It is not an unusual thing to see cows peacefully grazing in the lush green meadows that surround the town of Geneva (less than 3 kilometers away from the city). Even a few minutes away from my home, close the Arve river and amongst the Veyrier vineyards you'll find one of the most beautiful breeds of cow: the Hérens.
This rustic, stocky, very muscular, strong-horned, black (and sometimes brown or dark red) cow with a short and broad head hails from the Val d'Hérens in Valais. It is primarily raised for meat, but the Hérens females are well-known for their love for fight. Although they are gentle with humans, they show a lively and quite aggressive temperament toward their fellow cows. In spring, the Hérens fight one against another in five weight categories during the "combat des reines" (video here). The winners are sold for high prices. Today cow fights are a major tourist attraction in the Valais.
I really love those cows which's massive body contrasts with their calm and sweet behaviour. They are so majestic, fascinating, magnificent and likeable.
The cows I photographed were great subjects. As I approached the fence and called them, they immediately walked slowly in my direction and asked to get patted. Their sheer colossalness is quite intimidating at first, but you soon forget that detail when you get to caress them and see how affectionate they are...