Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Unexpected.

On our kayak trips through New England, we expect to see birds, seals, even whales…

But one day last May, as I was paddling through the desolate Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, I rounded a rocky point and came face to face with this huge, shaggy, horned beast, lounging on the beach and looking at me with uncomfortable interest.

Unexpected, to say the least.

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Unexpected 2

The story of that trip and more photos are here.

108 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

  1. Beautiful. I love the photo and love the beast!!

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  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected | 2812 photography

  3. I love these guys. They remind me of longhorns, which I also love.

    janet

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  4. Just chillin’

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  5. It looks like you made it over to the Scottish isles. Big surprise.

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  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected | autopict

  7. That’s hilarious! He must be a heckuva good swimmer.

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  8. Unexpected and yet what a pleasure to see. He is a shaggy beast.

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  9. Great photo and great post describing your journey. We saw some Scottish Highland cattle while cycling in Slovenia but they weren’t as shaggy as this big fella. Although I was surprised at the time not as surprised as you I bet in the kayak!

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  10. Whoa! Now that’s really unexpected!

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  11. Funny… I hope you were far away from it…

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  12. Bet you were sure glad he couldn’t swim. Good picture for the challenge.

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  13. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected | Something to Ponder About

  14. Really surprising! Looks prehistoric, great picture! ~SueBee

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  15. Are there humans there? Is he wild or domesticated? Love it!

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    • Most of the islands have never been developed, so, although there is a building here and there on some of them, most of them are pretty deserted, if not uninhabited. And the cattle are both wild and domesticated—they were introduced there and I think somebody does look after them, but they roam over the entire island and eat whatever is there. All much like back home in Scotland, and the islands do in fact have a kind of Scottish look…

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  16. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Unexpected | WoollyMuses

  17. I liked it more the second time. Love those yellows !!!

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  18. Just proves everybody likes a day at the beach now and then! ;-)
    Awesome capture!

    ~Lindy

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  19. Oh wow! I would be totally surprised as well. It’s just chilling on the beach straight out of fairy tale. Great shot!

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  20. You had paddled so hard that you had surely come ashore in Scotland…..where this is a very normal scene :-)

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  21. How random…and very cool!

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  22. I love seeing these guys at the Highland Games every year.

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  23. Pingback: Saw Nature, so close me (unexpected) | A Crazy Chef

  24. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected | A mom's blog

  25. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Unexpected-2 | WoollyMuses

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  27. He really looks pre-historic …but cute too :)

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  28. Very cool – so unusual to see in New England. Great find!

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  29. Unexpected for sure; he/she is a huge beast!

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  30. I love highland cows, and it isn’t too unexpected to find them tramping on the beach and paddling in the sea on the West Coast of Scotland and the many islands. However, I’d be completely taken by surprise to find them on the other side of the Atlantic. Despite the big horns, they’re lovely docile animals, and love having their hair brushed!

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    • Thanks for that information—if I’d known that, I would have landed and brushed his hair! :-)

      I believe they have over the years been exported from Scotland to a number of places in the world. On these islands, they were imported to replace sheep, which were being killed by coyotes that swam over from adjacent islands, and which also were less ready to eat the rather rough vegetation…

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  31. So…this beautiful creature is native to the area…kind of? Or not so much? If not…any idea how it got there? I think I would’ve been freaked out. But then again, I’m not a kayaker or sports woman by any stretch of the imagination. I’m totally a landlubber. I’m content with admiring what wanderers like you offer up to us…couch surfers. Although I never really sit. I mostly stand at my kitchen counter, typing and surfing the blogosphere.

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    • Unexpected because totally non-native! These are (there is a whole herd) Scottish Highland cattle, introduced onto Nashawena, one of the Elizabeth Islands, mainly to manage the growth of the vegetation, I believe. They replaced an earlier population of sheep, which were being killed by coyotes that swam over from adjacent islands, and which also were more finicky about what they ate. Highland cattle eat everything, and also they don’t mind the rather grim winters on the islands! :-)

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  32. Wow, talk about unexpected! At least he looked like he enjoyed getting his picture taken.

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  33. Yup; you’ve nailed unexpected all right! Great shots.

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  34. Oh my, he is so cute!!!

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  35. Good picture. That is unexpected.

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  36. Good Evening: I know exactly what that little critter is thinking: “Dang it! I wish I could swim!” Vonn Scott Bair

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  37. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected | Say It With A Camera

  38. Wow, that IS unexpected!

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  39. Awwwwww, I just wanna give it a cuddle and plait it’s shaggy fur!

    Then run away really quickly.

    Mrs AWTD.

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  40. Wow…VERY unexpected!

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  41. I always look forward to seeing your challenge photographs. You never fail to deliver. Brilliant shot.

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  42. Good choice to stay in the water! I wouldn’t want an encounter with those horns! What a character he is.

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  43. Wow! Wow! Wow! Unexpected but wonderful to see!

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  44. Pingback: Weekly Challenge: Unexpected (2) | Through the Eye of Bastet

  45. Very unexpected. In my opinion red hairy creatures with horns are unexpected even in a cow field–as I have experienced hiking in England.

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  46. Pingback: Weekly Challenge: Unexpected (3) | Through the Eye of Bastet

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