Crossing the Big Sandy
Texas longhorn cattle were almost extinct by the 1920s since modern day ranchers preferred a breed that could fatten up quickly and they no longer valued the longhorn’s ability to survive in high heat on little water, but lots of cactus, weeds and brush. Beginning in the 1930s, they were protected and bred in small stocks, mostly out of the idea of the romance of the Old West but later longhorns became popular for their lean, lower-cholesterol meat. Commercial ranchers now breed them with other cattle for their many strong traits including smarts and easy calving.
Artist Bonnie Marris had the opportunity to drive these cattle across the river. “They are so wild, as in undomesticated,” she said. “When you stand 20 feet away from one you feel like you are peering back into history, seeing what cattle were like before we got our hands on them.” They’re beautiful, intelligent and lean. Sounds like a breed apart.