I am so excited that the winter ground is transitioning from this…
Winter has been interrupted by the green grass springing up everywhere. This makes me giddy and I’m looking forward to change. Change is good.
I attended the 3rd Annual Wheatland Green Harvest Festival Master Gardens Tour last week. I was so happy to go with my friends Clark and Lynette to discover these hidden gems.
Nancy Munier’s garden was quaint and ever so lovely. She walked us through her minty ground cover, around her pot and container gardens and through a trellis into a small veggie garden.
Next we went to the garden of LeRoy Jons. He has installed a moveable tunnel greenhouse with berries and veggies planted inside. He also has a field of many types of berries and various vegetables. He was kind enough to let us taste the berries. MMM MMM.
Our third stop was the High Tunnel Greenhouse near the fairgrounds Their main objective is to demonstrate the benefits of extending the growing season for vegetable production here in Wyoming. They are having quite the success. The peppers and eggplant are unbelievable.
Taylor Bush is a junior in high school who started his garden 3 years ago. He says it beats having a “real job” so he can have time for school sports. He sells from his home as well as at the Farmers Market every Saturday in downtown Wheatland.
I could have stayed in this oasis all day! Lee and Ellen really do have paradise in their backyard. We loved viewing her overgrown yet lovely greenhouse, fragrant herb garden, and the pond filled with lily pads.
As the sun was going down, we puled into the driveway of Sally Sanchez, owner of the Sybille Canyon Vineyard. I was surprised to learn there is a vineyard in Wheatland. She has approximately 400 plants and is having great success. She says she is selling grapes by the “bucket” to local winemakers.
Click on any of these images to view more images captured from these marvelous gardens. It was very inspiring and who knows, I may try one next year.
Have a great weekend my friends. See you at the market!
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.
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.
Well, the sun came out. And the snow melted away revealing green grass that we have been eagerly awaiting. But the forecast over the next few days isn’t so positive. We’re still being threatened with rain and snow. I’d hate to have the job as a weather person for Wyoming.
Thank you to all of your hilarious comments on my letter to Wyoming. I heard from Massachusetts, Canada, Georgia, The Phillipines, and even Argentina who is just now in their fall creeping up on winter.
MA and Canada, looks like we’re in the same company although Canada, you straightened me up immediately. So sorry for the recent 10 inches that fell. Georgia, I’ll see you in a few weeks in my flip flops doggone it! I also got a response from Wyo saying “No promises until May”. That’s not the first time she’s told me that. So until the blue skies and warmth are consistent, I’ll just peek my head out when I can see the green grass like the mule deer in the image above.
Have a great weekend and I’ll keep the bellyaching to a minimum Canada.
Force horse be with you,
It was 80 degrees with blue skies on Saturday and 30 degrees with fog and snow yesterday. Can you say fickle?
I asked Patrick before I moved out here “So what month do you store your winter clothes and bring out your summer clothes”? He said “Sweetheart, I don’t have that many clothes”. A friend of his told me he doesn’t take off his long handles until late May. And he puts them back on in September. So needless to say, I’ve whittled down my wardrobe considerably since I moved out here.
But I digress.
Since yesterday was so icky, I went through my hardrive and found this image from early summer last year and I noticed that many of my shots contain water. When I hike, I do walk along creeks and streams and hang out by the river a lot. Maybe it’s because my sign is Pisces or like Vickie pointed out on a recent hike, “because there isn’t much water out here. You gotta take it where you can get it.”
I love that the reflection gives the appearance of a fish. And the green, ahh the green. What else can you make of the reflection?
I’m so happy that the color of green is appearing. This pond is near the hay meadows encircled by a jungle of wind fallen trees and tangled willows. It was so quiet except for blue birds chirping and turkey gobbling in the distance.
Hope you are enjoying your first days of spring. And to my friends back east, I assume you are stocking up on allergy medication with all that pollen covering your world. Hang in there. I sneezed a couple times in honor of you this morning.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Waiting for Spring:
I stayed in the house today and worked on print orders for clients back on Georgia. The wind was howling but other than that it was warm and sunny . Got me anxious of what to expect for springtime in Wyoming. Georgia starts spring in mid-march usually. I shot this flower the morning of moving day in my backyard. My front and back yards would sprout a meadow of these little floral weeds and I just loved them. I used my macro lens to capture the dew.
I’m excited to get our flower and veggie garden started out here. Hopefully we’re done with the snow.