I finally got to walk on water.
Well, actually, we walked across the frozen river. Patrick went to crank up the tractor and while it was warming up, we walked over to the river. Notice the deer tracks on the frost on top of the ice.
I mentioned in Below Zero about the deer having to break ice to get a chilly sip. Well by golly, they busted through and have a hole to drink from.
At a different part of the river where the horses and some cattle are grazing, Patrick had to drive over the river a couple times with the tractor to get it busted out. It didn’t break close enough to the edge and I watched while the younger horses tried to walk on the ice to that hole. It was a funny sight watching them slip and slide but they finally gave up and waited for the tractor to go over it again. Rat found a little hole to sip out of in the meantime.
After 2 weeks in my hot and sunny home state of Georgia, I’m finally cooling down in the sanctuary of southeast Wyoming. I had a great and very busy time back east and I’m so glad to be home. The french manicure is wearing off, the makeup is washed off and I think I’ve finally caught up on many hours of lost sleep.
We woke up this morning to a soft rain that has turned into a beautiful snowfall. It isn’t very cold but the snow is piling up. Feels like a lovely day to stay inside and process the many images shot during the past two weeks.
I’ve missed you all and look forward to catching up. Be well!
It snowed yesterday morning, noon, and night and while Patrick checked on the cows across the river, I checked on the horses and heifers close to home. After making my rounds for the third time, I took a break by the Laramie River and captured snowflakes atop the ice. Today we have a beautiful blanket of snow as far as the eyes can see. It’s a gorgeous yet chilly Saturday morning at the homestead.
Have a great day my friends and stay warm!
We moved cattle yesterday and separated the heifers (new mother cows) from the cows and now we watch and wait for the babies to drop. The black cows will give birth first and soon and the reds will start in April or so.
The snowfall started yesterday evening and came down all night over the ranch. We are on the outskirts of the storm that is hammering Colorado and it’s been drizzling snow off and on today. There isn’t much accumulation so it’s pretty easy to get around.
I just love the peacefulness of a snowfall. There is something so serene about the clean, white blanket that covers the ground and the only thing I hear is the snow crunching under my boots.
It was a fairly warm and breezy day yesterday so I was finally able to take a walk around the ranch. FINALLY!
I took a 3 hour hike and could have stayed out longer if it didn’t get dark so early. It was so peaceful though, all I saw was this downy woodpecker. He was going from willow to willow, eating bark and seeds. I saw some deer in the distance and spooked a few across the river but mostly it was quiet and uneventful. Speaking of the river…
I thought the frozen grass under the ice looked pretty cool.
It’s snowing today and is supposed to for much of the week. I’m looking forward to hearing the snow crunch under my boots. Until then, stay warm my friends.
A lot of rain last autumn and excess snow runoff has forced the folks at the reservoir to release more water into the Laramie River. They released 2,750 cubic feet almost all at once last June and the river was treacherous. But this time they decided to start earlier and release less at a time.
But usually, the Laramie is a small stream. Now, again, it is a raging river and is creeping up on the banks surrounding pine trees and sage brush.
It is also creating various channels throughout the meadows. This low lying grassland is always quite dry but now it is surrounded by lovely a winding stream.
Who else is singing “Walking on walking on broken glass” after that title? No one? Ok, it’s just me then.
Anywho. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and that can only mean that the ice is melting. Chunks of it are being forced onto the banks of the Laramie River.
Shadow and I have to leap, climb, and stomp during our hike.
Look at how thick this piece of ice is. This thickness stretched from one side to the other and often tempted me to walk across. I never got up the nerve.
“The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.”
Just in case you weren’t sure, or I haven’t reminded you yet, or if you were just wondering, it’s still winter.
The cattle are munching on the grass peeking through the snow.
The sun shines through the clouds occasionally revealing the blue sky we all know and love.
The Laramie River is high and icy. They have released more water from the reservoir so it’s higher than normal. The excess water has broken through the ice jams or just simply runs over top of the layers of ice.
The wind picked up yesterday and created “theatre smoke” all over the ranch. Snow was flying everywhere and I could barely see the dirt road I was driving on. I couldn’t even photograph the chaos because my camera couldn’t find a focus point. I’ll capture the phenomena for you one of these days. It’s amazing to see but very difficult to stand up and function in.
with rocks in our pockets,
we’re still hanging on to the car door.
Once again, straight out of the camera with only a couple steps in photoshop, I see potential for HDR. But again, it isn’t the case. Just beautiful light and gorgeous sky.
We got word that more water will be released from the reservoir so we checked on the river surrounding the ranch to see if there will be any trouble.
We spotted an ice jam. The river has been iced over for a week. But with the past couple of days with warm and heavy winds, it has broken up and is now creating a dam.
We’re not thinking there will be much trouble for us, but maybe some folks along the river down below may have a different experience though nothing dangerous or damaging.
It makes for interesting photos though. Notice the violet clouds above that Vickie referred to in her message I posted about yesterday.
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!
It’s twice it’s width and 3 times or more it’s depth and the Laramie River is still a beautiful sight.
It rose rapidly yesterday evening. Patrick took down the buck fence to prevent debris from taking down the bridge in case the water rose high enough. It was good that he did because we sat and watched huge logs and trees float rapidly down and bump into the bridge before making their way underneath. Limbs could have gotten tangled in the fence and wreaked havoc on the entire bridge.
While we sat quietly enjoying the nice weather and watching our beloved bridge, we had some visitors. Down the drive came a doe and her fawns.
And next came a hen waddling out from the tall grass. We watched them for a while then decided to head out back to check that part of the river.
The water crept up quite a bit into the road. Where Patrick is standing is where I stood the day before to photograph the rapids. It was dry land then.
We’re told that no more water will be released but the river will probably be this high for at least a week if not longer. In all it has risen 2,750 cubic feet.
Wyoming has had a large amount of rain and spring runoff this year so far. That said, the rivers are so full that the water management has released water from the reservoir in the small town of Bosler. Yesterday they released 900 cubic ft and today they plan on releasing another 2,000.
We went out in our mud boots to check on things yesterday evening. These are views from the bridge leading into the ranch.
The water is only about a foot or 2 from reaching the bridge. We’ll check this evening but we’re nervous about losing it. There is already one road closed because of flooding.
This is the river behind the house where we cross the cows to graze more meadows.
Usually this river is a peaceful little stream lazily flowing over the rocks and around the bends. Now we have crashing waves and buried willows and trees.
This is pretty common back east but out here, we’re used to a dry climate. Fortunately, it’s nothing like the flash floods that are going through in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
There has been a steady rainfall here since Wednesday. The cows are wet and grumpy.
I’m not so grumpy because when the sun finally comes out, there will be some beautiful green landscapes to photograph.
Patrick has to watch over the irrigation ditches and create dams in the river so we don’t have a flood.
The water is high and the Laramie River is rushing. It is beautiful.
The wind is howling tonight and snow is in the forecast. Looking forward to what Saturday has in store.