Twitter                                  https://twitter.com/NLBadger
Facebook                              http://on.fb.me/KMGS4z                    
Goodreads                            http://bit.ly/Vd1Usg
Amazon Author Page           http://amzn.to/13ICHLq

My Lady Highlander Buy Links:
Amazon                              http://amzn.to/1i72gLV
Amazon Print                     http://amzn.to/QKTP2Q
NOOK                                http://bit.ly/1j9Eu51
Barnes & Noble Print         http://bit.ly/1qdbe0n

My Honorable Highlander, Nancy’s first book in her Highland Games Through Time series is part of 10 Timeless Heroes: magic & destiny unite lovers across time and space in this epic collection of award-winning, chart topping tales. From sweet to sizzling romances, 10 Timeless Heroes has a little something for everyone. Over fifteen hundred pages!

Amazon     http://amzn.to/RuFTub
NOOK       http://bit.ly/1ntUSi5
KOBO       http://bit.ly/1iydpJu\


Nancy Lee Badger said...

Thank you for having me again. I enjoy sharing my research with your readers.
Nancy Lee Badger

Mickey said...

Hi Nancy, I just finished reading My Lady Highlander and had to tell you that you've done it again. Good story, tension, adventure, romance etc. It's all there. I look forward to the next book.

Nancy Lee Badger said...

Thanks. Glad you liked it. I am busy working on the second book in this series.
Nancy Lee Badger

Mary Morgan said...

Great post, Nancy! When I started reading "My Lady Highland," I wanted to grab the other series, Highland Games Through Time. Wow! Loving your stories.

Just went to the Highland Games in our city and had a great time with all the animals, including the "coo"

Mary Morgan said...

Ooops..."My Lady Highlander."

Nancy Lee Badger said...

I don't mind the miss-spelleing (sic?)
I have a hard time spelling 'Athletes' but I have great time watching them.

Unknown said...

Very informative interview, Nancy! Loved the photos of the livestock. Best of luck with your stories!