So, remember my last post, Misty Morning? Well, the first shot of that setting had a little something extra in it. I thought it was a bunny and I actually posted the second shot in the series without thinking much more about it. Then I looked at that first shot again.
I looked at the calendar and called Patrick over to my computer with this shot zoomed in.
“That’s not a bunny sweetheart. That’s our first whitetail fawn”.
The next morning I saw her with her baby. This little one was born the day before, in that misty morning and I had the privilege to see her a little closer, just this once.
I’d love to get a closeup like my fearless friend Melissa did recently on a fawn hunt.
But that night I saw on the news that a woman came between a cow elk and her calf and was trampled to near death.
I’ll probably go on a hike soon, when the ranch work slows down, and hope for a closer shot like hers but in the meantime, my heart just melts over her fawn portraits.
A serene fog is hanging over the ranch this morning. So still, so peaceful.
I hope you have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend and please remember those who have served and who still serve our country. For love of country they accepted death… -James A. Garfield
These nuisances are building nests in the barns, the shop, sheds, and the owl that hangs around isn’t taking care of business. They have torn up the insulation in the shop and everything is covered in poop. I have a feeling drastic measures will be taken when Patrick returns from fencing.
In lighter news, it rained for a couple hours this morning. We are hoping for more but are thankful for the moisture that we’ve received so far. Driest. Springtime. Ever. At least in a very long time according to folks from around here.
This furry creature has taken up residence at our back door off and on for a month now. Not sure if there is just one or several taking turns.
When my friends were out last month, they named her Lunesta. 🙂
We have a crew coming out for a branding soon so Patrick is getting rides in on the horses after their long winter of staying in the corral and pigging out on yummy hay. They need the exercise and he likes to get them a little tired out before he puts shoes on them. Horses can be a little ornery when told what to do after months of doing what they want.
After unsaddling a couple horses the other evening, I walked out of the tack room and was swarmed by butterflies and moths. It was unreal, they must have hatched at the very moment I was unsaddling.
So I put the tired horses back in the corral and ran around for an hour with my camera.
They were exploring every bush and every flower and they wouldn’t stay still long enough to be photographed. But I like these two, hope you do too!
I’d like to give a warm welcome to four new goslings here at the ranch.
May you have a happy start to your week. ♥
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.
Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like you expected.
This loving mother cow gave birth to a calf that doesn’t look much like her. We’re thinking the neighbor lady must’ve had one of her bulls come onto our cow during breeding season last year. Doesn’t matter, true love knows no color.
Saw this guy one evening while checking cattle. They can prey on large mammals but I’m pretty sure he was after the abundance of ravens flying around the calving pasture.
This is a busy time of year for ranchers around these parts.
As I mentioned a few posts back, we had a new batch of heifers delivered to us on a beautiful Saturday morning. Some had calves already, some had yet to give birth. We got everyone re-tagged and branded and they have now all joined the rest of the herd.
When we are out checking for new calves, we look for peculiar behavior. Like being separated from the herd, staring you down, pawing at the dirt, or standing over a curled up ball of fuzz. As you see in the middle image above, something looks fishy. So we go over, tag it, vaccinate it, and make sure momma has let it suck.
When a mother has a baby that doesn’t survive birth, Patrick skins her deceased calf and creates a cape for a bum/bottle fed calf to wear so that she will accept this calf as her own. Once we put them both together we stand back and wait for her to hum to the calf. If she hums, that’s good. If she kicks it, that’s bad. In this case, momma wanted a baby so she loves this little one as her own. Fortunately we don’t have to do this too often.
The little ones and their mommas always try to get away from us when we drive through them to make sure everyone is doing good and is healthy. They’ll run in the brush or hide behind fallen trees and limbs.
And some just don’t care what you’re up to. This pair sat a chewed their cud when I drove past. The calf looks like she has stars above her eyes!
I love these sweet faces.
This week we’ve been pairing out to go to new pasture to get the calves ready for branding. This job requires cowboys and cowgirls on horseback to sort and match cows and calves together before walking them through the gate. It is tedious but very important because you don’t want them separated. Momma’s and babies will bawl all night if they are separated from each other. Not to mention it’s not good if baby doesn’t get to suckle.
We have a crew coming out in less than a month to help with gathering and branding. Then the cattle will be trucked out to the Laramie Plains to graze for the summer.
We are working cattle today but this ladybug and I wanted to take a minute to say hi!
Hang in there, I know it’s Monday and I hope you have a good one.
I know I’m not the only one that battles these garden invaders. (Although I do like to photograph them.)
I’ve started tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, beans, and spinach in containers inside and this weekend I plan to pull weeds to get the garden ready for planting. I’ll start squash and zucchini in peat pots this weekend too.
I hope we have had our last freeze because I’m so excited to start my first veggie garden in Wyoming soil.
Patrick says “hurry up, I’m starving”!
It rained last night! Or this morning. I’m not sure which or if it was both because I’ve been under a blanket of cold medicine while fighting this ick that my lovely friends brought me from the city. Anyway, no hard feelings, but I feel rough. So as you can imagine, it was a relief to breath in some humidity when I woke up.
Thank you my loyal readers for sending the wet stuff our way! I appreciate your kind words… and your dancing. You’re the best!
Took a peek into this canyon on a beautiful evening ride with friends. The charred trees are from a fire 10 years ago and I can’t help but worry about history repeating itself. The grass is so dry that it crunches under my boots with every step.
I guess it’s time to suit up and chant and spin. Anyone want to join me?