Uprooted Magnolia

the Weekend of this Unlikely Cowgirl

Posted in Photography, Ranching, Winter by leahyetter on March 3, 2014

©Leah Yetter Photographer
Saturday was sooo snowy. The sun was behind the clouds and so was my mood. Ranching is tough and sometimes lonely work, especially in blinding snow and freezing temperatures; any rancher/caretaker reading this knows what I’m talking about. It is a full day of constantly checking on the well being of the cows and horses, pitching frozen hay over the fence to the heifers, and breaking ice so they all can get a drink. Where loose hay is frozen to your cheeks and tripping over frozen cow turds is the norm. Having to climb over the corral fence with a twenty pound bucket of cow cake because we forgot to make a temporary gate for us to enter and exit safely. In constant worry that a calf will be born and not make it through the freezing night because we haven’t finished building our calving barn yet. All while Patrick has to be in a snow plow for over 10 hours on the interstate making the roads safe for drivers who feel the need to be driving on the roads during a dangerous blizzard. (Yep, those folks are out there… and you may be one of them. 😉 )
©Leah Yetter Photographer
And then, Sunday morning, the sun was there outside my door. Although 6 inches of snow still lay there glistening on the ground, the sky was blue and birds were singing. Patrick was home by 8am and we were able to spend the day feeding, watering and tripping over frozen cow turds together.  We even ventured across the river and hiked around our bluffs to enjoy the peaceful scenery that surrounds us.
I didn’t shoot much this weekend because the ranch work had to be done and I had to stay focused. As I’ve said before, I only pretend to be a cowgirl, I’m really just a photographer. But this weekend, I was a cowgirl first.
I’m happy to report that we are still here with all our fingers and toes and happy to see the snow dripping off the roof today.
Ahhhh, is it spring yet?

6 Responses

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  1. Bonnie Parker said, on March 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Leah, I have to admit that tugged on my heart strings, a true story of how it is to have to go out and face all elements to take care of your cattle, and then come home and and try to prepare the meals and do the housework. two separate lives and 1 person. But yet to be able to see the beauty in it all. And yet at the end of the day, exhausted , you think how lucky you are! welcome to the life of being a ranch woman my friend!


    • leahyetter said, on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Hey there Bonnie. Saturday was hard. We are still adjusting to our new place and there is a lot more responsibility on me now-a-days. Before it was just tagging along with Patrick and helping him here and there and mostly documenting him. I have the utmost respect for ranchers and can only dream of being as competent as those who have been doing this all their lives. I’m not complaining about the work and I’m happy to do it to support our little homestead but I never realized how tough and lonely it can be. Patrick hates having to work a “real” job especially during the hard winter and I don’t like not having him here. But I welcome the challenges even though tears may stream down my face while accomplishing them. I feel I was officially inaugurated to ranch womanhood this weekend!


      • deannagreensandgardenart said, on March 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

        I admire your stamina and gumption in ranch womanhood! What a lovely post about this wintery weekend on a western ranch!


  2. Laurie said, on March 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Trust me… you are definitely a cowgirl…who is also a photographer. You make me chuckle when you say things like “tripping over frozen cow turds”! If that doesn’t scream cowgirl, I don’t know what does!


  3. bernecho said, on March 4, 2014 at 12:35 am

    REAL cowgirls have shit on the outside of their boots! Welcome to the club!


  4. Christine Hendler said, on March 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I LOVED your post, photos and also the comments from your readers :)! You inspire me with your matter-of-fact strength. I am heartened to know that the “pioneer spirit” is alive and kicking (cow turds :)! Come on Spring!


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