I have prepared several images of our gather at sunrise but when I got to this one, I felt it should have an entry all to itself.
This morning the air was crisp and cool. The gather went smoothly and the cattle drive flowed seamlessly. Everything fell right into place, especially this photograph. I’ll share the other shots with you tomorrow.
I am craving a print of this right now.
The last couple of times gathering the bulls has been, dare I say, easy.
I think it is because they know that they will be meeting up with the ladies soon. A bull is a bull. He’s got one job to do and he knows what that job is. This group and the group last week trailed single file all the way to the corral, ready to be loaded and taken to the ladies. No complaining, no fighting, they took the trail all in stride.
My camera and I were bored since there weren’t any fights to capture. Even the horses were bored with them.
So I went into the meadow of sweet clover and put my camera to work. This wild yellow goodness is everywhere.
And these precious little red and orange flowers serve as ground cover around the drive and near the corrals.
When we hike in the hills we have to be careful of cactus. But the blossoms are so pretty, it’s nice to see beauty pop out of something that is so prickly and painful when stepped on.
Flowering milk thistle is everywhere. I love the purple and pink hues of this one.
Of course we have dandelions, like everyone else, but the ones out here are the biggest I’ve ever seen.
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.
And the cotton is… flyin’ ?.
Yep, that’s right. Cotton. It’s hot nowadays and for a minute yesterday, I thought I was back in the south. We drove down to the pump to gas it up for watering the meadow. The pond was covered in cotton.
In fact everything was covered in the fluffy stuff.
The Cottonwood Tree buds are bursting and the wind is carrying it off, creating a winter wonderland all around the ranch.
I thought we were done with the white fluffy stuff flying high in the sky. But thankfully it’s summertime and we’re dry and warm while watching the cotton fall.
In these wide open spaces, you can see a storm forming several miles away.
With these thick clouds, you’d think a funnel would form at any minute.
Fortunately on this day, we only saw sheets of rain in the distance.
The girls have already accepted the fact that they will get soaked.
Some areas get pounded by rain and hail and then it’s dry as can be elsewhere, and sometimes that all happens in the same meadow.
And almost always, as soon as the storm passes, the sun comes out and graces us with a beautiful rainbow.
I want to thank you for your kind words in the comments about Shadow. I’m starting to snap out of the blues while keeping busy with photo shoots and print orders.
Quite fittingly for my mood however, storms crept up on us several times last week and during the weekend. While out spraying weeds and looking over one of the pastures, a storm came upon us so fast we barely had time to react. We raced back to the house as fast as the mule (ATV) would go while being pelted with hail and cold, hard rain. We were soaked and shivering and only made it as far as the shop.
I shot these purple clouds right before we took off thinking it was farther away than it really was.
The weatherman says it will be sunny the rest of the week. I sure hope so, we need it.
Those who know me best know that I have had a fear of dogs for pretty much my whole life. As a kid I was chased by the neighbors Boxer. When I jumped over the fence to run to the safety of mom, he got my shoe. Thankfully that was all he got. I’ve been knocked down, bitten, and just simply terrified by canines all my life. I know they can smell my fear .
When I moved out to Wyoming I of course knew it would be a big change in so many ways but I never thought I would enjoy the company of a dog.
The border collie that worked cows ended up being my walking partner for my photo hikes around the ranch.
After some convincing, he would even tolerate walks in the snow.
If he fell into a snow drift, he’d pop back out, shake it off and continue on.
And even though he would occasionally chase off the ducks and deer, I always felt safe and enjoyed his company.
Earlier this week, he grew very ill and we had no idea what was going on. He went downhill so fast that the vet said there was no bringing him back. He went to dog heaven on Tuesday and I miss him terribly.
The hard part is not knowing what happened. Could have been a rattlesnake bite. Could have been cancer, heart failure. We just don’t know.
Once upon a time, the long shadow duo appeared almost daily on the ranch road.
Now it’s just the one.
So long my dear friend. You never jumped on me, bit me, licked me, or barked at me. You were my friend to the end. I will miss you more than I thought I ever could. Thank you for helping me overcome my fear and for being my companion on our rambles around the ranch. You taught me how to enjoy your species.
Love and Peace,
Still working on my Seasons project, we hiked into an area I hadn’t explored yet. And I could swear I saw Sleeping Beauty in the distance. This forest was absolutely gorgeous like how I imagined as a kid when mom read me fairy tales. But since neither one of us can claim to be Prince Charming, we didn’t go wake her.
The trails were made of wildflowers and green grass.
We passed probably a hundred cocoons waiting for the right moment to release the butterflies.
We sat right here waiting for something that Patrick saw in the distance. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
Two bull Elk were leaving the canyon to climb higher. We were probably 40 feet from them. This is the closest I’ve ever been to Elk in the wild. Their antlers are just now getting started, still in the velvet. We were so close we could see bugs flying around them. It was breathtaking.
But they weren’t as thrilled with seeing us. This one performed a very rude gesture before turning and running up the next hill.
Aside from that, this evening hike turned out to be a very successful shoot.
There isn’t much to say here. I just want you to breathe deep, let the wild sage and jasmine take over your senses while a cool breeze washes over your sun kissed skin.
I’m up before sunrise this morning to work cattle. Yeah Dad, sunrise. Watching the sun come up is equally as beautiful on this fine morning.
Happy Hump Day my friends.
Since the weather has been so nice lately, I’ve been making daily visits to the colt. Patrick let her out into the pasture now that the hard winter winds have finally left us.
On the first visit, I went up to her to see if she wanted some grain. Every growing colt needs and wants grain. She sort of ignored me, cut her eyes and continued to graze.
I walked to the barn, scooped some up and hollered out to her. She finally looked up at this crazy lady trying so desperately to get her attention.
She understood and came right over.
She comes right to me now, every evening. She hooks on and walks with me. If I run, she chases me. I’m having fun getting to know her now that we can frolic under the warm sun.
*Note: No animals were hurt in the making of these images. Their haunches probably stung for a bit but they all bounced back to their feisty selves the very next day. This is a healthy bunch of calves.* 🙂
As always, if you are interested in ordering prints, please email me: email@example.com and I’ll get you all of the details.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Today I’m blue.
Yesterday I had to say goodbye to a friend. Her hubby got a new job in Pittsburgh.
She was a sweet surprise when I first moved here. Reached out to me immediately being an artist/photographer from the Southeast US herself. We instantly connected.
Now she will start a photographic journey in a place she’s a little more familiar with than when she first came here. I wish them all the best in their new life.
Vickie, I am so thankful for your friendship. You will be missed. ♥
Saturday was sunny but it quickly turned into rain and hail that evening. It hailed off and on for a couple of hours and then rained throughout the night. It was foggy and misty all of Sunday and our plans for a hike and picnic in the hills were foiled. We were both stir crazy so we put on our rain gear and went for a walk around the ranch.
Dandelions took a beating from the hail.
The grass is green from all of the moisture and the meadows were very boggy.
Sparkly droplets were everywhere…
…like the shiny diamonds of dew on this mustard weed.
The ferocious Wyoming winds blew all day Monday and yesterday morning. I was finally able to take a hike in the hills yesterday and it’s mostly dried out and everything is so green. I think summer is finally here. Maybe. I’ll let you know later this week. 🙂