Community

The cows come home to Colleen Drive – displays provide ‘mooving’ experience for neighbors

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Courtesy of Debra Persyn
The cow displays along Colleen Drive in Los Altos reflect various occasions and events. Here is a recent Fourth of July-themed critter.

There’s no shortage of cows – or cow puns – for the neighbors of Colleen and Kay drives in Los Altos.

A drive along the quiet residential streets reveals a curious trend – the presence of conspicuous LED-lit, 55-inch decorative cows on residents’ front lawns.

“People keep asking us about them,” said Debra Persyn, who started the trend over the Christmas break when her regular holiday lights shorted out and she went shopping for replacement lights.
She ended up purchasing an illuminated cow from a local Home Depot, and the family installed it on their lawn.

“The next day,” Persyn said, “my neighbor Diane sent a text, ‘Where did you get the cow? Solid choice, Debbie. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.’ Ellen across the street chattered, ‘My college friends were here last night and asked, “What’s up with the cow?’”

Other neighbors soon decided they needed cows of their own. In a short time, the neighborhood lit up with approximately 15 cows. Half a year later, 10 remain.

Cue the cow puns. “I’m over the moooon with excitement!” said one neighbor. “Can you mooove your cow to face mine so our cows can look at each other?” asked another.
The glowing cows went from holiday novelty to symbols of neighborhood unity and friendship. The cows also proved cow-thartic, as neighbors buckled down at the outset of the
COVID-19 crisis.

Persyn said their presence has sparked cow parties and numerous photo-ops. And reflective of the pandemic, the cows began sporting masks on their faces and gloves on their hooves.

“Today, if you happen to drive by our streets you will see many if not all of the cows out dressed in different attire: graduation gowns, summer attire or memorial bows,” she said.

Persyn seems bemused as she recalls first spotting one of the cows “up in the rafters” at Home Depot amid the holiday decorations.

“It didn’t look like it belonged, but it was super cute,” she said.

And now, it appears the cows have come home to Colleen Drive.

“Who knew these cows would generate a new wave of community and fun together?” Persyn said. “It’s been a blessing and a pleasure to build ‘Cow-mmunity’ together.”

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