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.
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.
You know it’s cold when you spot a one-legged gobbler perched high on a cottonwood limb.
It snowed all day yesterday and the 6 or so inches already on the ground soaked in. We needed that. It doesn’t bring us out of the brutal drought we are in, but anything helps at this point. We still have some snow on the ground and apparently more wet weather is on the way. It’s a little inconvenient but we aren’t complaining.
We drove off the ranch yesterday to head to the bluffs to check on Patrick’s cows. We branded them this weekend and took them to new pasture and then bam, a blizzard hits when we least expect it. And that’s just tough on the sweet baby calves.
Snow was still falling by evening and blowing across the road.
When we got there, they seemed very spry and excited to see us.
We got out and looked everybody over. They were a little frosty but everyone looked good and healthy.
But looking over the pasture, there wasn’t much grass peeking through and nowhere for them to lay down to be protected from the cold ground. That’s where we come in. Patrick attached 2 chains to the pickup and the hooks on the other end locked into the hay bale so I could pull it off the stack.
We dragged it over to the cows and Patrick got out to cut the strings.
The girls were a little impatient! I backed the truck up unrolling the bale while Patrick helped to pitch off the hay to them. When the bale got smaller, I stopped the pickup and jumped out to help. We pushed the bale and rolled it into the trees so they had something warm to lay on and be protected from the wind.
By the time we were leaving, the calves made their bed on the fresh hay while their mothers were chowing down.
Warm and toasty. Well, not really. But at least they are covered in leather!
We checked on them at about 5 this morning and they still had a lot of hay left and the entire herd was bedded down on the hay. They looked good, just a little cold. We’ll roll out another bale this evening for them to help them get through this crazy weather. At least the sun has finally come out. That should warm them up a bit.
Just another day in paradise y’all!
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 enjoy waking up to the gobble gobble of turkey mating season. In fact, the gobblers have been my alarm clock lately. They are pretty reliable believe it or not.
They didn’t want to walk across the bridge. Flying seemed like a better idea.
I guess there are times in life when walking just isn’t good enough. You’ve got to spread your wings, fluff your feathers and fly on over to that greener pasture. I can relate.
Over the weekend our local art guild, in which I am a member of, went on a barn tour through our small town. We visited barns built in the 1930′s or earlier. It was such a cold and windy day but we powered through and really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see the paintings that the artists will create from their snapshots. Below are a few of my favorites and you can see the whole tour and descriptions of the barns on my website by clicking HERE.
Remember the big brown eye on the last post? Well, this is his big nose sniffing through!
In a barn built in 1881 made of limestone and mule shoes, a peeping pony asked to be petted.
(I had title block so today’s title credit goes to my dear friend Jessica W in my hometown of Macon,GA. Thank you friend. Your print is in the mail. xoxo)
This little trio has been running wild around the pasture. They are the oldest of all the calves so while the younger ones stick close to momma, these three are gaining some independence. Pretty fun watching them grow up.
The title may sound like names of pets but really I’m describing the month of March in Wyoming.
This might be the most unpredictable month for weather in Wyoming.
Wednesday was the first official day of spring and we started out with a sparkly layer of frost on the deck.
The sky dramatically changed midday and stayed deep blue until sunset.
We never got any moisture from all of those storm clouds. So very disappointing.
But the river is always a beautiful view any time of the year. Drought or no drought.
The weather is sweetening up and an evening stroll with the hounds-man and his hounds was just what the doctor ordered. I have to hang back as to keep from tripping over their happy feet and the multitude of rocks.
This is the first of our cows to calve. The calf I showed you last month was born to a heifer (a first time mother cow).
Yesterday I got back from doing chores and could tell that this experienced cow-momma had a belly ache. She had separated herself from the herd and nested by the fence. She was up and down, ringing her tail, arching her back and pushing hard. This lasted for two solid hours. Poor lady. The whole time I kept my eye on her I was cheering her on quietly but thanking the heavens this wasn’t me. It was a struggle but she finally dropped him on his head, stimulated him with licks and when I left her, she was helping him get to his feet to suckle.
I love this time of year.
I love this view of the Laramie River. Water flows rapidly around the bend into a pool of glass and then flows wildly over more rocks. She could use more water these days but that’s a story for another time.
Back in those woods is a little creature I’ve tried to photograph for some time now. Whenever I’ve come upon on it, it spooks itself and me and all I get is the blur of it’s rear-end flying away.
But this time, the elusive screech owl gave me a couple seconds to photograph him before taking off to the other side of the ranch.
Now if you’ve ever heard a screech owl, you most likely have had the ever living daylights scared straight out of you. On my first encounter, I had my arms full of groceries and while walking up to the door, a blood curdling scream pierced the dark and silent air. I couldn’t get in the house fast enough and was yelling to Patrick that someone was being murdered right there at the irrigation ditch. I just knew someone or something was dying a horrible death. He grabbed his spotlight and there it was, a screech owl perched on a cottonwood waiting for the next victim to give bad dreams.
This one in the woods didn’t screech though. I think because he wanted to be unseen in the daylight. I was glad to get these couple of images before he took off.
Poco’s baby (top) and Kate’s baby (above) were both born a little over a year ago.
I thought you might like to see them now.
Here is Kate’s baby girl all grown up.
Poco’s baby is on the far right and they both were weaned off mama late last year. They were eventually put out in the meadows with our lead mare, Paddy’s Frost aka Rat. They went off with her to keep calm and be “supervised”.
Rat took right to her babysitting duties and takes great pride in showing the girls the way.
In fact, now that the other ranch horses have joined them in the meadows, Rat continues to lead the way.
Best friends forever.
This little boo entered our world early this morning; the first calf of the season from a small batch of new heifers. Not sure of the sex because mama is very protective. I had to leave them alone so they could bond. We’ll have a much smaller herd to calve out this year because of the drought. I will cherish each and every one and I look forward to the smile they will put on my face. I’m so crazy about the little ones!