This cow is Patrick’s favorite. He likes her coloring and the rings around her horns. The rings, as you may have already guessed, tell the age of the cow. This girl is thirteen this year.
Kaylynn(sp?) stood proud and beautiful, even with a sprig of hay hanging out of her mouth.
Um hey pretty lady. Who does your makeup? It’s gorgeous dahling.
I had to put the wide angle lens on for this shot. She was following me closely, probably with the hope I’d feed her some cake.
This dark beauty was by the creek the whole time. She was uninterested in her guests.
Scratch that itch babe. You know she’s hitting the target because look at her tongue!
At the end of our tour, the sun went behind the clouds and it got colder. These yearlings met us at the truck but were a little shy and didn’t stick around long.
We had a great time visiting with the Wilson’s and the cattle and look forward to going back when it warms up!
I’ve been pawing at Patrick to take me to the Wilson Ranch for a while now. Every time we head up Hwy 34 to the plains to fix fence, I can always see their cattle way off in the distance.
So he finally called them up and they invited us to come up Saturday afternoon. I was thrilled!
Not only because I was going to be up close and personal with award winning Longhorn Cattle, but they are calving right now!
These little angels are born smaller than the average calf so during calving season, the mommas and babies are enclosed in a high fence pen. Coyotes just love the smell of a fresh born calf and can snatch one away before momma even knows what happened.
These cows are fairly gentle but knew quite well that we were strangers.
A few of them kicked the dirt but fortunately no one charged us.
The baby beauties are born with only nubs on their head. (Lucky for the momma, am I right?)
Some are born solid white and will develop their coloring over time.
They were all pretty curious and happy to pose for a portrait.
It’s amazing how aware and careful they are with their horns.
This little one is loving her scrub down. Notice the tongue!
I love her calf bucking in the background. There was a lot of that cuteness going on.
At a couple weeks old, they start munching on little bits of hay.
Look at the little nubs coming out. And I just love those ears!
Inside the calving barn, the family brands grace the wall.
Stay tuned for more. The next stop is with cows that are yet to calve. They were sunbathing by the crick (creek).
We’ve been under a blanket of snow for the past couple of days. I’ve tagged along in the tractor (that is now working) with Patrick to the top of the hill to get bales of hay for the cows. Up top is one of the best views of the entire place. It was pretty cloudy on this particular day and I love how there is a little blue sky peeking through at the top left.
..like somebody left the gate open.
I saw that phrase on the internet captioning a picture of a dog running it’s little heart out with a smile on his face across a meadow. I immediately thought of it when we brought Poco and her filly out of her corral and into the wide open meadows.
This little tike ran…
and ran. She made about 5 circles around Poco and I while we waited for Patrick to get all the gates.
Then she’d check in with her mom….and start it all over again.
Happiness is running like the Wyoming wind in wide open spaces. Happy Friday everyone!
“It howls and haunts
Goes where it wants
It’ll taunt you and get under your skin
No there ain’t no shelter
From the Wyoming wind”
Highways that surround our little town are closed today.
The wind is howling a hurricane force that folks in coastal towns are very familiar with.
The dishes are rattling in the cabinets. Birds can barely make it to the neighboring limb. As soon as a horse or cow gets a bite of grass in their mouth, it blows out as they start to chew.
It’s enough to make you crazy. Really.
So fortunately I can find images on the hard drive that remind me of my peaceful hikes around the ranch.
I remember capturing these cattails on a calm and sunny day a couple weeks ago. The hairless ones look like corn dogs to me. The furrier ones look like cotton candy.
mmmmmm cotton candy.
See, I warned ya… Crazy. Please don’t judge.
Matilda nor the horses would cooperate with my festive mask to honor Fat Tuesday so I posed for the camera this time.
Wishing I was in NOLA celebrating but instead we’ll have pancakes for supper to use up our dairy before fasting and abstaining from meat for Lent begins. Lucky for me, I’m a vegaquarious.
vegaquarious : one who does not eat warmblooded animals, but eats fish.
Happy Mardi Gras!
Nothing much to report on here on the home front. After such a busy week weekend, we’re just licking our wounds and getting ready for the next hurdle – calving. But the calf we do have and colts are doing well, the tractor is fixed, the cows are fat and happy, and the snow has melted into mud.
These shots are of the frost that we had early Sunday morning. I don’t think these images do it justice because the ranch just glittered and sparkled all morning long. Hopefully next time the sun will come out longer to accentuate the icy glitter that covered everything and I can get a few more shots. Sometimes you just have to be there to enjoy the sparkle. All bundled up of course. Brrrrrr.
Who knew a print made by wildlife would take on the shape of a heart. Never noticed it before this weekend but with the soft powder all over the ranch, heart prints are everywhere.
Hope your heart is wild and warm today. Love y’all.
Phew! This was a very eventful and COLD weekend. Like 10 degrees and below cold.
We got our first calf. Ironically from heifer #1, a first time mother on Saturday.
Poco’s filly started eating hay. She would eat a few bites, and then go suckle. So cute!
Yep. Those are icicles on her little ears. It’s THAT cold!
Kate and family had “no comment” and went on to find a spot to lay down.
As if we weren’t cold enough and covered in 5 inches of snow already, we woke up to a our first deep frost of the year on Sunday morning.
So we moved the cows from the pasture across the river…
…to our backyard.
Then Patrick went to feed the bulls a couple pastures over and the tractor broke down.
So we had to tow it back home. Him driving backwards in the working tractor and me steering the broken down tractor. Not easy. And not my favorite adventure thus far.
We walked into the house just before dark. I put a couple more logs on the fire, wrapped up in fleece head to toe, opened a bottle of Chianti, and enjoyed my couch and the Grammy’s.
It snowed yesterday morning, noon, and night and while Patrick checked on the cows across the river, I checked on the horses and heifers close to home. After making my rounds for the third time, I took a break by the Laramie River and captured snowflakes atop the ice. Today we have a beautiful blanket of snow as far as the eyes can see. It’s a gorgeous yet chilly Saturday morning at the homestead.
Have a great day my friends and stay warm!
Snow has been falling since early this morning but isn’t sticking much.
Obviously I can’t keep my eyes or my camera off of Kate and her little one.
But I’m justified in my concern and constant spying.
Patrick couldn’t find our fragile loved one this morning, and neither could her frantic mother and the other horses.
She got herself pinned in a tight spot and when I got the call, I came running and actually hurdled over
the fence to help .
Once we freed her from her confines, Kate whinnied, ran right up to her and they immediately hooked onto one another. The love and bond is so strong with these two. There is always the chance that mom will disown her foal if something rocks the boat.
It was very stressful but everyone is fine and together and momma Leah is watching over them closer than ever. But I’m watching from the window as I recover from that hurdle. I think I pulled something.
Kate had her baby girl yesterday morning as I was reporting to you about Poco and her filly.
We walked up quietly just to check from a distance to make sure mom and baby were well.
She was up and sucking….
…and still learning how to work those long legs.
This bald eagle was circling, I don’t think he posed a threat but he probably smelled the brand new life and was just as curious as we were.
I checked on them later in the afternoon and her nose was covered in milk. Momma seemed tired.
So they both went down for a nap. Good work first time mom.
Kate loves her baby.
So do I.
Wasn’t sure what to expect on day two. February is not ideal for a horse to give birth out here in the low temps but since this wasn’t planned, we leave it up to nature.
I thought I’d find our new colt and her momma inside the barn on her first snowy morning but when I walked up to check on them, they were outside taking it all in.
By afternoon the sun came out and it was a great time for a nap to soak in the warmth.
When she’s about 3 weeks old, we’ll have a good idea what she will look like as a full grown horse. Her color, her build, etc. Right now she’s all legs.
In the evening we separated Kate from the big herd of geldings and mares and put her in the pasture with Crazy Alice and Pepper. They ran her hard until she was fed up and showed them who was boss.
This will be the first time Kate gives birth and when she finally does, we’ll move her in with Poco and the filly.
We had a sweet surprise yesterday afternoon. As I was replying to an email from my dear friend back east that introduced me to Wyoming, Patrick called and said “put your coat on, get on the four wheeler and come to the hillside where we walk the dogs”. I knew exactly where he was talking about so off I went.
When I arrived, I saw her. This itty bitty filly was already standing, still wet and maybe 2 hours old. And folks, this was an unplanned parenthood. About 11 months ago, the neighbors stud got in with 2 of our mares and may have bred them both. We were reassured by many that the horses weren’t cycling and more than likely weren’t bred.
But this little cutie-pie proves everyone wrong.
We gave them a couple hours and noticed that the geldings were kicking each other competing for the attention of the colt and mare. We had to get them separated to calm everyone down. It wasn’t easy but we got them corralled.
Poco 190 and her colt are in their own pin with protection from the cold and wind. Kate has a big belly so we’ll be watching her closely for the next few days. In the meantime, I’ll be having fun taking portraits of our precious little mutt.
I’m not a sports person by any stretch of the imagination but I did enjoy the Puppy Bowl VIII on Animal Planet yesterday. And when the Super Bowl strangely ended up on our TV (I guess Patrick wanted to know the score or watch the sexy commercials) I stepped outside to enjoy the pink and blue Wyoming sunset.
We moved cattle yesterday and separated the heifers (new mother cows) from the cows and now we watch and wait for the babies to drop. The black cows will give birth first and soon and the reds will start in April or so.
The snowfall started yesterday evening and came down all night over the ranch. We are on the outskirts of the storm that is hammering Colorado and it’s been drizzling snow off and on today. There isn’t much accumulation so it’s pretty easy to get around.
I just love the peacefulness of a snowfall. There is something so serene about the clean, white blanket that covers the ground and the only thing I hear is the snow crunching under my boots.
The vultures are circling.
And it’s not because Patrick is another year older today.
But because I have a hard disk crashing.
With guidance from a friend via telephone, I had my head in the computer box for hours yesterday going round and round running tests and replacing parts and still, the drive won’t wake up. So I put it in the freezer and went for a walk. Is it a bad sign that vultures were circling over me the whole time?