“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”
This morning started out no different than most. I awoke thinking of those I love and am forever grateful for; my family, my friends, the loving man of my life, my kitty cat, you guys who loyally tune in to UM. But then, as I stretched and pet Matilda, I looked over and there beside the bed sat a pot of pink daisies. Now I don’t care how typical it is to receive flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day, it melts my heart to know he cares.
Have a great day my friends.
The river is thawing and this dried bouquet on the bank helps me remember spring. We are only entering into February and this winter is already taking it’s toll. Even though I am very thankful for these spurts of warmth in the middle of winter, it makes my desire for spring that much stronger.
Most photographers cringe at the thought of changing lenses because the fear of dust getting on the sensor. But I decided to throw caution to the Wyoming wind and give freelensing a try. Freelensing is a technique where you take photos with your lens not firmly mounted on your camera body. This tilts the focus plane which can also be acheived by lensbabies or shift lenses. But since I don’t have ether of those, I tried this with my 85mm lens and my tired Canon 20D camera just as a test to see if 1) the thing would work, and 2) if I could pull this off. Well, as evidence above it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I like the colors and the softness but technically, I have a long ways to go. The tutorials say it takes a lot of practice but I don’t think I’ll try this at a wedding just yet. However it is an interesting effect without doing a lot of post production in photoshop.
Freelensing works with most Canon cameras, however, with Nikon cameras I’ve read where you should use a lens with an aperture ring.
You can see much better examples and learn more about freelensing here on the freelensing flikr group.
A summer that is hot and oh so dry.
A fuzzy bee landed on a thistle flower as I passed by.
A sneaky beaver in the Laramie River…
…stared me down with his big dark eye. (Do you see his paws under the water?)
The third apple on our apple tree hanging high.
I’m not having a good summer of veggie or fruit production. It’s terrible hot and when it “rains” it’s just a light drizzle, nothing significant.
Oh winter, I look forward to your next visit.
I spotted this cutie yesterday evening when I got home after a busy day in town.
Deer fawns aren’t the only young ones bucking happily through the meadows. Baby antelope are running around here in two’s (the cow usually has twins). This calf was getting ready to stand up because it saw it’s mom and sibling across the road but froze when I pulled up.
The doe has a gash in her front right leg. She seems to be taking good care of her babies but she’s got to be hurting. She could have gotten caught on a fence, gotten kicked, who knows how this happened. But it looks like she’ll heal up and be back to normal soon. They let me get a few shots before taking off.
Have a relaxing Sunday my friends and stay cool. It’s hot out there!
But now the temperature has shifted and clouds have rolled in. The forecast calls for much needed rain and our fingers are crossed that lightning won’t follow. It is sooo dry here that an active storm is simply not what we need.
I’m hoping for a hike this evening but who knows, we may get a dollop of snow. Hey, it’s been known to happen, even in April.
Trailing at sunrise…again. It was a breezy beautiful Thursday morning.
During the fire on Squaw Mountain, Patrick and I, with a little help from a wonderful neighbor and friend, got our cattle out of the meadows on Squaw to the safety of the meadows closer to home.
Now it’s time to truck them to the Laramie Plains to join the rest of the cattle and graze for a couple of months until the calves are shipped to their new owners. These girls have done a lot of re-locating in the past 2 weeks.
The rising sun gave to beautiful silhouettes of Mark and Phil as they crossed the bridge guiding the cattle up the hill.
Once we got closer to the corral, Mark stood guard to make sure the ladies didn’t turn and go the wrong way. They needed to aim for the open gate at the sunburst.
Phil made sure they didn’t run down the fence line. And I… took pictures.
Once we arrived at the plains and loaded the cattle in the corral, we gave them time to mother up and then Mark and Phil led them over the hill to water.
It’s a long drive to the Plains from the ranch and we passed some smoking mountains. Yep, you guessed it. Earlier this week the volunteers were fighting a fire on a section of the plains. Lightning once again created a lot of smoke and flames. I didn’t go to this one so I don’t have much info. Patrick spent a full night and day at the fire until the feds arrived. This thing burned up Pole Mountain and got 50 yards from a ranchers home. Patrick is so ready for snow. I am too, but I’m just not ready for the hurricane winds that comes with it.
We stopped by the South Ranch for the guys to do, well, guy things. Count hay bales, take inventory of machinery, move horses, etc. I did my thing, which as you know, my thang is to find photographs.
This field is covered in Sowthistle. They look like dandelions but they aren’t. They are really sticky and when horses eat them, their mouths are covered in their sticky yellow juice.
Patrick says it’s Rosinweed but it doesn’t look that to me when I look in my Weeds of the West book.
Anyway, the bees like them.
Finally, we got home as the sun was going down. I drove the atv to the house and against the purple sky, I saw a group of bucks roaming the hilltops.
It was a good day and we got a lot done. Now, for a restful weekend…I hope.
Yours till the cow moooooos,
Earth laughs in flowers. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya”
The presence of the Blackeyed Susan means we are in the heart of summer. She’s wild and tall and scattered all over the mountain sides and throughout the meadows.
While she’s busy growing wild and free, I’ve been busy with printing and framing some favorites to hang in the Gilchrist Gallery. We are going to celebrate our one year anniversary next Thursday with a gallery tour, refreshments, and a raffle. I’ll provide more details on that soon. We would love for you to come downtown and meet the artists and enjoy all types of beautiful art by local artists. More exciting news about our gallery coming soon. Stay tuned!
I want to thank you for your kind words in the comments about Shadow. I’m starting to snap out of the blues while keeping busy with photo shoots and print orders.
Quite fittingly for my mood however, storms crept up on us several times last week and during the weekend. While out spraying weeds and looking over one of the pastures, a storm came upon us so fast we barely had time to react. We raced back to the house as fast as the mule (ATV) would go while being pelted with hail and cold, hard rain. We were soaked and shivering and only made it as far as the shop.
I shot these purple clouds right before we took off thinking it was farther away than it really was.
The weatherman says it will be sunny the rest of the week. I sure hope so, we need it.
Still working on my Seasons project, we hiked into an area I hadn’t explored yet. And I could swear I saw Sleeping Beauty in the distance. This forest was absolutely gorgeous like how I imagined as a kid when mom read me fairy tales. But since neither one of us can claim to be Prince Charming, we didn’t go wake her.
The trails were made of wildflowers and green grass.
We passed probably a hundred cocoons waiting for the right moment to release the butterflies.
We sat right here waiting for something that Patrick saw in the distance. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
Two bull Elk were leaving the canyon to climb higher. We were probably 40 feet from them. This is the closest I’ve ever been to Elk in the wild. Their antlers are just now getting started, still in the velvet. We were so close we could see bugs flying around them. It was breathtaking.
But they weren’t as thrilled with seeing us. This one performed a very rude gesture before turning and running up the next hill.
Aside from that, this evening hike turned out to be a very successful shoot.
Saturday was sunny but it quickly turned into rain and hail that evening. It hailed off and on for a couple of hours and then rained throughout the night. It was foggy and misty all of Sunday and our plans for a hike and picnic in the hills were foiled. We were both stir crazy so we put on our rain gear and went for a walk around the ranch.
Dandelions took a beating from the hail.
The grass is green from all of the moisture and the meadows were very boggy.
Sparkly droplets were everywhere…
…like the shiny diamonds of dew on this mustard weed.
The ferocious Wyoming winds blew all day Monday and yesterday morning. I was finally able to take a hike in the hills yesterday and it’s mostly dried out and everything is so green. I think summer is finally here. Maybe. I’ll let you know later this week.
We went to bed last night to the sound of rainfall. It poured all night long. Then this morning, it was eerily quiet.
We pulled the curtains and there they were, big wet blobs of snow falling out of the clouds at a high rate of speed.
Snow? Now? Ugh.
The internet went out, the power blipped, and there was nothing left to do except bake a cake. The snow finally stopped this afternoon. It’s melting away as I type and I’m just hoping that’s the last of the white stuff for a few months. We’ve got calves to brand.
Summer can you hear me? Summer do you see me? Summer can you find me here in Wyoming?
I arrived home yesterday evening to find that Patrick had trimmed up the apple tree and it definitely seems happier. Blossoms are all over now and I wonder if this means we’ll get apples soon. Good ones though. I’ve seen a few rotten ones fall to the ground because the overgrowth has prevented me from getting to the yummy fruit when it’s ripe for the picking.
We’ve got more rain on the way which might mess up our branding schedule for the weekend. But this abundance of precipitation makes the meadows pop with an almost fluorescent green grass and brings out more buds on the trees. It’s getting spring beautiful out here folks!
I’m so glad to be home. We went for an evening hike on Sunday and finally, spring is making an appearance. When I left 2 weeks ago, it was 31 degrees. Now the afternoons are getting close to 80.
Green leaves are popping out of the bare branches.
Little tiny flowers are peeking up through rocks.
And sand lilies are sprouting, becoming ground cover for the mountainous terrain.
Metaphor anyone? Nah, I’m not that deep.
Well, the wind picked up and blew a lot of the fluffy powder away just as expected.
Everything that was buried in 6 inches of snow is now uncovered and the drifts are deep.
But it’s not over yet. There is more where all of this came from. We’re just hoping we don’t have any surprise calves in the next couple of weeks.
We enjoyed a quiet weekend at home on the range. I hope you had a good one.
The cattle have thawed out, the snow is slowly melting, and the grocery store had fresh cut daffodils on Friday.
Patrick bought me ten stems and they are beautifully dressing up the dining room and kitchen.
Forgive me if another photograph of flowers bores you, I just need to spruce up this gray and very windy Monday.
Some days a girl just needs a flower. Today is that day for me.
It’s beautiful outside with blue sunshiny skies. But the wind is blowing so hard and fast it hurts my eyes and ears. No wandering about the ranch today so I shall share a flower from the archives.