work work work. From sun up to sun down, the chores must be done.
We’re baling and stacking hay at the main ranch these days. Patrick drives the tractor. I drove the truck and trailer full of hay bales yesterday.
The head ditch needed cleaning from beaver and flood clogging. It’s time to get water flowing into the meadows to grow a second cut of hay.
I can’t go on without mentioning that we dodge buzztails regularly.
Putting shoes on the horses can be challenging. I think I was more in the way than helpful but Patrick got them done successfully. The rocks out here are tough on their hoofs and shoes are necessary for an evening ride through the hills.
Then sometimes we get to watch the moon rise over the meadow,
and through the trees.
That is only if we’ve finished the days chores and if we haven’t fallen asleep face first into our dinner plate.
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.
I got the call yesterday evening that there was a fire at McCauley’s Ranch just across Palmer Canyon. I called Patrick off the meadow he was baling to let him know they were in need of some serious help. While I waited for him to come in, I went and stared at his firefighting gear. I’ve always known it was there but I had hoped I would never see him in it. I knew this day would eventually come. And I know it’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last.
But I must admit he does look mighty handsome in that fire retardant suit. That, however, did not help the ache in my chest.
He was out there all night long until a team of 13 that travels to help towns on fire arrived to relieve them. When he got home his morning, he said it seems well contained. Let’s hope it stays that way.
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.