I am over the moon excited, thrilled, and honored to be featured on Freshly Pressed yesterday.
I’ve been photo blogging for about a year and have enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you WordPress. Thank you to everyone who is visiting, commenting and subscribing. I am overwhelmed.
Happy New Year everyone! I would like to Thank YOU for a successful first year of blogging. The loyal viewership, you my friends, has been outstanding. I just hope I’m able to hold your interest for years to come.
And if 2011 is anything like the cow story I will share with you tomorrow, I think you’ll want to stick around.
Love ya’ll! ♥ Leah
The cows are spending the summer on the Laramie Plains and we go check on them from time to time. I use the term “we” loosely because Patrick goes way more often than I do. But I like to think I do some good on these trips. Hey, I’ve got cows eating cake right out of my hands remember? Anywho, we see a lot of wildlife in this wide open space and I can’t help but share some of the beauty with you once again.
The cows were happy to see us. They gobbled up the salt and mineral. They look really good and tubby out there.
The bulls were not so happy to see us. They never are.
But it didn’t stop them from attempting to get their groove on.
Patrick spotted these guys as I got out of the truck to open a gate.
And I almost stepped on these. Thank goodness Patrick saw them before I became Godzilla and destroyed their town and family.
As we were leaving, we finally spotted our first state flower of the year. You know it’s summer when you finally see Indian Paintbrush.
This guy needed to check us out before we went through his gate. We said hello and went our separate ways.
It was a good day.
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 took a quick drive to Nebraska for a barbecue on July 4th. We weren’t there long but we had enough time to fish and hunt elk. By fish I mean with a fly-rod. Patrick taught me how to fly-fish. I caught a few too! And by hunt elk of course I mean with my camera. I have never been this close to elk unless it’s hanging on someone’s wall. Out in the hills around the ranch where we live, I will see them way off in the distance and usually it’s just their rear-end getting the heck away from us. But on this trip, we located them at sunset and sunrise. They posed for us and it was incredible.
Click this image for some close-ups of elk in the velvet.
Click this image to see the area and insects that hopped and fluttered around us while we fished in the ponds that were FULL of bass. We spent time with Patrick’s Uncle Rich and his lovely gal and her two kids. Storms would creep up on us and quickly move along which created great conditions for the fish to bite.
Needless to say we had a great time. Thanks Uncle Rich!
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 was my view ALL morning long.
And then this. I had to get away from the rear-ends for a while.
Then, and only for a moment, my view became this.
But then back to the cows. We’re trailing them from the Bealy to the Harris for new pasture.
The haze in these 2 images is dust from sheet grass. When we were done, we were covered from head to toe in this dust.
This bull strayed away from the heard so John had to round him up and bring him back to the ladies.
It took a long time, it was hot and the ladies were not happy with that long trail. But I hope they appreciate where we took them. They gotta love this grass!
I love this pasture. The locals can’t believe we’re looking at grass so green in July. So hot, but so beautiful.
Do you know where your cowboy will be?
While I’m sawing logs, mine will be baling hay.
He waits until the dew is just right on his already 80 acres of cut hay and then bales it into round bales. Being on top of the moisture measurement prevents mildewed hay. Round bales do best to keep mildew at it’s lowest but some ranchers make square bales. Those are best for stacking and transporting for selling.
I’ll take him some lunch mid-morning. I might find him sleeping in the tractor. I’ll keep you posted.
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.
On Fathers Day, it seemed only appropriate to gather the bulls from the distant meadows to eventually put them in with the cows. The calves are growing up so it’s time to make new ones. We don’t want the cows to suffer from empty nest syndrome now do we? On this particular day, the bulls were quite agreeable and didn’t give us much trouble at all.
They marched through the meadows like good soldiers. Except for the occasional snort and kicking of dirt, it was a slow and easy process.
It took a little convincing but they made it through the gate without any hassle.
They stopped for a quick snack of flowering yucca weed.
And they made the turn into the corral nice and easy. But this was only the first set of bulls that needed gathering.
The next day we released the bulls with the cows for a little flirting and baby making.
Fast forward to yesterday when it was time to get the last of the bulls. I thought hey no big deal, just like earlier in the week, we’ll get them right in no problem. Well, I was terribly mistaken. These guys were a lot feistier than the previous group. The fighting started almost immediately.
It got rougher and tougher as time went on.
We started to worry that they might drown. They kind of look like hippos don’t they?
They started to slow it down and just stood head to head in a definite power struggle.
This guy was getting sick of the fighting too. He just stood there bellowing trying to beak them up.
Once they got out of the water, it started all over again.
We did get them into the corral and they will be placed with the cows eventually. It’s a good thing, they need to release that testosterone and fast!
Who knew I’d end up being the photographer at his wedding 16 years later.
My brother became a father in December 2008 to the most beautiful baby in the world. I knew he’d be a good dad because he is a great big brother to me.
Joey loves his daddy. He looks just like him too.
Happy Father’s Day fellas. Miss you and love you. Hope you are having a marvelous day. xoxo
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.
But the real preciousness came when we saw a turkey in the drive snuggling her little ones. She quickly got up before I could get a picture of them and they escaped into the tall grass.
If you look closely, you can see the babies following the leader.
In all we saw 6 broods with their mother hens. They are already flying over the tall grass and we hope they all make it. Those evil coyotes are always on the hunt.
Happy Hump Day my friends!
We’ve been in Nevada for a few days for the high school graduation of Patrick’s nephew Kaleb. It was a windy yet beautiful drive through Wyoming. Salty, humid and hilly through Utah. Dry desert through Nevada. A 10 hour drive and I loved every minute.
Kaleb graduated 3rd in his class. Such a smart and kind young man. I enjoyed meeting him and his friends.
Our drive home was great until we got back into Wyoming. Storms were brewing all around us.
Sheets of rain were blanketing the meadows and farmlands.
We drove as hard as we could but were not successful at outrunning the storm.
And WAM! Suddenly we were caught in a massive hail storm on highway 34. Have you ever been inside a car when hail is pounding so hard you can’t hear what the person next to you is saying? If you have, you know what I’m talking about. Frightening.
We made it home safely just before it started pouring down at the ranch. We slept so good to the sound of rain I barely remember my head hitting the pillow.
We were invited to a couple of brandings in early May. Yes, you’ll see a lot of Patrick on horseback, you know I can’t resist. But if you were wearing a cowboy hat, you were also focused on closely.
The weather, as I’ve stated before, is so unpredictable out here. I got sunburned at Tom’s on the 5th and we froze our fannies off at the Smalls’ on the 7th. Go figure.
Click the images below to view the gallery of each of these 2 brandings.
To those brave women and men who serve, shed blood, and have died for our freedom, We Salute You.
This evening Patrick called on his way home from the South Ranch wanting me to make his favorite snack, “a shiver” he says. “You mean a smoothie sweetheart”?
So tonight we made Very Berry Patriotic Smoothies.