The documentary is entitled The Grizzly Man. It’s the true story of Timothy Tredwell who spent thirteen summers in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, living perilously close to Grizzly bear. Tragically, he and his girlfriend met their fate in a Grizzly bear attack that was caught on tape. (Thankfully, the recording was not included in this landmark documentary.)
I couldn’t help but think of this haunting incident as Heather Bailey of Cobblestone Farm relayed a story that had just occurred a week or so before our visit there last month. It involved a friend of hers who was photographing the Highland cattle in the fields in which we were now standing. When one of the steers began to charge her, a cow actually intervened, mitigating the full force of the charge (this likely saved her life). But the event was caught on the photographer’s iPhone which started recording when she was lifted into the air and thrown by the beast. (I’m told that to watch the footage is really quite eerie.)
Cobblestone Farm, in the lake country of Wisconsin, is just a little west of the city of Milwaukee. I was there looking for additional sourcing for a client. Its namesake is a cobblestone home that sits on a bluff overlooking the farmlands and forests below, a landscape dotted with its fold of ornamental Highland cattle. To walk into the cobblestone farm house built in the mid 1800s by Freemasons, gosh, you’d think you’d stepped into a Crate&Barrel catalog. And, if you thought this, you’d be right: the farm is owned by Carole and Gordon Segal, the founders of Crate&Barrel.
Some years ago, the Segals fell in love with the Highland breed and–to oversee the farm–brought on Heather Bailey, one of the premiere Highland breeders in the country. By sheer coincidence, we had stopped in a small French brasserie for dinner the night before. This small restaurant, we learned from Heather, was one of a handful of restaurants that carried Cobblestone’s beef.
We stood perilously close to the grazing folds of Scottish cattle on that late June afternoon (refer back to the photo, above, and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about). We became acquainted with the farm and Ms. Bailey. Then, we left: life and limb intact. And, I’m happy to say, there will be no films produced this year bearing the title The Highland Man.