Wow! What a wet and stormy spring it was and a dry summer it has become!
Powerful rain and hail storms plagued us for weeks.
The river flooded up into the road in the meadows. The cottonwoods sure loved the drink. It finally went down by mid summer but we still had a good amount of mist and fog and overcast days at the start of our summer.
This golden eagle was onto something special because he didn’t move as I got closer and closer to take his portrait. Something must have floated down the river that he was intent on getting.
Ol’ Gray wasn’t impressed with the bugs that all this moisture brought with it but as you can see by the looks of his belly, he enjoys the abundance of grass.
This bull isn’t very impressed. Period.
But the sun has finally come out and we’ve warmed right up with hot and dry temperatures.
But along with the hot and dry temperatures, the horrific fires that are burning in the Pacific Northwest have blown smoke and haze into our state. There have been a couple of days that the smoke was so thick that staying inside was a must. We continue to have haze from it every other day or so. I pray for all of those in harms way out there.
Summer evenings are just about the best around here. The sunsets are incredible and for the second summer in a row, we had a hatch of dragonflies hover in the shade of our home. They are everywhere! The cows are in the hills on summer pasture so the Sand Hill cranes and other wildlife are loving the meadows all to themselves.
That’s about it. I’ve had a lot of wonderful portrait clients come out (and more on the calendar for fall portraits) and have traveled a bit on assignment. Life has dealt us some lemons with the spring and early summer storms. Our roof and my car were totaled out by ping-pong size hail. Ugh. But this too shall pass.
Oh, and did I mention…
…this little furry boo came into my life around Easter. She’s pretty wild but keeps the mice population in check. She isn’t an indoor kitty. She’s been through a couple of lives already and she’s barely 5 months old. But more on her later. If she sticks around…
Have a great weekend, friends! *Hugs*
Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja, a genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas.
I was lucky enough to be called upon to photograph portraits of a sweet couple I’ve know for a few years now. We roamed around their ranch in the hills and shot portraits in shady spots among pine trees and rock piles. Later on, we went further into the hills at sunset where we found a patch of Indian Paintbrush. It was a beautiful evening and these colorful flowers, our state flower, makes the hills look like a painting.
Have you given up on me? Well, I’ve almost given up on blogging! Not by choice but life has been busy and business is growing and I haven’t had much time to spend here or on social media. It’s all good though.
We made it to another branding a couple of weekends ago and I’ll post that soon. But today I’ll leave you with Patrick hopefully roping you back into the Uprooted Magnolia world. :)
This past Saturday was our monthly Art Guild meeting and we had the pleasure of having the Art Mobile come and educate us on Abstract Art. Our teacher challenged us to stand in front of a piece of abstract art of our choice for 5 whole minutes and then we’d discuss how that piece made us feel. Many of the artists were deeply opposed to this kind of art and made it very known in the beginning. But everyone sat and wrote or drew their thoughts on their work of choice and we had a lively discussion afterwards. Some pieces made people feel frustrated, others felt happy and whimsical. Some found a piece told a story from their childhood. I focused on one that made me feel comfortable and reminded me of Polaroid photos. Anyway, it was a real treat and we all enjoyed it very much! It inspired me to re-visit my freelensing and reverse macro techniques yesterday while shooting landscapes for a client. Because of all the moisture we’ve had lately, wildflowers are popping up like crazy.
Water is sitting everywhere. I plan my daily wardrobe around my navy blue rain boots. Patrick has had this property for over 15 years and he has never seen the river overflow into the meadows this high before. It’s just so unusual for this dry climate that I have grown accustomed to. We aren’t complaining about the moisture but we sure wouldn’t mind if the rain would stop. Today, however, we are in store for more thunderstorms. We aren’t flooding near as bad as Texas, thankfully, and my thoughts and prayers go to them.
A quiet storm blew in right off the hills and into the meadows. Standing on the porch last night, all I could here was heavy, sopping wet snow hitting the ground. I couldn’t see the hills and not long after this shot, I couldn’t see the horses. Normally the upper portion of this frame, as you’ve seen before, would be rolling hills and sky. But the only thing there is cold, wet snowdrops settling in for the night.
This morning, we woke up to a blanket of snow. In May. Ugh.
The sun can came out briefly this weekend and twinkled like little stars in the puddles around the meadow.
Looks like rain all week. I guess rain boots and umbrellas are in store for all of my shoots this weekend.
“Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.”-Gavin Pretor-Pinney
We’re still here… underneath cloudy skies and rain. We haven’t floated away yet. Water is standing everywhere we step and the cows have muddy snouts. They are loving the abundance of green grass. Happy cows. Happy ranch. :)
It’s been a very wet spring so far with more rain to come. The Laramie River is high and rapid and is crashing against the bank. It’s pretty spectacular.
This Mother’s Day weekend was a rainy and snowy one. But last weekend the weather was perfect for a cattle roundup and branding. Below are images of that day.
After saddling the colt , he saddled his horse for the round up.
The boss got some help from his daughter with buckling up his chaps.
Making final adjustments to the cinch.
Discussing the route for gathering cows and calves.
Before branding the calves, we worked/doctored the cows in the barn.
Getting the horse ready for roping calves.
We start them young out here in the wild west.
Hot irons sit and wait. The flames are powered by a propane tank.
It was a nice day with friends, old and new. After the calves were all branded, they let them out of the corrals to mother up. By early evening, they all found one another and are doing great.
If you’d like to see more from this day, go to my website HERE.
Thanks for looking… :)
This young horse hasn’t worn a saddle much and had to learn how to back out of the barn. It’s all about trust between cowboy and horse. When Patrick saw this image, it made him think of the Charlie Russell painting “Bronc for Breakfast”. Quickly noticing the dust and dirt in this image, he said the next shot would be the bronc bucking around the corral as soon as he left the barn. Happy to say that didn’t happen. He stayed tied to the fence post and was well behaved.
Happy Monday, friends!
We had an eventful weekend full of horses, cows, cowboys, snapping turtles, and good friends and it couldn’t have been better. The rain held off down here but the thick clouds drenched the hills. The river is high and muddy and since we don’t have a boat, Patrick had to cross it horseback to mend fence. Gray did well at a branding and on the ride home, helped us lead our bay horse to the barn so he could go home with the best horse whisperer we know. Oh, and speaking of the river being high, we, ahem, Patrick, captured two HUGE snapping turtles out of puddles in the meadow and relocated them. They are a danger to the cows and especially the calves. Anyway, that was an adventure all in itself. Those things are scary!!
Hope you are having a great start to your week. I’ve got a lot of images to share with you from the weekend, sans turtles. ;)
Beautiful light at sunset during a rainstorm last evening. It was such a peaceful and sweet sound.
Have a wonderful weekend! It’s a busy one for us, how ’bout you?
I’ve been backing up and organizing image files and I found this one that I don’t think I’ve ever shared. This was back in 2012 during a hot and very dry summer. It was actually the summer of the Arapahoe Fire. We were still living on the ranch in the hills and we had our own water truck for fighting wildfires. We decided to crank the old girl up and drive her around while we checked on cattle, just to keep her running. We thankfully never had to use it to put out fire but we did fill up a small reservoir or two for the cows to drink from.
May you both heal and find peace. I just don’t know what else to say.
We’re getting saddled up for branding season.
Patrick caught Gray and led him out of the meadow and up to the barn and corral.
Unfortunately the young Bay horse isn’t invited. He’s not even half-broke so he gets to stay in the meadow. His time will come but for now, Patrick can only focus on one horse. He ran and bucked up and down the fence line the rest of the evening. He’s fine now, but the first couple of hours he was full of anxiety.
In the evenings, Patrick saddles Gray up and encourages patience and obedience while running circles. He took a spin around the meadow with him the other day and he did surprisingly well for not being ridden all winter.
Tighten the cinch and git yer spurs on…here we go!
I started off the work week with owls so I thought I would end it with this…Momma owl and her THREE owlets! I finally got them all in one shot! I hope I’m not driving you crazy with these but I just had to share. Hope it makes you smile. :)
Have a great weekend!
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. -John Muir
I enjoy my daily walks through the meadows and by the river. It’s a celebration of Earth and it’s a good way to clear the mind and focus on being grateful.
Yesterday I observed puddle after puddle that collected during the rainfall last week and weekend. This will help our grass to grow and the rivers to flow. I did NOT resist the temptation of splashing around in this ankle high puddle like I used to do in my younger days. I’ve often said that rain puddles are like magnets to kids (and kids at heart). :)
Happy Earth Day, my friends. xoxo
I’ve counted three owlets lately. It’s hard to tell in the photos but I’ve seen them with my own eyes and binoculars. I thought one was a goner but it turns out it was just asleep.
Momma is pretty protective and sits on them a lot.
They are getting bolder. This one stood out on the edge for a while.
I know you only see two here but I know I’ve counted three. I don’t know how far back that cave goes but momma has found a very safe place to raise her young. I love those bright eyes!