Uprooted Magnolia

Yellowstone: Wildlife from the Window

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 14, 2016

Thank you for your kind comments yesterday. I always enjoy hearing from you guys. While I was typing replies and looking over the shots from yesterday, I realized that some of them just didn’t have anything to help with scale. I mean, I’m sure you get it that it’s a large hot spring because the name is Mammoth Hot Springs, but my close-ups and detail shots may not have really shown that.

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So in this image above, on the left and beyond the trees, you can see the boardwalk and people. Not only is it huge, it’s high. It was definitely a climb.

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Pretty darn impressive.
As I said yesterday, since we didn’t make it to Old Faithful, we sought out landscapes and wildlife in other areas of the park.

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One creature that isn’t shy in the daylight or at any time of day in fact is the Raven. They are HUGE! Much larger than the crow that we have at home.

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Not only is the size difference a way to determine a raven from a crow, the fluffy feathers around the head and neck is a feature of the raven.

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Tower Fall. One of the several waterfalls we visited along the way.

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I rolled the window down to get this rumble between two bull bison. The drama didn’t last long.

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This coyote casually ran past the bison fight and trotted along with a mission. Not sure where he was going but I thought since he was close, I’d keep the window down for a quick portrait.

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We drove for a bit and saw cars pulled off and people out with their cameras just snapping away. Three bull elk were grazing. The one farthest away is a young bull. The two older ones would stomp and chase him away but he’d always come back to graze with them. It’s typical behavior between the young and old. Competition at it’s finest.

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I’d like to say that we stayed in the car to get our shots of these guys but we didn’t. We stepped out to get a closer look and we became the average tourist taking a risk to get “the shot”. It’s not a smart thing to do. This is not Disney or a petting zoo. These are wild animals and at anytime, they could look up and see that they are surrounded by a threatening presence of humans. And out of that fear of threat, they could injure any one of us. All I can say is that they are more than likely used to humans ogling at them but if anything were to spook them, we’d be in danger.

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Fortunately on this day, these guys were pretty docile and were mostly interested in grazing the bright green grass. I shot this with a telephoto once back in the van. Must be nice to have an impressive rack to scratch that itch.


 

Yellowstone: Living Landscapes

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel by leahyetter on June 13, 2016

We stayed in Gardiner Montana, just near the  north entrance of the park. Located about 5 miles from the entrance is the Mammoth Hot Springs, our first stop in Yellowstone.

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Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine, a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs.

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“It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution). Because of the huge amount of geothermal vents, travertine flourishes. Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas”- Thank you, Wikipedia

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It was a cool morning but the steam coming from the springs warmed us right up.

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©Leah Yetter Photographer

Detail shots of mineral build up.

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©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s quite a hike touring these hot springs and fortunately there is a boardwalk to steer us in the right direction.
Just look at those two.

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We sat for a bit to take it all in then took to the road to make our way to Old Faithful, one of the most predictable geographical features on earth. It erupts every 35 to 120 minutes. Our plan was to have lunch at the Old Faithful Lodge and sit out and watch this geyser shoot boiling water up to 185 ft in the air .

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But it’s so hard not to stop at every turnout to admire the great scenery.

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Here, we stopped at Roaring Mountain. Roaring Mountain is full of microscopic organisms wearing away at the mountain amid the sulfur rich gases. It is inhospitable to humans but is the perfect home for heat-loving microbes.

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We loaded back into the van and headed south. We came upon a long line of cars about 10 miles or so from the Old Faithful Historic District. We sat for a while and waited. And waited. You expect long lines and a lot of traffic through the park but we felt something bigger was going on. Plus, at the time of year that we were there, the crowds hadn’t made it to the park yet. Surprisingly so far, the crowds were not that big. So we flagged down a driver coming the other direction and in her thick and kind British accent, she told us that a large herd of Bison had parked themselves in the road and weren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. So, we turned around and made a different plan. We found lunch and happened upon some wildlife along the way and finished out the day admiring the gorgeous landscapes. More on that tomorrow. 🙂


 

Journey to Yellowstone

Posted in Local, Nature, Photography, Thankful, Travel, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 10, 2016

I’ve been travelin’.
My dad and stepmom came out a couple of weeks ago and we hung out around here for a couples days. Then we packed up their minivan and the three of us took off for an adventure in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks that we will never forget.

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What a drive, let me tellya. Dad drove through wind, rain, hail, sleet, and heavy fog. It was wild and I was so relieved to be the passenger.

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We had to stop for this gorgeous view of Beartooth Mountain as we weaved in and out of Montana and Wyoming on Beartooth Highway.

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We made it into the park by mid-evening and the light was beautiful. Right off the bat we saw Bison. What a great time of year because Bison calves were everywhere!

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Pronghorn and Bison graze on the flats together.

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When you visit Yellowstone, there is a lot of driving. I’m not kidding. It’s a HUGE park. So we had to get organized as to how we were going to tackle this place. We had a Geyser day, a wildlife day, a waterfall day, etc. They all kind of melded together and didn’t always go according to plan. In fact, the day we were headed to Old Faithful, the road was completely blocked by a herd of Bison so we had to turn around and change our plans. We were in a line of cars 10 miles long and didn’t even see the herd but it is obviously not an uncommon event (see above). This isn’t Disneyland. This is Bison, Bear, Pronghorn, Wolf, Elk, Deer; basically all God’s Creatures’ land. We did make it to Old Faithful the next day.

I’ll share more images from this trip throughout the next few days. It was a fantastic time and a wonderful trip to share with my Dad, also a photographer. I am so thankful to my stepmom, Debbie, for making this happen. She is a heck of a trip designer and orchestrated a spectacular adventure for the three of us. They just started their travel blog and you can visit it by clicking here: Travels with Skip & Debbie

🙂


Whitetails at the Door

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on May 16, 2016

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I woke up to another misty morning and much to my delight, had some visitors.

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This family decided to graze right by the house in the early morning.

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Aren’t those faces the sweetest?

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They are welcome any time and I wish they’d stop by in the daylight more often. I see their tracks every day so I know they are passing through during the night.

Happy Monday, everyone. I believe this thing called Sun will come out at some point this week. We are overcast, soaking wet and the river is rising. I think that’s why these guys are close to the house. That and the pesky coyotes.


 

Counting Cattle

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 28, 2016

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It’s still a little damp out there and a light fog hung above the meadows this morning. I sipped my coffee and counted the cattle from the dining room window. I love the contrast of last years grass turned golden and the new, green grass that is coming up.  And just look at all those baby calves scattered about. Some grazing like mom, others waiting for their next sip of milk. But one of these is not like the other. There’s the old gray horse grazing with the cows but anxiously awaiting his bucket of afternoon oats. Ahhh spring… 🙂


 

Back to Spring

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 27, 2016

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With the passing of a few hours after this shot, the snow finally stopped and began to melt. The sun came out and it’s shining brightly today. This moisture sure is making the grass green and buds form on the cottonwoods. #9 had her calf just after the storm and when I checked on them this morning, it was running and bucking and loving life. I guess the cold didn’t bother the little booger that much.


 

it’s called Sprinter

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 26, 2016

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Oh, no worries. It’s just another Winter storm happening in Spring. It’s called Sprinter.
Now, if only I can find the cattle.


 

Seeing Green

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 22, 2016

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

I feel like this quote is spot on about Wyoming. We may insane wind speeds, blinding snow storms, and hail that will make you feel a little crazy, but when it’s still and warm, it’s heavenly.

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It’s so great to see the wild iris taking form in the meadows. Our little corner of Earth is waking up and it is a delight!
Happy Earth Day!


 

Mother Goose, Mother Nature

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 21, 2016

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We have two sets of resident geese. One pair stays at the west side of our property, the other at the complete opposite end.

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Whenever I walk up to the edge of the river, they take off squawking and kicking and it spooks me so bad, similar to when a sage grouse pops out of the sage grass spooking the heck out of your horse while gathering cattle on the Laramie Plains. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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The river is high and rapid in some parts but it doesn’t bother them much.

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While looking for newborn calves I quietly photographed this little family hiding as best as they could. I only see two babies here. Looks as though our resident owl has possibly been snatching these babies up for their own enjoyment. Oh the beauty and heartache mother nature gives us. Those fuzzy babies are so cute.


 

Spring = Mud

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 20, 2016

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Springtime equals mud around these parts. We’ve had a couple more storms like the one I posted about a couple weeks ago. But the snow melted away as quickly as it fell and we’re left with puddles and mud. We are thankful for the moisture.
We are a little over half way through calving and the little squirts are growing fast and healthy. Again, we are thankful. Lots of new life is happening in meadows. I just spotted our resident geese with their goslings and the resident horned owl has three owlets again this year. The turkey’s are gobbling and the deer are grazing. The meadowlarks are singing and Sandhill cranes are kicking up a fuss in the meadows. Man, they can be loud.
I’ll share images of all of the new life and spring beauty soon.
Happy Wednesday y’all!


 

And just like that…

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 29, 2016

…we’re back to dry meadows and snow covered hills.

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Cow #10 had her calf a couple days after the storm last week so she timed the birth well, thankfully. They say we are in for another storm later today and tomorrow. We’ll see how many calves that brings us tonight.
Happy Tuesday, y’all! 🙂


 

First Born

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 7, 2016

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Our first calf arrived on Friday and he was born to a first time mother. When Patrick saw the heifer in labor that morning, he got her into the barn for privacy and so that we could assist her if she needed it. She labored for about 3 hours until we saw hooves. We gave her 30 more minutes to have it on her own and sure enough, after a long and loud moo/grunt/squeal, he entered our world. I went in a checked on her and she was laying upright and very tired. The calf was alive and just laid there quietly. It was obvious that she didn’t know what happened or even saw that she had a calf. I gave her some water and left her alone to rest. About 10 minutes went by and she stood up. When she turned around and saw this little slimy bundle, she started humming loudly and was licking him like crazy. She was immediately in love and so energetic and exited. This excitement and mothering doesn’t always happen, especially with heifers. But this lady loves her baby and is taking such good care of him. We are happy and relieved that this was a calm and happy birth. We have a few more heifers to calve out and several cows to calve. We’re just getting started and I pray this will be a smooth calving season. And so it begins…

PS: Our Winter Art Fair went well on Saturday. Just wish you could’ve been there. 🙂


Delicate Snow Caps

Posted in Nature, Photography, Winter by leahyetter on December 16, 2015

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The sun is out today and the snow is deep in some places. The wind whipped the fluffy stuff into drifts and I’m hoping enough has moved out of the road so I can make it down to the cattle. They want cake!


Babyface

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on November 12, 2015

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We got our first snow of the season a couple nights ago. But yesterday, the sun came out and the wind picked up to rid us of the white stuff. That’s okay, I’m not quite ready for it… although the forecast says I better get ready.
Anyway, I took a walk to the meadows and this sweet baby-face peeked at me through the trees. She was born early summer and I couldn’t get close to her all season! So this was a nice surprise. 🙂


Roaming at Sunset

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on November 6, 2015

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©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This wild girl roams free. She often greets me after I wander around the river and meadows. She’ll jump out of the tall grass and wrap her furry paws around my leg. No claws, just love. She’ll do that at night when I walk down the hall. She’ll stand quietly in the doorway and jump out with arms flying. It’s nice to have a kitty around although she isn’t as snugly as my Baby Angel Matilda. That’s okay though. If she sticks around long enough, she’ll learn.

Have a great weekend, friends!


In the Brush

Posted in Nature by leahyetter on October 26, 2015

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Hiding from the hunters…


Breathing in an Autumn Sunset

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on September 24, 2015

I love a good walk by the river.

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The first signs of autumn are showing. It’s comforting to hear the trickle of the river and cottonwood leaves falling in the slightest breeze.

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Everywhere I turn, there is a calming beauty that surrounds us and I love breathing it in.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Sunsets are becoming even more magical as we draw closer to the cool crisp air of the autumn months.

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Sandhill Cranes take flight once the sun is behind the mountains.
Look at that cloud down low. Looks like a funnel doesn’t it? Not sure what you’d call that but I know is wasn’t a tornado.

I hope you are enjoying the first days of Autumn. Here’s to colorful backdrops, rich sunsets and pumpkin spice everything!


 

Summer of the Sunflower

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on August 31, 2015

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This is the summer of the sunflower. They are livening up roadsides and fields everywhere you turn. They even grown in the cracks of sidewalks! One evening I was sitting on the deck and after the sun went behind Laramie Peak, I noticed the sunflowers in the yard were dancing. The wind was still so upon closer observation, I saw a yellow finch just going to town on sunflower seeds. Happy Monday everyone!


Summer Days

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on August 28, 2015

Wow! What a wet and stormy spring it was and a dry summer it has become!

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©Leah Yetter Photographer

Powerful rain and hail storms plagued us for weeks.

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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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

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This bull isn’t very impressed. Period.

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But the sun has finally come out and we’ve warmed right up with hot and dry temperatures.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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…

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…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*


Castilleja

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on July 1, 2015

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja, a genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.