I failed to mention to you that with this image, matted and framed, I won first place last year at the Douglas State Fair here in Wyoming. I mentioned it on my Facebook page but didn’t write about it on the blog. I was encouraged by gallery members and friends to enter another. Yesterday was the reception for the second contest I’ve ever entered, the 3rd Annual Platte River Photography Show, also in Douglas. Patrick and I drove the icy roads last Friday to get my images entered and hung.
The competition was fierce with big cash prizes. It was an open show, no categories and you could enter up to 3 framed pictures.
I entered Daybreak, Bald Eagle, and the Chugwater Grainery. The Bald Eagle is on the easel in the image above, 3rd one from the left.
Daybreak is hanging on the wall in the middle of the image just above the blonde looking at the framed pictures in the table.
Third place went to the sweetest picture of a Horned Owl peeking through tree limbs. It was a cute one and a favorite. Now please allow me to toot my own horn…drum roll please…..Second Place went to Daybreak!!! I was so surprised and very excited. The cash prize will definitely help with my travels back east in the fall for my best friends wedding.
First place went to an elephant photographed in a zoo in Utah.
I am so honored to be recognized for my work and am inspired now to enter more competitions and to work even harder at my photography.
Thank you for encouraging me here at Uprooted Magnolia and for all of your comments, compliments and support. You give me confidence in my craft. ♥
*Edit* Duh, I’m obviously in the clouds and forgot to thank the Douglas Chamber of Commerce and the sponsers, Duke Energy and Cloud Peak Energy for providing the prizes.
Now, as soon as the 65mph gusty winds wind down, I will to get back out there with my camera.
Bye for now,
We weren’t sure where we wanted to go so we jumped in the truck and just drove. It was a beautiful day and I wanted the folks to see our surroundings. Along the way, we caught this Mule deer relaxing in the brush.
We happened upon this quiet ranch. The fresh hay bales means someone is there but at first glance we thought it was abandoned.
We got out of the truck to take in the view and breathe the fresh mountain air. As I walked along a short trail, I stepped on this rock and had to take a picture of it. It came home with me needless to say.
We saw all kinds of wildlife but of course antelope were everywhere we went. You can’t go anywhere without spotting hundreds of these guys in various pastures. But the thing that is a constant frustration to me and Dad with photographing wildlife is that we always get butt shots. They are always running from us and we’re sick of all the rear ends in our lens. So don’t be surprised if one day there is a post on this blog with strictly deer and antelope butts!
But as this one got away, I was glad that the grass covered his backside and I got a good view of his horns.
Every Saturday for the past month or so at Pocket Park in Downtown Wheatland, local growers have hosted a Farmers Market. We enjoyed some yummy squash and zucchini last week and this past Saturday morning I made it in time to get a couple of ears of corn too. There is a young man who is growing corn to raise money for his college fund so next week I plan on buying a couple dozen to freeze for the winter.
I’ve also enjoyed some herbs from a sweet lady that offered me a taste of fried sage this week. She fried the sage leaves in olive oil with a little salt and pepper and boy was it tasty! Her sage bundles were all bought up before I got to her table so I grabbed the last bag of rosemary and hope to get some sage next week.
There was a young woman there who is a missionary with her family in Honduras. She’s in Wheatland caring for her grandmother for the summer and brought these lovely treasures that she and her siblings have crafted. They are vases and small pots made of pine needles and wrapped with colored thread. There’s even napkin holders and heart-shaped trivets.
She roasted coffee beans from Honduras and had a few bags to sell. Of course I bought the beans because I am a coffee fanatic.
I didn’t buy much but it’s a weeks worth of vegetables for the 2 of us. Squash, zucchini, corn, rosemary, and coffee. The corn is already gone, it was a test drive to see if it was as tasty as it looked, and the vegetables will be steamed every night this week.
Saturday night, Patrick took me to the State Fair in Douglas for my first ever rodeo. It was so exciting! Those cowboys that ride the bucking horses and bulls are certainly brave and a little crazy I must add. I’ll write and show you pictures soon as I’m now sorting through all the wrecks that make my fanny a little sore just looking at them.
And stay tuned to find out which one of these lovely ladies was crowned Rodeo Queen 2011. I know you are on the edge of your seat but be patient, I will announce the winner soon.
The Platte County Art Guild along with Helen and LeRoy Rutz decided to start a Gallery in an empty retail space in Downtown Wheatland. It is a local artist co-op and they’ve been up and running for a couple of months now. The art guild welcomed me in with open arms and now I too am a member of the co-op! Yesterday Helen helped me hang a few of my framed prints from my travels to Greece in 2008 and I also hung a few from my Wyoming collection.
Because this is a commission free gallery, the funds are low for obtaining a sign. But I’m sure if we artists put our heads together we’ll come up with something. Helen says it’s already in the works and we’ll be rid of the poster and cardboard sign soon.
My elk duo in the velvet made the front window!
When you walk in the front door, you will be greeted by one of the artists showcased in the gallery. Every member will put in a day or two a month of running the gallery.
There are all kinds of mediums in the Gilchrist Gallery. Paintings, pottery, stained glass, sculpture, photography, jewelry, and all kinds of arts and crafts.
I’m so excited to be a part of this gallery and I look forward to my first day of “work” in September.
I haven’t met all of the artists but my new friend Victoria Bennett-Beyer has her photography hanging in this gallery as well.
I’d like to invite you to visit our art gallery and to explore our beautiful little town of Wheatland. And if you have any questions, leave it in the comments section or just shoot me an email!
Wonderful few days last week spent with my family on The Vinyud. Joey is 18 months old now, walking, talking jibberish, and is ALL boy.
He would flash his long lashes and baby blues after playing in the only dirt hole at the park .
Show off his teeth while laughing at that big guy we call Patrick.
And would act coyly when asked for a high-five.
This morning was cloudy but being greeted by this lovely, wild sunflower made up for the overcast sky. They are sprouting up all over town now. I even saw some growing through the cracks along the outside of the grocery store. And to think I was lucky to have one mini sunflower to bloom out of an entire seed packet in my garden in Georgia.
These twin fawns and their momma bedded down in the meadow out front.
But now that the grass is short, they’ll need to find a new location. And they will, in the meadow just over the next fence. I’m sure we’ll see them again.
On a recent lazy Sunday, we took a drive through the Snowy Range within the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. It was absolutely beautiful. There was still snow in some parts and Patrick pointed out where he and his buddies drive, er um race, their snow sleds in the dead of winter. I’m still not sure I’ve got the nerve to do it but we’ll see come this winter.
We came across this guy sunning on a rock. He’s a yellow-bellied marmot or Rock chuck.
This young buck stopped for a smile while having a drink in this peaceful stream.
This little guy was perched on a fence when we stopped at a friends house in the mountains just across the Wyoming/Colorado border.
I just love these drives in the middle of nowhere. It feels like we are the only people on earth.
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.
I raced inside before the storm clobbered the house. Patrick was driving a tractor over from the South Ranch and made it in a little over an hour. It was still sprinkling so I went out to meet him at the shop and drive him home when I gasped, probably swallowed a bug or something. But there it was, a beautiful and vibrant rainbow. Then I realized it was a double rainbow. The further I drove, I could see it from one end to the other.
I sped past him and the shop yelling,” look at the rainbows! I’ll be right back!”
I didn’t go looking for a pot of gold or anything. It was a treasure in itself to sit and watch the clouds move out and the rainbow fade away. This was my kind of Saturday evening.
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!
We were in Nebraska for a barbecue Saturday evening and I’ve got some great images to share with you soon. We didn’t go to any of the fireworks shindigs but we did have beautiful color in the sky at the ranch this evening. Sunsets are always a treat out here. It was lovely.
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.
Do you know where your cowboy will be?
While I’m sawing logs, mine will be baling hay.
He waits until the dew is just right on his already 80 acres of cut hay and then bales it into round bales. Being on top of the moisture measurement prevents mildewed hay. Round bales do best to keep mildew at it’s lowest but some ranchers make square bales. Those are best for stacking and transporting for selling.
I’ll take him some lunch mid-morning. I might find him sleeping in the tractor. I’ll keep you posted.
This isn’t a post about one of the greatest albums of all time by Joni Mitchell, although it is one of my favorites.
I was visited by this dragonfly today and I felt like sharing some images of blue.
The Mule Shoe Ranch on the way to town has peacocks out to keep traffic slow around there. I love being greeted by them while coming or going from the ranch.
One thing I enjoy doing with my blue-eyed cowboy is take the hounds (blue-tick and walker) out for a stroll under the blue evening sky.
And then we have Patrick’s hands when he gets home from spraying weeds with a vibrant blue dye. Steering wheels and door knobs mysteriously turn blue during this time as well.
On Fathers Day, it seemed only appropriate to gather the bulls from the distant meadows to eventually put them in with the cows. The calves are growing up so it’s time to make new ones. We don’t want the cows to suffer from empty nest syndrome now do we? On this particular day, the bulls were quite agreeable and didn’t give us much trouble at all.
They marched through the meadows like good soldiers. Except for the occasional snort and kicking of dirt, it was a slow and easy process.
It took a little convincing but they made it through the gate without any hassle.
They stopped for a quick snack of flowering yucca weed.
And they made the turn into the corral nice and easy. But this was only the first set of bulls that needed gathering.
The next day we released the bulls with the cows for a little flirting and baby making.
Fast forward to yesterday when it was time to get the last of the bulls. I thought hey no big deal, just like earlier in the week, we’ll get them right in no problem. Well, I was terribly mistaken. These guys were a lot feistier than the previous group. The fighting started almost immediately.
It got rougher and tougher as time went on.
We started to worry that they might drown. They kind of look like hippos don’t they?
They started to slow it down and just stood head to head in a definite power struggle.
This guy was getting sick of the fighting too. He just stood there bellowing trying to beak them up.
Once they got out of the water, it started all over again.
We did get them into the corral and they will be placed with the cows eventually. It’s a good thing, they need to release that testosterone and fast!
Who knew I’d end up being the photographer at his wedding 16 years later.
My brother became a father in December 2008 to the most beautiful baby in the world. I knew he’d be a good dad because he is a great big brother to me.
Joey loves his daddy. He looks just like him too.
Happy Father’s Day fellas. Miss you and love you. Hope you are having a marvelous day. xoxo