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Look! A Giant Cow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It was time to hit the road.

We had had the most wonderful time at the Potholes and Prairies Festival. I am sorry that I don't have many bird photos to share, but there is something about a horizontal rain in 38-degree weather that puts a slight damper on bird photography. Hence the cozy diner and Pie Posts. I want to emphasize that, whatever the weather, it's always fun to go birding in North Dakota. Pictures or no pictures.

It was time to hit the highway, and we headed west this time, to parts unexplored, for our big adventure. We hadn't gone too far before a shape hove onto the horizon that resolved into a giant cow.
I became extremely excited. It wasn't because I had never seen a giant cow; I had. It was because I remembered a postcard my father sent us when he was driving to Montana for a summer job once. It was a giant Holstein cow, billed as the World's Largest. This was the same cow. In that instant, seeing New Salem Sue up close morphed from a curiosity to a pilgrimage.
There was a milk can rigged up to take our donation. Seeing Sue is free, but they appreciate your dollars for road and giant cow upkeep.

Holy cow!
38 feet tall, 50 feet long, made of fiberglass and hollow, Sue nevertheless weighs in at 12,000 pounds. She was built in 1974 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin by the Sculpture Manufacturing Co. and trucked in three pieces to New Salem, ND. Area dairymen, farmers, businesses and residents chipped in on the $40,000 cost of the project. The idea was to promote the breed, dairy farming, animal husbandry, and the Holstein cows of which New Salem is rightly proud. The first Holsteins were brought to New Salem around the turn of the 20th century, and breeding stock from here has fanned out all over the country. Many famous Holsteins were born in New Salem, including
Aggie Wayne Segis Pontiac, who produced 1003 pounds of butterfat in one year. Go Aggie Wayne Segis Pontiac!

It was extremely windy and cold atop the hillock on which New Salem Sue stands. Phoebe looks like she's on fire.

We were, in fact, in danger of being blown clean off said hill.

The artist, Dave Oswald, was doubtless guided in his work by dairymen, for whom ample udders and prominent milk veins are clearly a turn-on.

Look at that milk vein. I think the teats should be longer, but maybe that's just me talking.

My favorite shot of the session, taken right before I got blown over. That is a nice paint job. I could totally see my father going up and knocking on the big pink teat to see what it was made from.

I felt very close to my dad up here, he who loved farming, cattle, butterfat, and all things dairy-related; good diners; roadside attractions; giant animal sculptures, travel

and me.


Zick- saw that as I was cruising by this summer and thought of you guys!

Hi there!

Wow, that IS a big cow! I'm glad noone got blown away. I agree with what you said about the "Dominion" thing being a twisted interpretation of scripture. If we profess to love the Creator, how can we destroy His creation?



Very sweet reminisces about your father.

Is it just me, or is there something Boston terrierish about Sue's eyes?

You sure it wasn't giant cow flatulence that almost blowed ya'll clean off'n that hill?

The cow is nice, but the best shot here is fire-goddess Phoebe, or is that Athena...

In Woodstock Ontario, there is a life size statue of a Holstein, Springbank Snow Countess.
she was the world champion butterfat producer at some point in time.

Who knew there was a giant statue out there.

Your blog doesn't like my sign in, so I am temporarily the anonymous Rondeau Ric

Posted by Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 8:36 AM

If it makes you feel any better, Rondeau, my blog makes me jump through four hoops every damn time I want to leave a comment. The trick is to hit Preview instead of Post Comment, and wait until it gives you a scrambled word.Then, and only then, will it post, at least for me.

You spell better when you're frustrated. ;-)

It would have been nice to see Chet Baker's reaction to this giant black-and-white creature, but, had Baker been there, he would have been whipped off that hill by the roaring wind and we would have had to look for him in Medora. or Sacramento.

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