Uprooted Magnolia

Various Ramblings and Images ’cause I Miss You

Posted in Calving, Horses, Nature, Ranching by leahyetter on April 16, 2012

A few things…

We woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground this morning. We’ve been desperate  for moisture.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s busy ’round here. I’ve been more of a cowgirl than a photographer lately and I miss my camera.
I fixed that this morning ’cause I miss y’all.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I have some stories to share and hope to find time to write them. There is one in particular that had our family howling over Easter lunch. I’m not much of a writer and there aren’t too many pictures to go along with it but I’ll make it work somehow.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Our little Pinrow has a new cow mommy. Yay for him. Sad for me.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We had a new shipment of heifers and calves this weekend. You see, heifers (first time mothers) don’t really know how to be a mom so they’ll let any calf suck. There were times down in the corrals while we were sorting them, that a heifer had a calf on each side and one in the back suckling. “Nobody’s gonna go hungry in this herd!”, Patrick said. I stood there in shock. Bunch of hippies I say.
Mother cows that have done this a few times will kick and headbutt a calf if one other than hers tries to suck.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The gobblers are gobbling daily.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And strutting daily.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We wake up every morning to the song of the meadowlark.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I was finally able to capture the elusive Merganser Ducks in the pond this morning.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This couple is always around but so difficult to capture. I sneaked up on them this morning.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Geese honk constantly. It’s become annoying. At least they are photogenic.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I’m working on a project for a client where I’m adding color to black and white landscapes. I think it’s going to look good and I hope to share some of that with you when the job is completed.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had to pull about 4 calves out of mother cows because the calf was either backwards, too big or the cow was weak after pushing for too long. Eeeesh.  Sometimes when I use the word “we” I tell you that I use it loosely. Usually “we” means Patrick but here lately, I’m in it up to my elbows.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I have good friends flying in tomorrow for a visit. I can’t wait. ♥


In the Thick of it

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on April 10, 2012

It’s hot and dry and we are in full calving mode.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The pregnant ladies enjoy cooling off in the pond.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The ladies that have calved are in the brush or in the willows, most likely to try to hide from us.
But we find them every time.
Once their calf has gotten up and sucked, we step in to vaccinate them and give them a shiny new earring with a number that matches mom’s. Once they’ve gotten up from that, mom hums and leads her calf away from us.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

While we were tagging another calf, the cow in the distance in this image came running up thinking we had her calf. It wasn’t hers and she ran off from us in a panic. We found hers seconds later and Patrick bahhhed like a calf until she came over the hill.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It took her a minute but she soon realized we found her calf. She came over, claimed it and we tagged him and sent them on their merry way. I bet she’ll keep up with him after that episode.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Now this lady was scary. I mean flat out mad. So I stayed in the rhino.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

She was so mad she would bellow and holler with her tongue hanging out and slobber flying everywhere.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Patrick had to swat at her with the plastic paddle. She was so mean and oh so mad. We barely got out of this one alive. Cows are mostly mellow creatures but once they have a calf, they can be dangerous.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Here are some peaceful and rather cute babies and mommies portraits.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I’m quite partial to the red and white spotted cuties.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This calf is one of my favorites.
I love this time of year.


Twins!

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 22, 2012

We got a set of twins this morning. The momma is only accepting one.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So I’ll be momma for a while.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We’ll draft this little booboo onto a cow that loses her calf in the future. But for now, I need to head out to give her a hit of colostrum and some milk.
We’re almost done calving out the black cows, now it’s time for the reds. ♥


Wyoming Longhorns, in closing

Posted in Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 1, 2012

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I love this image. And I loved our time with the Wilson’s.
Click on the yearling longhorn above to view a complete gallery of the longhorns that you’ve seen here over the past couple of days. I hope you’ve enjoyed these images as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.
We look forward to visiting again and next time Linda, we’ll stay for the brownies.


Wyoming Longhorns, Part II

Posted in Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on February 29, 2012

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This cow is Patrick’s favorite. He likes her coloring and the rings around her horns. The rings, as you may have already guessed, tell the age of the cow. This girl is thirteen this year.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Kaylynn(sp?) stood proud and beautiful, even with a sprig of hay hanging out of her mouth.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Um hey pretty lady. Who does your makeup? It’s gorgeous dahling.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I had to put the wide angle lens on for this shot. She was following me closely, probably with the hope I’d feed her some cake.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This dark beauty was by the creek the whole time. She was uninterested in her guests.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Scratch that itch babe. You know she’s hitting the target because look at her tongue!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

At the end of our tour, the sun went behind the clouds and it got colder. These yearlings met us at the truck but were a little shy and didn’t stick around long.
We had a great time visiting with the Wilson’s and the cattle and look forward to going back when it warms up!


Wyoming Longhorns, Part I

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on February 28, 2012

I’ve been pawing at Patrick to take me to the Wilson Ranch for a while now. Every time we head up Hwy 34 to the plains to fix fence, I can always see their cattle way off in the distance.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So he finally called them up and they invited us to come up Saturday afternoon. I was thrilled!
Not only because I was going to be up close and personal with award winning Longhorn Cattle, but they are calving right now!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

These little angels are born smaller than the average calf so during calving season, the mommas and babies are enclosed in a high fence pen. Coyotes just love the smell of a fresh born calf and can snatch one away before momma even knows what happened.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

These cows are fairly gentle but knew quite well that we were strangers.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

A few of them kicked the dirt but fortunately no one charged us.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The baby beauties are born with only nubs on their head. (Lucky for the momma, am I right?)

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Some are born solid white and will develop their coloring over time.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They were all pretty curious and happy to pose for a portrait.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s amazing how aware and careful they are with their horns.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This little one is loving her scrub down. Notice the tongue!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I love her calf bucking in the background. There was a lot of that cuteness going on.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

At a couple weeks old, they start munching on little bits of hay.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Look at the little nubs coming out.  And I just love those ears!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Inside the calving barn, the family brands grace the wall.

Stay tuned for more. The next stop is with cows that are yet to calve. They were sunbathing by the crick (creek). 🙂


A Weekend of Firsts

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Horses, Photography, Ranching, Winter by leahyetter on February 13, 2012

Phew! This was a very eventful and COLD weekend. Like 10 degrees and below cold.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We got our first calf. Ironically from heifer #1, a first time mother on Saturday.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Poco’s filly started eating hay. She would eat a few bites, and then go suckle. So cute!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Yep. Those are icicles on her little ears. It’s THAT cold!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Kate and family had “no comment” and went on to find a spot to lay down.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

As if we weren’t cold enough and covered in 5 inches of snow already, we woke up to a our first deep frost of the year on Sunday morning.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So we moved the cows from the pasture across the river…

©Leah Yetter Photographer

…to our backyard.

Then Patrick went to feed the bulls a couple pastures over and the tractor broke down.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So we had to tow it back home. Him driving backwards in the working tractor and me steering the broken down tractor. Not easy. And not my favorite adventure thus far.

We walked into the house just before dark. I put a couple more logs on the fire, wrapped up in fleece head to toe, opened a bottle of Chianti, and enjoyed my couch and the Grammy’s.


Because She Can

Posted in Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on January 23, 2012

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Couple Things…

1) Just like humans, cows use their tongues to drink and break down food. But did you know that they curl their very large tongue around the grass and feed they eat? She then chews her food, swallows, then regurgitates the food as cud to be chewed again.

2) The average cow moves its jaw (and tongue) 40,000 to 60,000 times per day just chewing food.

But why does a cow stick her tongue up her nose? Well, because she can.

How’s that to spice up your Monday.

P.S. #249 says your eyes would water too if you had to stand out in this roaring wind today.


Visiting the Waddlers

Posted in Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on November 22, 2011

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The girls are getting huge with baby. I’d like to say they run to us when we go to Patrick’s land to visit them but it’s more like a waddle.
This was shot in mid October. I love the fall color against the blue sky. I’m sure it doesn’t look like that now. It’s a hot fall here in the south but I’m hanging onto it because soon I will step back into the wild western winter.
Happy Tuesday!


Beautiful Day for a Preg Check

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Nature, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on October 19, 2011

Fall is really taking shape in this little corner of the world. I hope it is treating you well too. Here are a few shots from the past couple of days.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The guys rounded up the cattle and brought them to the corrals. It’s that time of year to test how well the bulls did.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We brought them through the meadows where the trees are golden and the grass is rich. The ladies tried like heck to stop and eat but this is winter feed, they can’t have this grass yet.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I didn’t shoot during the pregnancy tests. You should thank me for that. Instead I’m just showing you trailing through the fall color.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We started testing around 8 am and were done around 4pm. Then we trailed into the sunset to the hills behind the ranch. The cattle have had a busy few days on their hooves. The guys brought them home from the Plains, rested for two days, then an arm went up their ‘you know what’ to see if they are with calf. I know they are ready for us to leave them alone. And we will until the snow covers the ground to where they can’t get enough grub. Then they’ll come closer to the house, feast on hay bales and we’ll wait for the babies to arrive.
Just another year in paradise is all.


Weaning Calves

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on October 11, 2011

We woke up at 3:30 am and left the ranch at 4:30 in the a.m. We arrived at the Laramie Plains by 6 and made our way into the pasture where the cows were waiting.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The cowboys saddled up and waited for it to get a little lighter.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

There were plenty of riders so I decided to stay with the trucks at the corral to watch the sun rise and wait for them to bring in the cattle.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And what a beautiful sunrise it was.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Not long after, the cattle started my way. I heard the moos way before I saw them.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

All paired up, still with milk on their lips, the babies followed momma toward the paneled corral.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The cowboys and cowgirl got them in the panels and then discussed the game plan.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They checked the panels to make sure nobody was bustin’ out.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And the cattle waited impatiently for their instructions.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Step one is to sort out the momma cows. Step two is to separate the steers from the heifers and count each group. And step three is to load them on separate trucks.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This little booger got away and gave the cowboys a run for their money. They had to rope her and lead her back to the corrals.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The calves looked good, were big enough to wean and were trucked to their new homes.
We brought a few of the smaller calves home and for the last few nights, I’ve gone to sleep listening to them bawl for momma. It takes about a week for everyone to get over the separation anxiety. The momma cows are still up on the Plains and they spent several days by the panels waiting for their babies to come back.  Yesterday was the first day I noticed the calves are calm and are finally comfortable in their new surroundings and their strict diet of hay and water.

You can see more pictures of this day by clicking any picture above or going straight  to the gallery on my website here: http://www.leahyetter.com/111005shipping/ .

The cows will be trailed home later this week and then we check them for babies in the belly. Stay tuned for that beautiful experience. Just kidding. I’ll probably put the camera down and just  take inventory.


Late May Branding: The Galleries

Posted in Branding, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on June 3, 2011

I have finally processed and posted my images from our branding in late May!
The galleries are on my web page and on my public Facebook page.

*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: uprootedmagnolia@leahyetter.com and I’ll get you all of the details.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Rainy Day Branding

Posted in Branding, Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on May 23, 2011

The branding was set for Saturday, then cancelled, and then back on leaving it solely up to the rain clouds above. So we woke up at 5am, loaded the horses, and away we went wondering what mother nature had in store for us.

After a couple of sprinkles of rain on the way to the South Ranch, we arrived a little damp but the guys and gals mounted their horses and rode out to the pasture anyway to gather the little ones.

The calves ran into the branding pen with no idea what was about to happen. And we still weren’t sure if the sky was going to fall.

The cowboys roped.

And looped.

And branded.

The horses and ropers worked like champions, bringing in the calves for booster shots and their brand. Rain clouds hovered over us all day long, a constant breezed carried sprinkles all around us, but we made it through the entire day without a downpour. And to think just 2 days before, it snowed for 6 hours straight.

The branding was a success and we finished it off with a fantastic meal with good company. Patrick and I checked on the calves yesterday and aside from being dazed and confused and a little sore, they all look very well. I’m sure they will be very excited when they are trucked to the Laramie Plains and left alone for the summer.


A Beautiful Day for a Bull Roundup

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on April 22, 2011

The sky was blue and the sun was shining so we decided to ruin a perfect day by gathering the bulls.
Let the profanity commence!

Not really, they were fairly docile and agreeable and only fought a couple of times. If you remember we did this last June and the fighting went on and on and on.

My friend Tex joined me on this trip.

We gathered our 4 bulls and waited by this stream for the guys to gather the 16 others.

Once Patrick topped the hill with the last three, we started to direct them toward the corrals.

They are always misbehaving when they are in a big group like this. They fight, ride each other, go the wrong way and bellow til your eardrums explode, all in a minutes time.

After a slow drive, we got them on the road to the corrals without any mishaps.

Once they are in the corrals, I like to stay on the outside of the fence because getting crushed and stomped on is not on my bucket list.

Today, Patrick will load them on the trailer and take them to the clinic where the vet will test their swimmers. I will not go into detail on how this is done but I will say it is one of the million reasons I’m glad I’m not a bull.


Cooed, Mooed, and Tattooed

Posted in Branding, Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on April 12, 2011

We got ’em. Patrick separated the cows from the calves while I got the vaccines ready. They started out with just a coo for their momma. Then the mooing got louder and louder.

“This hurts me as much as it hurts you little ones”, I tell them. I always tear up a little during brandings. But it’s a law, it has to be done.

They bounce back up after it’s all over. “Alright now #48, no disrespect. C’mon now”.

They look good though. I refused to do the actual branding so the guys had to get them to the ground and tattoo while I vaccinated. I was efficient while handing over the irons and giving shots at the same time if I do say so myself.

We were done in less than 40 minutes. They mothered up and started sucking almost immediately.

It was a little chaotic but they stayed paired up for a little while. Then we opened the gate to let them out.

And they hauled butt!

A few little ones went the wrong way so Patrick and one mother went to get them and lead them in the right direction. Even young calves think they know everything.

And off they ran to new pasture.

Phew! That group of 20 is done. Only 300 or more to go.


Young and Feisty

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 31, 2011

We’re busy around here.  Remember, I often use the term “we” loosely. I do help out, like cradling a newborn that’s too cold and the momma can’t take care of  it in the beginning. Mostly though, I stand back with the camera. I’m loving being around these little munchkins but it just means a lot of work for the ranchers.

Once the calves are born and have sucked, they get their ears pierced.

It’s not the prettiest accessory but it serves it’s purpose. It helps to pair them with momma if they get separated.

Some are born fast and feisty. That means you’ve got to chase them through the meadows and grab them up when they hide in the willows. They have to get their ear tag and be inspected by the rancher to check their health.

Sometimes milk bags can’t provide so eventually the Rancher becomes the Mother.

Sunset is a favorite time. That means a couple if not a few hours of sleep before it starts all over again.

But it’s not just the ranchers that are busy around here. While we’re calving, the gobblers are strutting and the hens are watching and waiting for their knight is shining armor. I’ll have those photos for you tomorrow.


Humming

Posted in Calving, Love, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 17, 2011

I can sense the curiosity in the comments yesterday about the mother cow humming to her calf .
Allow me to explain.

To get the calf to recognize her as it’s mother, she will hum. The hum is a low pitch, closed mouth mooooooo, obviously. Then, when they are all mixed up in the herd together, mom can hum and the calf can find her quickly. It is also a way to comfort the calf if frightened by us humans.
I remember one very snowy day last year a calf got herself turned around in an offshoot of a corral and couldn’t find her way out. The mother was already out and was humming to get the calf’s attention.  The snow was so high, up to my knees, and the calf started to panic. Patrick instructed me to go in there and hum to her. I did, and the calf turned around. I continued to hum as I led her out to her mother into the corral. I mentioned that here.

I love hearing the hum, it means she’s a good mom and loves her calf.


 

Springtime Calving

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 16, 2011

Yes! It is finally spring around here. It’s warming up and that means very little sleep and hard but wonderful work. Cows and ranchers are all busy. Calving is beautiful and precious but it can also break your heart. Fortunately, it hasn’t been too emotional yet.

The calves that were our early arrivals have become bosom buddies and are so entertaining.

They jump, kick and climb on anything they can get their hooves on.

And they are already munching on a little hay.

While the older ones play and eat all day, little ones are being born and are learning to use their legs.

This little one was born to the heifer (first time mother) I had to watch over the other morning. The calf convinced her that she was his mother and she is now very loving and hums to him constantly. She loves her baby and that is such a relief.

He’s so cute and feisty. I’m so glad he made it. They will join the herd soon but for now, he and his mom will stay in a corral separate from the others. He needs to get more comfortable with his legs.


Trailing to the Maternity Ward

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 3, 2011

We woke up at the crack of dawn to a thick fog covering the ranch and the hills that surround us.
Cowboys showed up with horses in tow and I invited my friend Vickie to join me in the ATV.

Yesterday was the day to move cattle from the home place to the South Ranch.

The girls knew something was up when they saw the cowboys on their horses.

They immediately started running to join up as one huge herd.

Vickie remarked on how amazing it is that they line up in single file.
I’m guessing it’s because they know a gate is up ahead.

The fog lifted and we watched as they spread out when in the wide open meadows.

Single file through the gate…

…and through the draw.

This was our view for most of the day. Backsides.

Through wind fallen trees…

…and across the Sybille Crick*.

And finally, under the busy Highway.

After a 5 hour trail ride, we got the ladies to what I call the ‘maternity ward’ of the South Ranch. There is a lot of feed, clean pasture and calf pullers at this ranch. We’re getting ready for a busy calving season.

I can’t wait for the newborn portrait sessions!

–*Crick is cowboy for Creek.


Wyoming Longhorns

Posted in Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on February 17, 2011

On the way to check on our cattle (and precious calves) the other day, we drove past a ranch that raises longhorns. They were right at the fence so as usual Patrick smashed the brakes and kicked up a little dirt so I could take photos.

Are those horns on your head? Or are you just surprised to seem me?

Red Roan Brockle Longhorn

I got a call while we were watching them and as I was talking with my client, Patrick grabbed the camera.

Photo by Patrick: Scratch that Itch!

He captured the shot of the day!
She had an itch that only a giant horn could scratch. And I guess if she holds her tongue just so, she’ll satisfy that itch.