Pretty excited about the new kid. She smells funny. 😉
Thanks to a comment from a friend yesterday, I learned that baby bison are called red dogs.
I had never heard that term before and she said she’s only heard that in Yellowstone.
Her comment also reminded me that I hadn’t shared the couple of shots I got of the babies. It looks like it was a good calving season because we saw a lot of the little furry babies on the ground.
I love the little nubs on their heads. They are much cuter than their mothers that’s for sure!
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… 🙂
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.
I posted this today on my Facebook page.
The start to spring here has been wonderful. Temps have been in the 60’s and we’ve been soaking up the sunshine.
But with the warning of a major storm coming, I knew darn well that calves would start popping out. Sure enough, I got one yesterday and that makes 7 of the little boogers in all so far.
The clouds started building by mid-afternoon.
It was storming in the sky by late afternoon. Then it started raining here at about 10pm.
And this is how it looked at 7 this morning. I barely made it down to the meadow.
The wind is blowing out of the north which is of course the direction I had to drive to get down to the meadow. I was blinking snow drops all morning.
The Gray horse turned a muddy brown. I couldn’t even recognize our own horse! Of course, my eyelids were cupping snow flakes so it’s understandable.
It took me an hour to find the girls. Visibility was about ZERO but I saw finally saw them in the middle of the meadow with their butts facing north. Yep, that’s them in the upper left of the above image.
That’s #10 on the far left. She should calve at any time. I’m watching her closely today and I pray she keeps that baby inside just a little longer.
I’m headed out again. I hope I don’t have to bring a calf inside by the fire. But if would be okay if I did. 😉
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…
When the wind blows, it takes the hay right off my fork then smacks a heifer in the face. They probably think I’m trying to start a food fight with them. Fortunately for me, they just keep on chewing. 🙂
We weaned calves under a gorgeous Wyoming sunrise earlier this week.
In the midst of this busy portraits season, I changed hats and cowgirl’d for the day.
The cows are pretty gentle and they like us a lot so it’s pretty easy to get them to follow us in the truck. Patrick calls for them while I rattle the cake sack. Works every time.
Tom hangs behind to make sure no one breaks off from the herd.
The went right into the corral and then we sorted them. We took the steers to the sale and brought have 5 heifers home, bawling for momma. I’m keeping the bunk full of hay and by day 4 (today), they have settled down quite bit.
Have a great weekend folks!
This Mother’s Day weekend was a rainy and snowy one. But last weekend the weather was perfect for a cattle roundup and branding. Below are images of that day.
After saddling the colt , he saddled his horse for the round up.
The boss got some help from his daughter with buckling up his chaps.
Making final adjustments to the cinch.
Discussing the route for gathering cows and calves.
Before branding the calves, we worked/doctored the cows in the barn.
Getting the horse ready for roping calves.
We start them young out here in the wild west.
Hot irons sit and wait. The flames are powered by a propane tank.
It was a nice day with friends, old and new. After the calves were all branded, they let them out of the corrals to mother up. By early evening, they all found one another and are doing great.
If you’d like to see more from this day, go to my website HERE.
Thanks for looking… 🙂
The morning haze rolled off the mountains and down onto us yesterday. It rained, snowed, drizzled, rained, sleeted, and snowed all day long. At one point it felt like the wind was blowing from all directions because the rain came down in a cross-cross pattern. The snow didn’t stick and on this damp and chilly morning, we are so grateful for this springtime moisture.
PS: Only two more cows left to calve. Yay!
…I only have five more to go. Calving has been a bit challenging but overall we are well. Busy, but well. Happy and healthy. And sometimes on a sunny afternoon, we are very lazy.
Proud mommas keep their calves close.
When I ride through the meadow to check on everyone, the good mothers locate their babies for me.
And sweet kisses occur frequently.
Now don’t get too excited. There are days that don’t go as well as one would hope. Some of these cows seem to think that having their calf across the river is a good idea. Sure, she’s looking for privacy to give birth. But when she’s ready to join the herd, walking across the river isn’t as easy for her calf as she thinks. Like Patrick says, “they just want to baptize them right off the bat!”
I wait for P to get home from work so we can cross the river in the 4-wheeler to spook them out of the bluffs and catch the calf (by his tail). Then we load the little booger up and drive him back across with mom following us while breathing heavy and humming.
Then there are times when the cow crosses the river with her older calf and hides him in a canyon. So the big, bad coyote (Patrick) scares him up and out of there and we “encourage” them to cross back and join the herd.
I’m on the edge of my seat right about now.
I. hate. this. part.
Can I look now?
It’s so scary to watch them cross. Patrick is in the process of fencing off the river but that takes time and money, both of which are scarce around here. But we are hoping to have it done before next calving season.
The weather has been splendid and I have felt like I’ve been in a National Geographic documentary these past couple of weeks.
On that note, the turkey’s are back!
Hi everyone! I am back from a lovely two week trip back east visiting family and friends. I had a wonderful time but didn’t get to see half the people on my list. Ugh! Next time though…and I won’t let it go two years before my next visit.
Anyway, it’s nice to be home. The weather is magnificent and lucky number 13 debuted the first calf of the season just yesterday. It looks healthy and happy so later today I’ll get a closer look. Right now mom and baby are bonding.
Hope you are having a great start to your week. Cheers!
We weaned the calves off of momma yesterday. We kept a few to replenish our herd and the rest went to market. It was a beautiful morning. All in all, it was a very good day.
Since we have such a small herd, we had two cowboys bring them in on horses while Patrick and I stayed on the ground to get gates.
They came right to Patrick because he has the yummy cake. We’ve been chumming them in the last few days and they like us. A lot!
Weaning is hard on the calves (and me!). The five heifers we brought home are bawling for momma. They’ll be better in a few days and I make regular trips down to see them, talk to them and try to help them feel calm. I wish I knew how to play the trumpet. I would play it for them. But for now, they just have to deal with my singing. 🙂
We took the cows to the hills for summer grazing.
I think they’ll enjoy it. The grass is up to their bellies.
While leaving, we found ourselves in a horse race.
As we slowed down to let the horses “win”, Patrick spotted a baby antelope in the tall grass.
He crouched, trying to hide from me.
But no such luck. I had my eye on him.
We drove on and when I looked back, I saw momma coming to care for her young.
Aside from the mosquitoes, this is a wonderful time of year in Wyoming. 🙂
Branding season is upon us and that means cowboys as far as the eye can see!
Our neighbors have been a huge help while we adjust to our new location. They came to my rescue one morning when I found a newborn calf clinging to life. They heard the stress in my voice over the phone and came right over. But that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, last weekend before I had to travel to Laramie for a shoot, I had the opportunity to photograph the gather and some of the branding. Here are some shots from that morning.
They have a larger herd than us and helped us a few days before to brand our little grasshoppers. Neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what it’s all about. Am I right? 🙂
Have a great May Day folks! Hang baskets of fresh flowers on the doorknobs of your neighbors’ houses. Dance into May. It’s finally warming up!
The Sandhill Cranes made it back a couple months ago and cause quite a raucous daily. They are loud and flutter all over the meadow chasing off other cranes.
But what’s funny is when I look out over the meadow I’ll sometimes a group of calves scatter.
I think they get spooked when the cranes takes off and I’ll see the cows all chasing their calves trying to find the right one. It’s a funny sight.
They are impressive birds and are quite large.
And are VERY loud with beady yellow eyes.
Most of the time they all get along but it get’s a little National Geographic-ish sometimes out here!
I’ve got one cow to have her calf and then we’ll be done. Now we just have to keep them alive and healthy over the next few months. But the overly stressful part is coming to an end. My calendar is starting to book up with shoots and I am excited about the weather warming up. Even though we have more snow in the forecast, we have made through the worst of it. I hope to get back to being regular here as cowboy season is upon us.
Have a great weekend folks!
Not unlike most days lately, I spent most of my Saturday down with the cows. Normally it would be a quick trip down, count them, check the health of the calves, and head back to the house. But as I made my way down, I saw #25 across the river giving birth to her calf right along the riverbank. So, I found a comfy spot by a Cottonwood tree and snapped some shots of them.
I had to stay with them to make sure the calf didn’t tumble into the river. These little guys could drown in a mud puddle. I wasn’t going to go to them right away because they needed time to bond. The calf needed to get on his feet and suckle.
It did and I kept my distance. I always enjoy the opportunity to watch these tender moments.
The spot that I found had a good view of a second cow who I knew was calving.
#13 stimulated her calf to his feet and they bonded as well.
Slimy calf with milk on his lips. That’s what we like to see!
After a couple of hours or so of monitoring these 2 sets, Patrick and I brought #25 and her calf across the river safely to join the rest of the herd.
Momma loves baby.
These guys are keeping me busy! And I love it. 🙂
It was another snowy weekend but that didn’t stop birds from singing or calves from arriving.
Will it ever end?!? I guess I can be thankful it isn’t 26 below zero. The air doesn’t hurt my face like it did last month.
On this Tilda Tuesday, we have a very snowy Tuesday. Roads are closed and Patrick says they are a mess. So here I am as usual, home all day to watch over the girls and their babies. I just hope they don’t drop any new calves in this mess. Normally the mommas hide their babies and I have to look for them just to make sure all is well. But this morning they are all bunched together with babies in tow.
Such a cold walk across the meadow.
I don’t think this little one is thrilled with his first snow storm.
It should warm right up tomorrow and we’ll forget all about today. I hope.