Have a great weekend my friends! Go out and make great memories. xoxo
Two storms came through yesterday afternoon and dumped a bunch of the wet stuff on the thirsty ground. The sagebrush is very fragrant after showers like this, it’s so soothing. Reminds me of just one of the reasons I fell in love with Wyoming.
The hills are alive with the color green. As it should be for this time of year. It has cooled off with a little rain here and there and leaves are finally appearing. Such a happy sight. The chickens are happy too, especially because bugs are starting to crawl and hop.
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
Tis the season where Wyoming cannot decide what she wants to do. Yesterday she rained with a little snow mixed in. She blew, she stood still, she grew warm and then she howled for most of the night.
Now the weatherman says she will dump about 10 inches of snow on us tonight through tomorrow. But I’ll believe it when I see it. All winter we’ve been teased by the weatherman that we would get some great moisture from storms and all she does is sprinkle on us… and sometimes not even that. At least my camera and I get to capture the confusion in her skies and bring them right to you.
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.
The weatherman threatened a massive blizzard this past weekend and nothing happened. Zilch. Nada. But two nights ago it finally snowed and we had about an inch on the ground yesterday morning. It melted by mid-morning down low but yesterday evening, Squaw Mountain still beamed with a bright snow glow.
This was a big hit on my facebook page last night and I thought I shouldn’t leave you out of the loop. After all, Mamma taught me to always share.
It was overcast most of yesterday, you know, one of those sleepy kind of days. I forced myself to go out for a hike and then the sun came out late afternoon. After a while of photographing dry and dormant flowering weeds left over from the summer, I came in to start dinner. I looked out of the window and everything looked pink. The grass, the fence, the trees. Pink. So I ran out of the front door and found myself literally chasing light. Once I was in the back of the house, there it was. Hovering over Squaw Mountain was a gorgeous masterpiece painted only by the heavens above.
February has entered with a bang!
I won’t bore you with the details of the numerous lemons life has served us that we are struggling to make lemonade with, but I will show you the progression of stormy skies that welcomed this second month of 2013. It was a wild party in the sky most of the day with only gray and overcast during the morning . The real show began after noon.
On my way to care for a neighbors farmily, I noticed the gray skies hovering over the Cooney Hills and blue skies with snow over Squaw (not pictured).
Back at home the sky went from gray to blueish purple with high winds and wet snow squalls for a couple of hours.
We went to town to take care of some ranch business and looked back toward the hills. That’s Squaw Mountain back covered with snow from the afternoon squalls. That cloud separation in the middle is pretty wild eh?
Coming back home, the sun was starting to set behind the hills.
The space there between the hilltops and the upper clouds is dead air, calm and cool. Wind is sweeping off the hills and whipping into the lower clouds just above the road.
Once back home, the sun went down behind the mountains. The clouds cleared out overnight and Saturday was cool and clear.
Phew! What a way to start off the month.
While Patrick was getting some cows out of a canyon, this fella peeked out to see what all the fuss was about. He quickly ran off and hid but his buddy came in a little closer.
They were both pretty far away and it was getting dark. I was glad to capture a portrait of each these guys before Patrick came back and spooked them off.
We went for a VERY chilly drive in the hills to check on the cows yesterday evening. The girls are fat and frisky and a little on the wild side. Kind of like how I feel after eating leftovers for two days and being cooped up inside because of the cold and powdery roads.
I trust you had a fulfilling holiday as well. Hope you are getting around easier than I am. Cheers!
We’ve had short squalls of rain and snow come through over the past couple of days and it has been chilly! Several came through this weekend but there hasn’t been any accumulation of the wet stuff. I like watching them pass over and swallow the mountains like in the image above. Then, after a moment, the sky would turn blue and the sun would shine as if nothing happened. A few minutes later, it would start all over again.
We worked cattle on the Plains the other day. Every time we make the drive up there our eyes are peeled and our necks are bent looking for sheep on the hillsides. We haven’t seen any in a while but this particular day, we got an up close sighting of two ewes and their lambs.
Through the windshield we saw a little white butt and I said “what is tha…” , at the same time Patrick was whisperyelling “big horn sheep big horn sheep!”
We waited to see where they were going and then crept up slowly beside them.
Watching them climb the rocky mountainside with such grace and agility is truely magical. It’s like watching synchronized swimming or something.
We stayed for about 3 or 4 minutes for pictures and then we left them alone. They were on a mission and we interrupted them. But how can you not stop and take it all in. They are really beautiful creatures.
Earlier this summer, I took a trip to Colorado for business and was fortunate enough to have to drive through the Colorado National Monument to get to where I needed to be.
From Wikipedia: Colorado National Monument (locally referred to as The Monument) is a part of the National Park Service near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. Spectacular canyons cut deep into sandstone and even granite–gneiss–schist rock formations, in some areas. This is an area of desert land high on the Colorado Plateau, with pinion and juniper forests on the plateau.
Driving the winding Rim Rock Drive at sunrise was magical.
This was the Serpent Trail. Because I had a limited amount of time, I couldn’t put my backpack on and hike it. But I do look forward to making the trip back to spend more time exploring.
Canyon Monument runs the width of the park with many different rock formations.
When the road leveled out, I knew I had reached Glade Park, my final destination. The elevation of Glade Park is approx. 7,000 feet. I went to visit the folks I drove up to see and had a great morning. However, this trip ended up being not about the destination, but all about the journey.
Have a great weekend my friends!
It was just another hot summer night here in paradise.
Thunder shook the house last night during supper so we hopped in the truck and went to the top of the hill with binoculars and a camera. A cloud to ground lightning show during sunset went on for about 30 minutes until we got a call to head to a fire. We drove back down to the house get Patrick into his fire gear and he headed out with the crew. The chase was on. They put out one fire near the Cooney Hills and went to another one on Black Mountain. He’s been Black Mountain all night and hasn’t made it home yet this morning. The helicopters are tackling this one with the ground crew this morning.
Such a warm welcome back home after a wet week on the Vineyard.
After Patrick spent 6 days and nights on the Arapaho fire, he came home the evening of the 4th and said that the southeast side of the fire (our immediate threat) was out. The next day we went to the Laramie Plains to check the cattle and repair a gate that the elk tore down. On our way home we saw black skies, and it wasn’t from smoke. The closer we got we could see sheets of rain falling on and around the fire. There was flash flooding and a lot of the crew still out there took cover and waited it out. And now, because the last few days have been cool and wet, the fire is 70% contained. But not before it grew to over 98,000 acres. Dryer and warmer temps are on the way but the crews will continue direct attacks on the hottest spots.
No one lost their lives and only minor injuries were reported. My heart goes out to those who lost their homes, their pasture, and their livestock. But we are so thankful that relief from above has arrived and we hope it only gets even better from here.
Thank you for all of your kind comments and prayers. We appreciate each and every one of you.
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.
Took a peek into this canyon on a beautiful evening ride with friends. The charred trees are from a fire 10 years ago and I can’t help but worry about history repeating itself. The grass is so dry that it crunches under my boots with every step.
I guess it’s time to suit up and chant and spin. Anyone want to join me?
It’s a beautiful morning here on the ranch. I love when there is a blanket of fog through the meadows. The damp air is a nice change from the dry temps we have experienced these last few weeks.
I captured this image on the way to feed the little bum calf this morning. He’s a little spitfire y’all!
We’ve been under a blanket of snow for the past couple of days. I’ve tagged along in the tractor (that is now working) with Patrick to the top of the hill to get bales of hay for the cows. Up top is one of the best views of the entire place. It was pretty cloudy on this particular day and I love how there is a little blue sky peeking through at the top left.