I’m looking forward to seeing color again. The month of March is a study in patience dear friends.
What a relief! The snow started melting Monday afternoon and soaked right into the ground. We are grateful for the moisture and grateful that the weather warmed up for our first calf to be born. This little girl arrived yesterday afternoon. You know how you can’t watch a pot of water to boil? Well, after being home and checking on the ladies 4 or 5 times a day for the last couple of weeks, she decides to give birth while I make a quick run to town for a haircut. I came home and there she was, cow #2 came to a boil and popped out a healthy calf. While I was checking on these two, one of the heifers was ringing her tail. She had a belly ache and I knew it wouldn’t be long for her. She was simmering. Two hours later she had a successful birth, which is not always common for a first time mother cow. With the arrival of these two calves, I am able to breathe a sigh of relief. We have a week or two until the rest of our small herd starts calving. ♥
Saturday was sooo snowy. The sun was behind the clouds and so was my mood. Ranching is tough and sometimes lonely work, especially in blinding snow and freezing temperatures; any rancher/caretaker reading this knows what I’m talking about. It is a full day of constantly checking on the well being of the cows and horses, pitching frozen hay over the fence to the heifers, and breaking ice so they all can get a drink. Where loose hay is frozen to your cheeks and tripping over frozen cow turds is the norm. Having to climb over the corral fence with a twenty pound bucket of cow cake because we forgot to make a temporary gate for us to enter and exit safely. In constant worry that a calf will be born and not make it through the freezing night because we haven’t finished building our calving barn yet. All while Patrick has to be in a snow plow for over 10 hours on the interstate making the roads safe for drivers who feel the need to be driving on the roads during a dangerous blizzard. (Yep, those folks are out there… and you may be one of them. )
And then, Sunday morning, the sun was there outside my door. Although 6 inches of snow still lay there glistening on the ground, the sky was blue and birds were singing. Patrick was home by 8am and we were able to spend the day feeding, watering and tripping over frozen cow turds together. We even ventured across the river and hiked around our bluffs to enjoy the peaceful scenery that surrounds us.
I didn’t shoot much this weekend because the ranch work had to be done and I had to stay focused. As I’ve said before, I only pretend to be a cowgirl, I’m really just a photographer. But this weekend, I was a cowgirl first.
I’m happy to report that we are still here with all our fingers and toes and happy to see the snow dripping off the roof today.
Ahhhh, is it spring yet?
…is where I’ll be all weekend.
It has been said that there is a major storm in store for us this weekend. Small snow pellets have been falling all morning and it’s at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler since I got up at daylight to check cows. The roads were good yesterday so I went out to get necessities to stock the pantry and wine rack. Looks like I’ll be sipping and baking for the next couple of days.
Have a great weekend sweet friends!
Our horses had a standoff with the horses next door the other day. I was sitting by the river when I heard weird grunting noises and hooves hitting the snow. They weren’t very friendly with one another and they didn’t stick around long. Alice led the pack away and they joined the cows on hay that was rolled out for them earlier. Knuckleheads.
Yesterday morning we awoke to a thick, frozen fog lingering over us. It was beautiful.
The cows didn’t think it was all that great as their coats were covered in said frozen fog.
A bald eagle took off from the trees but flew pretty low. I don’t think they fly very well when there is a heavy freeze and moisture in the air.
I looked to the east hoping I’d see the sun rising but all I saw was barely a glow.
When I looked to the west, the sky was trying to come through the haze. It didn’t clear out until noon when the wind came up and blew the snow into drifts. But do not fear my friends, it started to snow again today.
I’ll tell Winter what Rachel told Joey on the TV show Friends. “Oh honey, at least you’re pretty.”
Matilda is all curled up and under the covers.
I envision us exiting the house in a couple of months like Dorothy and Toto; eyes wide and jaws dropped when we finally see the world in color. But for now, it’s just white snow on the ground and gray skies up above.
The jackrabbit is built for speed.
When this guy jumped out from the brush in front of me, I almost tripped.
Alert ears and elbows was all I could see.
He stopped to see if I was following him. I didn’t have a chance of catching up so I stood still and just followed him with my lens.
He was completely airborne with every hop.
He stayed along the fence line…
And down the rabbit hole he dove!
Yesterday the snow fell like rain; only moisture and the ground was mud. This morning we are under a snow blanket with small flakes still falling. I made my morning rounds through the cattle with my eyelashes caked in snowflakes. It is so peaceful and quiet out here. I almost tripped over a jackrabbit.
As the snow begins to fall again today, I’m feeling sure that I am ready for spring and summer. And so are the sunflowers!
The heavy snow has melted and we have puddles all over the meadow. This morning I started my daily rounds of checking the ladies. They are in their last trimester and calves will start landing next month. We have two heifers (first time mothers) and I have to keep an even closer eye on them. The cattle are good about coming to me because they think I’m there to feed them. It gives me a good chance to count them, walk through them and just basically look them over. I can tell when they are close to calving just by looking at them as they walk away.
Once Patrick finishes the fence surrounding our house, we will bring them closer to the house so that I can check them easily. Plus, they tend to cross the river to have their calf and that becomes dangerous for the calf when she decides to cross the river back into the meadow to graze. Therefore, I like to keep them close.
This is our first year calving at our place and my first year of doing it mostly alone. Since Patrick has a day job, it’s up to me to monitor the process. I thankfully have a call list if I have problems and Patrick can’t get here. Time to break out the shoulder-high gloves and chains. (just kidding)
The pressure is on so wish me luck!
“There’s no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat.” -Wesley Bates
There is often a sculpture on the sunny window ledge behind the curtain. She’s orange and fuzzy and wear’s a smile when she’s there.
My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.
In honor of Presidents Day, I tell you this is my dream as well.
I love the peace and quiet of five inches of snow under the tangle of cottonwood trees.
Strong winds have melted it mostly all away by this morning. Even though I love a good snow, I’ve got cabin fever something fierce and I look forward to it being easier to get around.
On Monday, I finally made it out of our place to meet an 11 day old precious baby girl and provide her first photo shoot. I drove 140 miles round trip on slick but mostly dry interstate. Easy. And the shoot went very well.
It was this half mile jaunt home that was most difficult. My little Honda Civic wasn’t too happy about the snow-packed road. But she got me to our entrance and I took the ATV the rest of the way home. Of course, I’m sure it didn’t help that I stopped the car to shoot this image. I probably should have kept the momentum going but I’m glad I took the risk. The sun was setting on such a gorgeous day, it had to be recorded.
P.S. Here is the same shot (a little further down the road) at sunset last fall.
“If you want the best seat in the house, you’ll have to move the cat.”
When the temperature was below zero many days last week, Matilda took up residence right up against the wood stove. I can’t blame her though. I stood there a few times myself.
Today the snow is blowing and melting at a fast pace and it looks like we will have warmer temperatures this week.
Have a happy Tilda Tuesday!
A Golden Eagle took off from the trees and into the falling snow while we fed the cows this weekend.
This is what happens when we ring the dinner bell (me hollering “come and get it girls, woohooo!”).
You betta get out of her way!!
The horses are usually across the meadow when we come down to feed. It’s a long walk to the hay buffet.
You may or may not be able to make out ole Gray running in the background. He blends very well but he’s way back there kicking up snow behind the bay horse. (between the far trees and the dark brown horse) I didn’t even see him until he was right up on us. I picked icicles off his coat while Patrick cut the strings off the hay bale.
“Why do I live somewhere where the air hurts my face.”
A friend posted a meme on Facebook yesterday with that saying and it couldn’t be more appropriate. Our temperatures have maintained a steady below zero temp for days now. It is sooo cold. I’m not complaining because I know there are places in the world much colder but after we came in from feeding the cows, the hair that was exposed from underneath my hat was frozen. Solid. Like I could have just broken it in half. And my face hurt.
Don’t let this bull and his harem intimidate you. I’ve got something they want and they are waiting patiently for the rest of the group to join us before we spread out the cake.
We rolled out a bail and Patrick pitched out even more. There is only one pitch fork down there so I told him I’d take pictures while he pitched hay. It’s only fair.
Most of the river is frozen. As always it’s tempting to skate across it but…I’m smarter than that.
I’m not sure when this extreme winter spell will break but I’ve got photo shoots and a printer workshop lined up this month. I’m very much hoping for some nicer weather in the coming weeks. Frozen fingers are crossed!