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.
While it pours down rain today (yay!), I am getting settled into our summer home and decided I should clean off my camera cards. I thought I’d share one final wintery image with you of red-winged blackbirds perched on the fence outside my office window. This was shot during our last heavy snow (just 6 days ago). At least there is a splash of color there. That red wing was the only color we saw for a couple days.
I’m hoping for the color green to pop up soon. We’re getting some incredible moisture here lately and I’m ready for some new life to our earth out here!
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.
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!
Well, the weatherman was right and we are buried in it. It hasn’t let up ALL day. Snow still coming down and blowing all around. I’m used to snowfall in April, but not a blizzard. We’ve been waiting for this all winter!
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.
Snow storms were happening all around us yesterday evening and these wild clouds helped to create light that changed colors within minutes.
I knew that just around this hill I would see what these clouds were all about.
The light changed from yellow to pink and purple just as I approached the windmill. I like how that strip of cloud through the center acts kind of like a reflection of itself. We didn’t get any of the snow but we sure do have the cold temps.
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.
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.
Who needs to see the northern lights when you can have a Wyoming sunset.
After every thunder and lightning storm (with very little rain mind you) we drive to the ranch entryway and glass the hills looking for smoke. We can’t even enjoy a light rainfall without being nervous about a fire.
But it’s always a great opportunity to capture a colorful sky.
A pink rainbow appeared twice last week, this one came last Thursday .
I was going to post this last Friday with the title “Who needs Aurora when you’ve got Wyoming?” (or something to that effect, titles are always the hardest). But when I woke up to the news of the senseless events in Aurora Colorado, I along with everyone else in the nation, sat stunned and disgusted. My title was then obviously inappropriate. In fact I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. To take the words from my friend Seasweetie, “there really are no words.”
A week later still, I’m speechless.
For the victims, deceased and living, their families and their heroes, I send you all pink rainbows and pray you will find peace and resolution in the days and years to come.
With Sincerest Love,
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.
A creepy crawly insect was enjoying the flavor of this coneflower/black-eyed susan. (the internet has confused me as to what kind of wildflower this is)
Ladybug glistening on turkey foot grass out back.
When I looked up from my spot in the tall grass, I saw the elusive jackrabbit. These little guys are so hard to photograph because they move so fast. I mean as soon as I spot one, poof, he’s gone. But this guy stuck around long enough for one click.
I was driving home from town after picking up some groceries and had my eye on the sky. It was dark and spooky and I just figured it was from the mountain fire burning near Laramie Peak. I thought maybe we’d get a sprinkle or two and that was it. Patrick left town after me and was about 6 or 7 miles behind. As I went through the entryway of the ranch, Patrick called and asked where I was. I told him “at the entryway” and he said go to the main house and take cover in the basement, there is a tornado on the Mule Shoe Ranch Flats. I looked to my right and saw this:
He said he was turning around to go back to that ranch and take cover in their barn. I kept driving, pushing my little Honda hard on the rocky road. Scared, breathless and full of anxiety, I stopped for another shot.
The wind started to blow harder and I could hear the roar of this funnel in the distance. Even though this was a couple miles away, the sound of it was clear and was kind of like a constant thunder roll.
I stopped for another shot and then pushed the pedal to the floor and ran inside our house to get my kitty cat.
I put Matilda in her carrier and went to the main house and watched to see if it was getting close to us. It didn’t make it to the ranch. This was the first time when shooting an event that I’m glad I didn’t get a close up.
Once I knew we were safe, I took Matilda back home and watched the storm move all around us.
It was a spooky hour in the afternoon, we are all okay and I’m so glad no one was killed. There was some structural damage closer to town and one injury but not a serious one. I heard this morning that a cow as killed. It could have been worse and I’m thankful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
We had these storms in Georgia but I was fortunate enough to always sleep through them. I’ve never been this close to actually see the funnel. And out here, as a friend of mine pointed out, you can see a storm miles away and have time to take cover. Some towns aren’t so lucky.
If you were in or around Wheatland yesterday and want to share your tornado experience, please do so in the comments. Or any of you out there, if you have a storm story, share it. I’d love to hear from you all.
Godspeed Wheatland. Thinking of you who were closely affected.
The winds died down late in the afternoon yesterday and I was able to take a walk before the sun set behind the mountains. It was warm and gorgeous. Felt like I was in the eye of this storm system we are experiencing. We had the Chinook winds the day before yesterday and today it is gray and blowing snow sideways at about 45 mph. So in honor of this bizarre behavior of mother nature, I’ve resigned myself to the sofa to watch a marathon of old Twilight Zone episodes on the Syfy channel. I’m a big fan of The Twilight Zone.
We are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. I hope you will join me for another year in this bizarre land we call, Wyoming.
Happy New Year my friends!
So, I’ve talked about windy Wyoming before but yesterday was for the record books.
We drove around the southeast on ranch business with the pedal to the floor at 100mph but ground speed was only about 60. On highway 30, dirt was being blown 20 to 30 ft in the air. Patrick and I had to yell just to hear one another because the road noise was so loud. The truck doors and windows rattled and I swear the windshield cracked a little more.
Once we were on the interstate heading home, we saw a wall of weather straight ahead and we weren’t sure what was in there. Snow or rain?
As we got closer, my palms got sweaty.
At least to my right, I saw blue sky. How bad could it be? (Excuse the dirty window. If I rolled it down to shoot, I would have been sucked out and blown across the prairie. And I wasn’t up for that risk.)
The digital highway signs we telling us that winds were 65+mph. I just knew we were going into a hurricane.
Turns out, we were experiencing a Chinook wind. But it was kind of a letdown, or a relief depending on how you look at it. Once we got into that weather wall of rain, sleet, and snow, the wind died down and it got eerily quiet. Not much really happened.
-After doing my research, I’ve learned that a Chinook wind is a Foehn wind. A rain shadow wind that has dropped it’s moisture and these turbulent winds have created warmer temperatures.
Thank you Wikipedia.
We got to the ranch where the wind had finally let up and it was peaceful until about midnight. All night and today the winds are back to howling and beating up the grass and trees. Any remaining snow has melted away.
In the high country of Colorado, there were wind speeds up to 102 mph. Can you believe that? We aren’t the only ones experiencing the high winds and we are thankful that the temperature remains in the 50′s. That’s good for the livestock.
We’re not sure what to expect for New Years Eve but snow is in the forecast. We’ve had several invites for various activities but we just might sit this one inside by the fire watching it on TV. Needless to say, we’re not too anxious to get back on the road after the slick pavement over Christmas and the wild winds of yesterday.
Plans have changed…..there is a fire.
I wanted to bring you images and commentary on the Master Garden Tour that took place early last week but as we all know, life happens. Yesterday, Patrick spotted smoke on Squaw Mountain and made a frantic call to the fire chief. He geared up and headed over. It was contained after about an hour, then suddenly a tree went up in flames and fell to the ground. With the August dry conditions out here, there was no time to prevent it from spreading. As of noon yesterday, Squaw Mountain is burning from a lightning strike the night before. We have an amazing volunteer fire department and trucks from all around have come to help. Today, the big guns have arrived and it is still a continuous battle. It has spread throughout the mountain and has destroyed cabins, pastures, and a lot of timber. No one lives in the cabins and no one has been hurt. Except out hearts ache when we look at this beautiful land screaming with smoke and red flames. I’ve started a website of images with descriptions and times. Click the image above to view them and I will continue to update this image site daily, God willing. You will notice the quick progression of this thing as I have put times in most of the captions. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
PS: We are not in the path of this thing nor are any residences, as far as I know.
Welcome to fire season.
Whenever lightning strikes, I like to say that God is taking our picture. Well, the heavens became the paparazzi Saturday night on our way home from town. The sky was lit up all around us and it was frightening. We met up with the Sheriff and a couple volunteer firefighters on the road and they told us a fire had been spotted in the hills. We drove all around and couldn’t ever find one. Yesterday morning we got a call that a tree had been struck and there was a small grass fire. And it was in one of our meadows. Yikes! Patrick dressed in his gear and went out and helped put it out. It wasn’t very big and was easily controlled. A little later, we got another call about smoke spotted in the hills. We took a drive looking and sniffing for smoke but never spotted anything.
The thing about these storms is that they happen in the sky. The rain doesn’t reach the ground, it dries up before reaching us. But the lightning hits the ground creating the fire danger.
We have a little more than a month of the hot and dry temps. So here’s hoping for some cool and wet storms.
We took a drive through the hills around us to check on our cattle, the neighbors cattle and fences and got caught in another rainstorm. I shot this just before we got soaked to the bone and I sang “Purple Rain” all the way home. With the red glow of the setting sun against the blue sky and rain clouds above , it looked like sheets of purple rain.
We had a great afternoon at the Gilchrist Gallery reception yesterday. I met some wonderful hometown folks I hadn’t met yet here in Wheatland and I’ve set up a Facebook page with my few shots there. I visited with gallery members and guests and was too distracted to take too many pictures. It was a fun afternoon!
We are looking forward to a great rest of the summer for the gallery with fairs and festivals that are coming up. And I heard a little rumor that the Farmers Market is picking back up in Pocket Park tomorrow and every Saturday through September. Downtown should be full of folks browsing and shopping and enjoying the beautiful weather we are having. Minus the purple rainstorms.
Have a great weekend and see you soon!
I think it was Friday night, I laid in bed watching a lightening storm about 30 miles away from us. It was a such a performance, I had to put on some Led Zepplin.
Seems like every evening lately a storm has passed through or over us here in the hills. Yesterday evening was no different. Storms were to the west and wind was blowing in from the north. It never hit us but the sun shining through the layer of clouds over the meadow was breathtaking.