When I moved to Wheatland back in March, I took this picture and titled it Bridge to Paradise. It was posted in Uprooted Magnolia, the beginning (before I moved the blog to WordPress). Anyway, it is the bridge that carries us over the Laramie River and leads me to my new home.
In June when the Laramie River was raging, Patrick had to take a chainsaw to the buck fence to keep debris from taking it and the bridge down.
Recently, with some help from Ron and Debbie, they were able to put it back up and it looks even better than before. At this time, it is surrounded by beautiful sunflowers and sage brush, and the river flows peacefully underneath.
Now this is Paradise.
We had a nice time at The Vinyud and I always enjoy getting home and back into a regular routine after a vacation. Oh who am I kidding, there’s no regular routine around here. But smelling the manure and sage again is comforting and puts a smile on my slightly sun soaked face.
Even the clouds and hills welcomed us home with a smile.
Summertime is covered in dragonflies out here in the country. My little blue friend greeted me on the porch while I sipped my coffee the morning after we arrived home. He was happy to see the camera again.
We were also welcomed with another double rainbow . We took an evening drive for groceries and the town was lit up with this colorful streak of light in the sky.
There really is no place like home.
work work work. From sun up to sun down, the chores must be done.
We’re baling and stacking hay at the main ranch these days. Patrick drives the tractor. I drove the truck and trailer full of hay bales yesterday.
The head ditch needed cleaning from beaver and flood clogging. It’s time to get water flowing into the meadows to grow a second cut of hay.
I can’t go on without mentioning that we dodge buzztails regularly.
Putting shoes on the horses can be challenging. I think I was more in the way than helpful but Patrick got them done successfully. The rocks out here are tough on their hoofs and shoes are necessary for an evening ride through the hills.
Then sometimes we get to watch the moon rise over the meadow,
and through the trees.
That is only if we’ve finished the days chores and if we haven’t fallen asleep face first into our dinner plate.
This morning was cloudy but being greeted by this lovely, wild sunflower made up for the overcast sky. They are sprouting up all over town now. I even saw some growing through the cracks along the outside of the grocery store. And to think I was lucky to have one mini sunflower to bloom out of an entire seed packet in my garden in Georgia.
These twin fawns and their momma bedded down in the meadow out front.
But now that the grass is short, they’ll need to find a new location. And they will, in the meadow just over the next fence. I’m sure we’ll see them again.
I raced inside before the storm clobbered the house. Patrick was driving a tractor over from the South Ranch and made it in a little over an hour. It was still sprinkling so I went out to meet him at the shop and drive him home when I gasped, probably swallowed a bug or something. But there it was, a beautiful and vibrant rainbow. Then I realized it was a double rainbow. The further I drove, I could see it from one end to the other.
I sped past him and the shop yelling,” look at the rainbows! I’ll be right back!”
I didn’t go looking for a pot of gold or anything. It was a treasure in itself to sit and watch the clouds move out and the rainbow fade away. This was my kind of Saturday evening.
We were in Nebraska for a barbecue Saturday evening and I’ve got some great images to share with you soon. We didn’t go to any of the fireworks shindigs but we did have beautiful color in the sky at the ranch this evening. Sunsets are always a treat out here. It was lovely.
This isn’t a post about one of the greatest albums of all time by Joni Mitchell, although it is one of my favorites.
I was visited by this dragonfly today and I felt like sharing some images of blue.
The Mule Shoe Ranch on the way to town has peacocks out to keep traffic slow around there. I love being greeted by them while coming or going from the ranch.
One thing I enjoy doing with my blue-eyed cowboy is take the hounds (blue-tick and walker) out for a stroll under the blue evening sky.
And then we have Patrick’s hands when he gets home from spraying weeds with a vibrant blue dye. Steering wheels and door knobs mysteriously turn blue during this time as well.
It’s twice it’s width and 3 times or more it’s depth and the Laramie River is still a beautiful sight.
It rose rapidly yesterday evening. Patrick took down the buck fence to prevent debris from taking down the bridge in case the water rose high enough. It was good that he did because we sat and watched huge logs and trees float rapidly down and bump into the bridge before making their way underneath. Limbs could have gotten tangled in the fence and wreaked havoc on the entire bridge.
While we sat quietly enjoying the nice weather and watching our beloved bridge, we had some visitors. Down the drive came a doe and her fawns.
And next came a hen waddling out from the tall grass. We watched them for a while then decided to head out back to check that part of the river.
The water crept up quite a bit into the road. Where Patrick is standing is where I stood the day before to photograph the rapids. It was dry land then.
We’re told that no more water will be released but the river will probably be this high for at least a week if not longer. In all it has risen 2,750 cubic feet.
Wyoming has had a large amount of rain and spring runoff this year so far. That said, the rivers are so full that the water management has released water from the reservoir in the small town of Bosler. Yesterday they released 900 cubic ft and today they plan on releasing another 2,000.
We went out in our mud boots to check on things yesterday evening. These are views from the bridge leading into the ranch.
The water is only about a foot or 2 from reaching the bridge. We’ll check this evening but we’re nervous about losing it. There is already one road closed because of flooding.
This is the river behind the house where we cross the cows to graze more meadows.
Usually this river is a peaceful little stream lazily flowing over the rocks and around the bends. Now we have crashing waves and buried willows and trees.
This is pretty common back east but out here, we’re used to a dry climate. Fortunately, it’s nothing like the flash floods that are going through in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
Happy Hump Day my friends!
The weatherman said we were going to be riding out thunderstorms and high wind today. Boy was he wrong. It has been a gorgeous day. I had a lovely morning walk, baked a macaroon pie, and for a little while stood and watched these golden beauties frolic all over the yard. They would fly from tree to fence to grass and then soar over the roof of the house. They even got close enough for a portrait or 3.
After a restless night of the power going off and on continuously, I awoke this morning after dreaming of the ocean. I heard the sound of waves crashing and the sun was warming my face. But lo I was in my bed, the sun was rising and the wind was whipping at 78 mph. Today, here in the hills of Wheatland, we hear the sounds of the beach. Except there isn’t any salty moisture in the air or any bright colored swimsuits being worn. Shoot, I can’t even keep a hat on.
I have to laugh at my eager attempt at a morning walk. It just can’t be done today.
Guess I’ll play wii sports for my daily workout. Big thanks to my Georgia friends who got me a wii specifically for days like this.
This morning it was time to gather the cattle to move them to a new meadow. I took the lead in the Rhino and Patrick and Shadow, the cow dog, brought up the rear on foot. I had cake in the back so they were more than happy to follow me.
It was a beautiful morning with blue skies, lots of sunshine and very low winds.
We got them across the river and into the meadow and it was time for cake. When Patrick isn’t looking, I’m spoiling them.
OOPS! He spotted me and grabbed the camera.
Their tongues and rougher than kitty tongues. But they are gentle when they eat from my fingers.
The last of the calves are entering the meadow. We’ll check tomorrow for any stragglers that didn’t run with the herd.
Next it was time to repair the fences in this meadow. You can spot the Ranch back there with the green roof.
We fenced for a couple of hours, turned around and could no longer see the Ranch. Only a storm coming our way. We high-tailed it back to the house.
I spotted these tiny flowers along the way. If you know what this is, will you let me know?
We got home covered in snow. It only lasted a few minutes before the sun came back out and continued to be a beautiful day.
Oh my gosh. John and Debbie at the South Ranch have the cutest little Border Collie puppies and a few of them are there for the purchasing. I think a couple are spoken for but there’s plenty to go around. They are sweet and cuddly and if I was a dog person, I’d take them home for myself in a heartbeat. But we have enough animals to feed so the answer is a unanimous “no”!
They will sniff you ’til the cows come home.
I know you want to bring one home. Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I’m sure she’d love a cuddly wuddly puppy. Leave me a comment with your email if you’re interested.
Raging winds whipped through Wheatland all day yesterday. On my way home from a shoot yesterday evening I watched the clouds change as fast as I turned the corners. I had to stop and capture this one.
When I pulled into our drive, I got out of my cozy car with Bob Dylan blaring “Hurricane” , to place panels over the cattle guard that keeps the cows where they need to be. The wind pushed me right into the panels and into the dirt and manure. I recovered quickly, no biggie, and parked my car in the drive. I gathered my equipment in one arm load and our dinner for the night, a large veggie pizza from Pizza Hut, in the other hand. Patrick was holding the door open with a big smile welcoming me home when a huge gust of wind ripped the pizza right out of my hand and into the dirt and manure. It laid there face down, like me a few minutes prior, while tears started to stream down my face. This was the icing on top of a very long day. I have obviously not adjusted to dealing with the wind, but I’m not discouraged. I’m still learning.
There was a little snow today but it didn’t stick. It’s hard to say when the last snow falls around here, it varies from year to year. Usually it doesn’t fall this late but you never know. It was chilly and windy so I stayed inside and watched movies. At sundown I joined Patrick in the shop to help clean up and take out the trash. It was a nice and mostly uneventful day.
There has been a steady rainfall here since Wednesday. The cows are wet and grumpy.
I’m not so grumpy because when the sun finally comes out, there will be some beautiful green landscapes to photograph.
Patrick has to watch over the irrigation ditches and create dams in the river so we don’t have a flood.
The water is high and the Laramie River is rushing. It is beautiful.
The wind is howling tonight and snow is in the forecast. Looking forward to what Saturday has in store.