Summer is upon us. The bugs are out.
And so are the buzztails.
I shot and killed my first rattlesnake yesterday at the chicken food bowls. This was a first for me. Patrick usually kills them but I was by myself this time. I am very thankful for my neighbor who came over to chop off his head and pinch the rattle off for me as a souvenir. Never ever thought I would say this but now that I’ve gone from city girl to country girl, I will forever carry a gun when I go out to do chores. Gotta keep the chickens, ducks, goats, and myself safe out here in the wild west!
But with the ugly comes the beauty that is Wyoming.
I’m so glad the critters and I are are safe and sound and can go back to enjoying the wild flowers and green grass. That is until the next slithering reptile comes and interrupts a perfectly fine morning.
Be safe and well my friends!
Have a great weekend my friends! Go out and make great memories. xoxo
After the branding, the drive through the hills was a lovely one. The sun was out and the wind had settled down.
Indian Paintbrush, the Wyoming state flower, lined our path.
We saw so many patches of the wild state flower among the mustard weed, wild iris, and sagebrush. It was a lovely sight and a pleasant aroma.
We were delighted to have time in our hectic schedule to make it to a branding this year. We got the invite and jumped in the Ranger for the half hour trek through the hills to the neighbors corrals.
It started out overcast, cold and windy. The cowboys set out across the pasture with me in tow. In an atv of course. I have quickly learned that if I want to shoot, it’s best I don’t mount a horse and try to do both at the same time. I’m not the best multi-tasker.
It’s a good thing I had the atv because I had to pick up a little sickly calf along the way. He just couldn’t make the trail. We treated him and he’ll be fine in no time. Just a touch of an upset tummy.
A few little ones got out of the sorting pen so a couple guys had to rope them back in.
The clouds parted by mid-morning and it warmed up nicely.
While the babies mothered up after getting their hides burned, we all enjoyed a nice meal with old friends and made new friends. Brandings are not just about the calves, but about neighbors, friendship, and laughter after a busy calving season. It also means now they all go out to new pasture for the summer and graze until their hearts (and bellies) are content. Ahh… the circle of life.
Two storms came through yesterday afternoon and dumped a bunch of the wet stuff on the thirsty ground. The sagebrush is very fragrant after showers like this, it’s so soothing. Reminds me of just one of the reasons I fell in love with Wyoming.
We are warming up and the grass is green and tall. After scouting out shooting locations at our future residence, I took a walk through the cows. Some were relaxing under the shade of a young cottonwood, others were grazing the tasty new blades, and the calves were out cold for their afternoon naps.
Amid the tall grass stood beautiful purple irises.
I love springtime. It means it’s the start of good things to come. I can feel it.
We are not sure what to make of the ducks that brazenly stalk us at the screen door every morning. What isn’t shown here is the size of her tail. It is puffed up twice as big as it’s normal size and I can’t help but smile as she so earnestly protects her lady that feeds her.
The hills are alive with the color green. As it should be for this time of year. It has cooled off with a little rain here and there and leaves are finally appearing. Such a happy sight. The chickens are happy too, especially because bugs are starting to crawl and hop.
We’ve gone from record low to record high temps in the past two weeks of our springtime. It is so hot today, I went out to mist the ducks and chickens (and myself) with the water hose. Feels like my days in Georgia.
Just thought I’d share some of my favorite loving mother images from the past.
Hope you lovely mothers all have a wonderful day. Wishing you all the best. xoxo
Every Mother’s Day I like to reflect back on this post from a couple of years ago, Remembering Mom.
This is Crackerjack. We enjoyed a Wyoming sunset together yesterday. He has four friends who may or may not appear on this blog. Goats are busy-bodies which makes for a difficult portrait session. But for this brief moment, we admired the mountains and sunshine before tucking in for the night.
While it pours down rain today (yay!), I am getting settled into our summer home and decided I should clean off my camera cards. I thought I’d share one final wintery image with you of red-winged blackbirds perched on the fence outside my office window. This was shot during our last heavy snow (just 6 days ago). At least there is a splash of color there. That red wing was the only color we saw for a couple days.
I’m hoping for the color green to pop up soon. We’re getting some incredible moisture here lately and I’m ready for some new life to our earth out here!
So thankful to see some color on my drive to town. The golden willows and green grass are quite happy with the snowy drinks they have received over the past couple of months. The big blue sky is a sight for sore eyes. Now for blossoms and blooms…how I hope to see them soon!
How confused I am to see you in such a state.
I guess we could say “what a lovely winter we are having this spring”.
Howdy! During the last month or so I’ve learned that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s learning to dance in the rain. Or snow in our case. We have survived incredible blizzards and stormy conditions over the last few weeks.
I don’t believe I’ve seen this much snow in the 3 years that I’ve lived here. And certainly not in the month of APRIL. It was such a whiteout that I couldn’t see where I was going and could barely keep the wheels turning on the four wheeler.
Let me introduce you to Polaris tracks aka, life-saver. Our gracious neighbors let us use this so that we could get things done around here.
What does one have to do in such ferocious conditions you may ask? Well, feed cows for one thing, but I’d like to update you on the changes to the Uprooted Magnolia and the Cowboy. First, you must endure these images like we have endured living through this. Keep in mind, in most places it was knee-deep and in some spots, it was up to my waist. I’m average height.
We were snowed in. But the determined and very responsible cowboy HAD to leave the ranch in order to get his cows and calves fed on the meadows at the bluffs.
As we busted through drifts, snow piled up on the hood and we could barely see our exit.
Then we just couldn’t see anything at all.
So we (Patrick) stopped to clean the snow build-up off the hood and convince ourselves (me) to go further. But what did I do? While Patrick observed the road conditions, I took pictures of the snowed in ranch.
Once we got 6 miles out of the ranch the roads were good and we made it to the bluffs to feed the hungry cows. They were glad to see us. As you can see, they weren’t getting any grub underneath all that snow.
Sunsets over a snow blanketed pasture are always a calming sight.
One of the snowy evenings I saw the turkeys roosting in the trees behind our house.
So now the snow has melted, the skies are clear and the sun has set on our days at Dakota Ranch.
The ranch has been sold to a new owner and Patrick and I are moving on. But moving our home in this springtime blizzard was extremely challenging. Challenging in so many ways.
For the next couple of months we will stay in the hills of Southeast Wyoming and are excited about where life will take us. Some wonderful friends have opened their home to us while they live 80 miles away for the summer. My days are filled with caring for chickens, ducks, goats, a fuzzy pooch, and of course Matilda. My calendar is once again filling up with photo shoots and we are getting settled in to our routine for this spring and summer. We will continue working hard for our new home. This has been a huge year for change, and it’s only April. What else will we conquer? Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be a lot of new adventures.
*Hugs* ~ Leah
Did I mention the whiteout blizzard we had last week? Unbelievable for April, in my humble opinion, but we are so grateful for the moisture. Matilda enjoyed the sunshine from inside her warm house while I waded through knee-deep snow to get chores done.
I couldn’t see the road this morning when I headed out to do chores. I made my own in a few spots.
This lovely lady was scrounging for breakfast.
It isn’t very cold. The water in the irrigation ditch isn’t frozen but the buildup of snow is almost up to my knees and it’s still coming down as I type this to you this morning.
White caps on the river rocks.
So is this what the month of April is going to bring from now on?
I was lied to. I was told that turkeys aren’t very aggressive in the cold, much less in snow. Well, when a gobbler wants what he wants, no spring blizzard is going to keep him down.
Click on the picture or go HERE to see more pictures of turkey’s courting their hens who, by the way, seem less than interested in them.
Hope you have a great start to your week. We are off to feed the cows again in the falling snow.
I like the gnarly shadows. Happy Friday!