“Umpteen thousand acres and they have to run in the middle of the road!” says every rancher in Wyoming.
I finally got to walk on water.
Well, actually, we walked across the frozen river. Patrick went to crank up the tractor and while it was warming up, we walked over to the river. Notice the deer tracks on the frost on top of the ice.
I mentioned in Below Zero about the deer having to break ice to get a chilly sip. Well by golly, they busted through and have a hole to drink from.
At a different part of the river where the horses and some cattle are grazing, Patrick had to drive over the river a couple times with the tractor to get it busted out. It didn’t break close enough to the edge and I watched while the younger horses tried to walk on the ice to that hole. It was a funny sight watching them slip and slide but they finally gave up and waited for the tractor to go over it again. Rat found a little hole to sip out of in the meantime.
During calving time, we say “uh oh she’s all brushed up, she’s up to something, better go check it out”. This means she’s hiding in the brush most likely giving birth, about to give birth or has already given birth and doesn’t want to be bothered. Well, I’ve been “all brushed up” for over a week now. NOT giving birth, let’s keep that straight, but working on restyling leahyetter.com, archiving last years work on a new harddrive, processing images for my bestie and getting nervous about an old harddrive that is knocking on heaven’s door as I type this. It’s been very cold outside so it’s a good time to hide indoors, feed logs to the fire and work work work. I did go out for a hike when it warmed up to about 30 degrees and saw this doe all brushed up.
Anyway, I’ll be back here soon with some beauties I photographed before the new year. Patrick and I went for a hike in the hills and stumbled upon a herd that I dream about. Stay tuned. xoxo
The rut is a time period, usually during late fall, when deer, elk, and other species from the deer family breed. The buck will chase after many does for weeks, with barely eating. The buck has one thing on his mind at this time of the year, and that is to find as many does as he can. The rut can take its toll on these guys; they are definitely worn out by the end of the breeding season.
We interrupted a handsome, thick necked mule deer buck courting a doe. Her yearling and a few more young bucks were hanging around peeking over the rocks at us too. We quickly moved on after a couple of portraits.
He is definitely rutting. Just check out that neck. Hope he takes good care of himself. He’s a handsome fella.
This guy strutted his stuff across the front yard this morning. I told him to lay low because hunting season is right around the corner. I’d like to see him stick around for another year.
Isn’t he handsome?!
Earlier this summer, Peekaboo Fawn caused a ruckus in the meadow.
A cute ruckus I must add.
With a glance to her right, she took off to her left like something was after her.
Turns out she was after something. Chasing turkeys was the name of the game. While mom was grazing, Peekaboo was nipping at the gobblers while they were feasting on bugs.
She stalked and harassed them like a cat hunts a mouse.
She’d get down low, wiggle her booty then jump in the air running them all in different directions.
She’d give them a break…
…and then go at them again. This went on for several minutes until she heard my quiet giggles.
Her curiosity led her closer to me.
We stared at each other for a little while and then she took off to play, er um, to harass the turkeys until bedtime.
Here’s hoping you make room in your day for a little fun. It’ll put a smile on your face every time.
The grass is golden,the leaves are falling and the air is cooling. Autumn is quickly approaching!
I hope your Monday is a calm and cool one.
We took a road trip recently traveling through back roads of Wyoming and into Colorado.
And wouldn’t you know we saw a momma moose and her calf.
They were distracted by something else and didn’t pay much attention to us. We kept our distance anyhow.
We drove off, made our way around the corner and there was another one all brushed up in the willows.
This was my first sighting of a moose and it was super cool to watch them move so gracefully around the land and in the tall brush.
A few moose facts:
-Moose are the largest of all the deer species.
-The flap of skin that sways beneath each moose’s throat is known as a bell
-Their hooves act as snowshoes to support themselves in soft snow and in muddy or marshy ground.
-Moose are at home in the water and, despite their staggering bulk, are good swimmers.
-Females give birth to one or two calves in the spring—each weighing some 30 pounds.
-Calves grow quickly and can outrun a person by the time they are just five days old.
(Thanks for the info NatGeo!)
We’re all riding out this heat wave together.
We’ve had 100 plus degree days the past couple weeks and we’re wiped out.
But we’re smiling…
…because we’ve been blessed with another day in paradise. ♥
My little Peekaboo Fawn is a whitetail deer fawn.
Here is a shaggy little mule deer fawn. This is my first sighting of one.
Grazing right by the road isn’t the smartest of ideas.
Thankfully, his big ears heard momma’s snort in the distance and he took off to her. Still got some learnin’ to do.
Oh, but don’t we all.
Now you see me.
Now you don’t.
I feel so lucky that this little fawn and it’s mother have taken up residence in the front meadow.
Have a wonderful weekend my friends.♥
We had a hard rain yesterday. And with a hard rain comes lightning strikes causing more fires. Colorado has it way worse than we do but we are fighting our share.
Patrick and I trailed cattle on horseback yesterday morning and could smell the smoke the entire time.
Once the sun came out after the rain yesterday evening, the smog over the hills was so thick.
But on to happier thoughts, the bucks are growing their antlers and are still in the velvet.
Just look at this happy family.
We had a staring contest. I won because they took off quickly after I shot this. Bambi and father ran together for a while until they found mom again.
She stood so still while watching me walk down the dirt road. I think she thought I didn’t see her.
Little does she realize, I captured her forever.
I spotted our little fawn a few mornings ago hopping and frolicking in the tall grass by the house.
Bambi would quickly check in with mom for a bath…
…and a scrub behind the ears.
There is always time for a suckle.
She spotted me on the porch so she told the little one to take off and hide for the day.
Bambi is getting bigger so traveling with mom is happening more and more. I’ve seen them by the river and in the meadows further out. But she does check in beside the house every once in a while. Such peaceful beauty just outside the front door makes my heart melt.
I hope this mid-week case of motherly love helps you get through the week. We’ve had our fair share of fires and then wind in the form of funnels so we sure could use some comfort from mother nature… for the rest of the summer please ma’am.
So, remember my last post, Misty Morning? Well, the first shot of that setting had a little something extra in it. I thought it was a bunny and I actually posted the second shot in the series without thinking much more about it. Then I looked at that first shot again.
I looked at the calendar and called Patrick over to my computer with this shot zoomed in.
“That’s not a bunny sweetheart. That’s our first whitetail fawn”.
The next morning I saw her with her baby. This little one was born the day before, in that misty morning and I had the privilege to see her a little closer, just this once.
I’d love to get a closeup like my fearless friend Melissa did recently on a fawn hunt.
But that night I saw on the news that a woman came between a cow elk and her calf and was trampled to near death.
I’ll probably go on a hike soon, when the ranch work slows down, and hope for a closer shot like hers but in the meantime, my heart just melts over her fawn portraits.
A serene fog is hanging over the ranch this morning. So still, so peaceful.
I hope you have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend and please remember those who have served and who still serve our country. For love of country they accepted death… -James A. Garfield
An evening drive yesterday went from sunshine and warmth to blowing snow to overcast to sunny, all in one climb. When we reached the top of this hill, we saw young rams grazing and then they went over to climb the next hill.
We made our way down toward the river and we saw a large group of mule deer running up the hillside.
“My, what big ears you have!”
Happy first day of Spring my friends!
Round and round. The circle of life continues.
I forget how stressful calving can be. I’ve only been at this, and mostly in the background, for 2 years but here in my third year I’m more involved. Everyone so far is doing great but our calf from the first heifer is struggling. She unfortunately is not able to mother her calf. She loves him, she hums to him, but her milk has blood in every quarter and it is making him very sick. So two nights ago we took him from her. Awful experience, but it was a necessary move to keep him alive. Patrick tubed him with colostrum that he had in the freezer and yesterday I tried to feed him milk through a bottle. He just wouldn’t suck and was completely uninterested. So Patrick had to basically sit on him and force feed him to get his belly full. I’ve never seen a calf not eat! I bottle fed a couple bum calves last year and they would back me into a corner sucking on that bottle! So this morning Patrick went down there and heard him bellowing loudly. Turns out he is hungry but because he did not start off sucking when he was born, he doesn’t suck the bottle very well. He’s special we’ve decided and have hopes that we’ve turned a corner today.
On a different note, Crop Ear made it through another winter!
I’ve seen in her these past few evening by the river as we go check on the calves and cows. She’s part of our family and I’m always happy to see her when she visits.
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.