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.
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.
Earlier this summer, Peekaboo Fawn caused a ruckus in the meadow.
A cute ruckus I must add.
With a glance to her right, she took off to her left like something was after her.
Turns out she was after something. Chasing turkeys was the name of the game. While mom was grazing, Peekaboo was nipping at the gobblers while they were feasting on bugs.
She stalked and harassed them like a cat hunts a mouse.
She’d get down low, wiggle her booty then jump in the air running them all in different directions.
She’d give them a break…
…and then go at them again. This went on for several minutes until she heard my quiet giggles.
Her curiosity led her closer to me.
We stared at each other for a little while and then she took off to play, er um, to harass the turkeys until bedtime.
Here’s hoping you make room in your day for a little fun. It’ll put a smile on your face every time.
Turkey’s are still strutting but I think mating season is winding down. I don’t hear as much “gobble gobble gobble” as I did a couple weeks back.
The bucks have dropped their antlers and are growing new ones. They are shedding now and look all a mess. I look forward to their smooth and shiny summer coats and their spotted fawns when they are born next month.
This time of year, even though we need rain, taking a nature walk can be intoxicating. The smell from the buckbrush shrubs is magical. I wish I could bottle it! My friends and I determined,when they were out visiting from Georgia, that this flower looks close in relation to the honeysuckle. Can any of you tell me what this is?
But we have to be VERY careful not to get too drunk on the aroma that is Wyoming. Because when I do, I come one step away from a bull snake. Yep, my my girlfriends and I went on a walk around the ranch to watch the turkey’s and our happy chatting turned into screams and giant leaps through the pasture.
We apparently interrupted 2 bull snakes mating. Jessica was convinced we had stepped into a den. I saw the first one and as Stephanie was leaping away from that one, she almost jumped on this one. Yikes!
Now, the way most ranchers irrigate their meadows is by flooding. The local Irrigation District lets you know how much water you can use and when to release it. So our ditches are full of river water and colorful yet harmless water snakes. Patrick uses a tarp-like material called a “check” that directs the water out of the ditch and into the ground.
The meadows are turning green but every bit of land around it is brown and crunchy. We need moisture from the skies desperately.
Ducks are sure loving the extra ponds around the ranch. They are becoming every day visitors.
A few things…
We woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground this morning. We’ve been desperate for moisture.
It’s busy ’round here. I’ve been more of a cowgirl than a photographer lately and I miss my camera.
I fixed that this morning ’cause I miss y’all.
I have some stories to share and hope to find time to write them. There is one in particular that had our family howling over Easter lunch. I’m not much of a writer and there aren’t too many pictures to go along with it but I’ll make it work somehow.
Our little Pinrow has a new cow mommy. Yay for him. Sad for me.
We had a new shipment of heifers and calves this weekend. You see, heifers (first time mothers) don’t really know how to be a mom so they’ll let any calf suck. There were times down in the corrals while we were sorting them, that a heifer had a calf on each side and one in the back suckling. “Nobody’s gonna go hungry in this herd!”, Patrick said. I stood there in shock. Bunch of hippies I say.
Mother cows that have done this a few times will kick and headbutt a calf if one other than hers tries to suck.
The gobblers are gobbling daily.
And strutting daily.
We wake up every morning to the song of the meadowlark.
I was finally able to capture the elusive Merganser Ducks in the pond this morning.
This couple is always around but so difficult to capture. I sneaked up on them this morning.
Geese honk constantly. It’s become annoying. At least they are photogenic.
I’m working on a project for a client where I’m adding color to black and white landscapes. I think it’s going to look good and I hope to share some of that with you when the job is completed.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had to pull about 4 calves out of mother cows because the calf was either backwards, too big or the cow was weak after pushing for too long. Eeeesh. Sometimes when I use the word “we” I tell you that I use it loosely. Usually “we” means Patrick but here lately, I’m in it up to my elbows.
I have good friends flying in tomorrow for a visit. I can’t wait. ♥
Anything look out of place to you? What is odd with this picture?
I always loved those puzzles in the Sunday paper when I was a kid.
Not sure where this little lady came from but we’re glad she’s here.
I hope your Thanksgiving Day is full of love and laughter…..and maybe a little dancing.
Have a good one!
Definition for Conga Line: snake dance; a group progression in a single-file serpentine path.
Do not worry, this is not a gruesome tale.(as the title may make it sound)
Yesterday I showed you where the deer and the antelope play. Today I will show you baby turkeys! While I was focused on the deer, I heard quiet clucking. I looked in the patch of tall grass ahead of me and saw several hens.
Occasionally I would see little heads peek up and run to momma. The grass was too tall to get a good view of them but I patiently waited to see where they were going to step to next.
Then one came out in a small clearing.
I looked out onto the road and saw another hen with her 2 babies.
I looked back to the clearing in the tall grass and saw a couple more little ones. This time showing off for the camera and they were starting to file into a single line. They haven’t quite grown into their feathers have they!
This is probably my favorite shot of the baby turkeys by far. I love the conga line across the road. “Look at me Mom!”
I counted 7 baby turkeys in all. Lately, I’ve only spotted them in smaller groups so I was happy to see this many at one time.
These images are bittersweet to me. It’s a wonderful sight to see when coming home, the mother hens with babies.
But it’s also sad to see 3 hens and only 2 chicks. That means their predators were well fed before the little ones learned to fly. These two have a good chance of making it though. I’ve seen them take off and fly away quickly.
They are brave coming out onto the road and bridge.
But the little one wasn’t brave enough to fly across the river like the hen perched on the side of the bridge. She took off across right after I shot this image while the others disappeared into the tall grass.
The hens are running.
But they can’t hide.
Because the gobblers are strutting and stomping.
Gobblers pursue hens in a team and this dominant turkey (above) dances and spits and gobbles. Working as a team helps the less dominant gobbler “pass on his genes” since he probably wouldn’t be as successful working alone.
Hope your weekend is equally alive and energetic my friends!
On a hike after checking the cattle, I heard a gobble in the distance. I followed the sound across the river and through a clearing, I saw them.
I followed, trying not to spook them. They led me through another clearing and then then I saw more.
But this time I saw turkeys and deer. They saw me too but nobody ran. They just stared me down.
This yearling and his turkey friends grazed without even noticing me.
Whoops, turkey crossing.
Harmony. Tranquility. Peace. Ahhh early spring.
Thank you beautiful ladies for complimenting the Monday feather image. Here is another one for you. I’m printing them on a lovely watercolor paper and they are looking quite nice I must say.
Since I’ve been knocked out with this cold, I didn’t join the cowboys during weaning this week. But the calves have all been successfully shipped from the Laramie Plains and are adjusting to a new life without momma. I’ll bring the cows back to the blog soon. I’m feeling a little better and I hope to get out there with the girls this week.
I don’t have much to say so I will share an image from a project I’m working on. All throughout the summer I’ve collected turkey feathers that our gobbling friends on the ranch have naturally shed. No, I didn’t chase them down and pluck the feathers myself. Anyway, I don’t know what to do except photograph them and trick ‘em out with textures. I’ve got several different styled images of an array of feathers that I’ll continue to share with you if you so desire.
Let me know what you think. Am I hallucinating that this is an interesting shot because I have a fever and terrible cold today? I’ve gotten a little feedback and it’s 50/50. One says, “it’s a feather, Leah.” The other says “I like your feathers, Leah!”
PS: I’ve had a lot of requests to purchase images that I’ve displayed on this blog. I do plan on opening a shop very soon. Just trying to work the kinks out and decide if I will host a shop on my website or go another route. I will keep you informed but for now, you can email me email@example.com if you would like prices for prints. Thank you for your interest!
Now, back to my tissues and hot tea. xoxo Leah
But the real preciousness came when we saw a turkey in the drive snuggling her little ones. She quickly got up before I could get a picture of them and they escaped into the tall grass.
If you look closely, you can see the babies following the leader.
In all we saw 6 broods with their mother hens. They are already flying over the tall grass and we hope they all make it. Those evil coyotes are always on the hunt.
Beauty, sunrise to sunset.
There’s nothing like:
Turkey’s gobbling at sunrise.
And playing peek-a-boo with the hens after breakfast.
And peek-a-boo after lunch. You can’t see but she could not fit another bite in her belly.
More peek-a-boo with wildlife. (can you tell I miss my nephew?)
And sunsets over the mountains.
With a bluebird chirping us along the rocky trail.
I do believe springtime has arrived in Wheatland my friends.
Busy turkeys, Busy cows, means Busy Rancher:
While the calves are being born, the turkey’s are getting down to business if you know what I mean. First I’ll show you the turkeys. This guy was strutting his stuff!
After hanging out with these feathery creatures, we traveled over to see this lady give birth. It was a little messy and she’s a wild one I hear. I stayed back and watched the whole thing from afar. I’ll spare you the graphic shots and just share the sweet ones.
Notice her eyes. She watched me the entire time. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them either. The first 10 seconds he was on the ground he didn’t take a breath. Neither did me or Patrick.
He is just minutes old and she is licking him not only for cleaning, but to stimulate him to get up and suckle. I was ooohing and awing and she looked right at me and mooed really loudly. She wanted me to leave.
I stayed long enough to watch him stand and look for the pocket (teat). Then I left them alone to bond.