Uprooted Magnolia

Snowy Tuesday

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on March 18, 2014

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Such a cold walk across the meadow.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.


Boiled Over

Posted in Calving, Photography by leahyetter on March 5, 2014

©Leah Yetter Photographer

What a relief! The snow started melting Monday afternoon and soaked right into the ground. We are grateful for the moisture and grateful that the weather warmed up for our first calf to be born. This little girl arrived yesterday afternoon. You know how you can’t watch a pot of water to boil? Well, after being home and checking on the ladies 4 or 5 times a day for the last couple of weeks, she decides to give birth while I make a quick run to town for a haircut. I came home and there she was, cow #2 came to a boil and popped out a healthy calf. While I was checking on these two, one of the heifers was ringing her tail. She had a belly ache and I knew it wouldn’t be long for her. She was simmering. Two hours later she had a successful birth, which is not always common for a first time mother cow. With the arrival of these two calves, I am able to breathe a sigh of relief.  We have a week or two until the rest of our small herd starts calving. ♥


Weaning in the Rain

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Nature, Photography, Ranching, Stormy Skies by leahyetter on September 23, 2013

It’s been a whole week since I last spoke with you all. My excuse is that I came down with a major head cold that stopped me in my tracks. My ears are still echoing but I’m through the worst of it I hope. It happened when we went from warm sunny days to immediate overcast and rain showers. And this day of weaning our calves on the mountain probably didn’t help much.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I was in the pickup so I didn’t get too wet during the gather. But with assistance from some cowboys and cake (mineral snacks for the cows), we had a successful gather.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It was just a cool mist during the first hour of the gather but as soon as we got to the corrals, it was really raining.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The cowboys separated the cow mommas from the grown calves.      ©Leah Yetter Photographer

Mommas peered through the fence while I guarded the gate.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Calves called out for momma….

©Leah Yetter Photographer

…and momma called out for baby.
This is my least favorite part of ranch life but it’s part of it. The calves are physically ready to leave momma but not emotionally. They never are. Neither am I.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

As we left with the trailer load of calves, the rain was really coming down. Then it rained for the entire week. This was two weeks ago and we weren’t able to bring the cow mommas off the mountain until this past weekend. The roads were muddy and washed out and the trailer wouldn’t have made it.
As of this weekend, we are all home and are gearing up for winter. The cows are successfully bred and they’ll have their new babies in the spring. Looking forward to our first winter on our new ranch.


Smelling the Flowers

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on July 22, 2013

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This week, scratch that, this month, no wait. Let me start over.
Since January 2013, life has been full of extreme highs and low lows for us. But I always try to remember to slow down and smell the flowers. And we’ve got a lot of beautiful wildflowers popping up all around us.

Here’s to slowing down and good news for Monday. We sure could use it. 🙂


Happy Cows

Posted in Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on July 8, 2013

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Sometimes I lose the calves in the tall grass. Their summer pasture is tall and green. But not for long, I’m sure they will munch it right on down.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We had a surprise in late spring. A cow we thought was open (not with calf) had one!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We just thought she was super fat (which she is) but she never showed signs of pregnancy. And then one day there was a calf suckling her that wasn’t tagged or branded. Thankfully, she’s a good momma.

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Peek-a-boo calf. 🙂
Happy Monday my friends!


Back in the Saddle

Posted in Branding, Cattle Roundup, Photography by leahyetter on June 4, 2013

We were delighted to have time in our hectic schedule to make it to a branding this year. We got the invite and jumped in the Ranger for the half hour trek through the hills to the neighbors corrals.

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It started out overcast, cold and windy. The cowboys set out across the pasture with me in tow. In an atv of course. I have quickly learned that if I want to shoot, it’s best I don’t mount a horse and try to do both at the same time. I’m not the best multi-tasker.

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It’s a good thing I had the atv because I had to pick up a little sickly calf along the way. He just couldn’t make the trail. We treated him and he’ll be fine in no time. Just a touch of an upset tummy.

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A few little ones got out of the sorting pen so a couple guys had to rope them back in.

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The clouds parted by mid-morning and it warmed up nicely.

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While the babies mothered up after getting their hides burned, we all enjoyed a nice meal with old friends and made new friends. Brandings are not just about the calves, but about neighbors, friendship, and laughter after a busy calving season. It also means now they all go out to new pasture for the summer and graze until their hearts (and bellies) are content. Ahh… the circle of life.


Beds of Hay

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on April 10, 2013

We drove off the ranch yesterday to head to the bluffs to check on Patrick’s cows. We branded them this weekend and took them to new pasture and then bam, a blizzard hits when we least expect it. And that’s just tough on the sweet baby calves.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Snow was still falling by evening and blowing across the road.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

When we got there, they seemed very spry and excited to see us.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We got out and looked everybody over. They were a little frosty but everyone looked good and healthy.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

But looking over the pasture, there wasn’t much grass peeking through and nowhere for them to lay down to be protected from the cold ground. That’s where we come in. Patrick attached 2 chains to the pickup and the hooks on the other end locked into the hay bale so I could pull it off the stack.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We dragged it over to the cows and Patrick got out to cut the strings.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The girls were a little impatient! I backed the truck up unrolling the bale while Patrick helped to pitch off the hay to them. When the bale got smaller, I stopped the pickup and jumped out to help. We pushed the bale and rolled it into the trees so they had something warm to lay on and be protected from the wind.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

By the time we were leaving, the calves made their bed on the fresh hay while their mothers were chowing down.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Warm and toasty. Well, not really. But at least they are covered in leather!

We checked on them at about 5 this morning and they still had a lot of hay left and the entire herd was bedded down on the hay. They looked good, just a little cold. We’ll roll out another bale this evening for them to help them get through this crazy weather. At least the sun has finally come out. That should warm them up a bit.
Just another day in paradise y’all!


T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 23, 2013

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This little trio has been running wild around the pasture. They are the oldest of all the calves so while the younger ones stick close to momma, these three are gaining some independence. Pretty fun watching them grow up.


Dropped on his Head

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 14, 2013

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This is the first of our cows to calve. The calf I showed you last month was born to a heifer (a first time mother cow).
Yesterday I got back from doing chores and could tell that this experienced cow-momma had a belly ache. She had separated herself from the herd and nested by the fence. She was up and down, ringing her tail, arching her back and pushing hard. This lasted for two solid hours. Poor lady. The whole time I kept my eye on her I was cheering her on quietly but thanking the heavens this wasn’t me. It was a struggle but she finally dropped him on his head, stimulated him with licks and when I left her, she was helping him get to his feet to suckle.
I love this time of year.


Incoming!

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on February 18, 2013

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This little boo entered our world early this morning; the first calf of the season from a small batch of new heifers. Not sure of the sex because mama is very protective. I had to leave them alone so they could bond. We’ll have a much smaller herd to calve out this year because of the drought. I will cherish each and every one and I look forward to the smile they will put on my face. I’m so crazy about the little ones!


 

8 Mile Trail

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on September 7, 2012

We had a crew out to help us move the cattle across the Plains this week.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The guys saddled up as the sun rose and I prepared the truck with water, lunch and simple amenities that the guys may need during the trail.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I drove to the first gate and waited for a couple hours. Then, on the horizon a couple of miles in the distance, appeared a cowboy and a few cows.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They trailed down the hill with one cowboy leading the way and the others bringing up the middle and rear.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The cattle filed in along the fence line and Patrick counted them as they went through the gate.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They stayed together and kept a steady pace as we crossed the vast landscape. Some calves tried to run back but the cowboys encouraged them to stay with the herd and with momma.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The air was cool and calm for almost the entire trail. But toward the end, the wind picked up and it got warm, fast.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Once we got into the final pasture, the guys led them to the windmill for water. They have to be shown where water is because if you just leave them alone, they will drop their heads and start eating. You have to let them know where the water is and leave them there so they get their bearings and know where the essentials are.
By now, the wind was howling, the heat was rising and the dust was blowing. I could barley hold my camera steady.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I put out the lunches on the tailgate and got the guys fed and watered. The horses had some time to graze while we ate but we weren’t quite done yet. There was one cow that just couldn’t make the long trail. She’s an old lady and had trouble keeping up so we left her at that first gate. We made our way back to get the trailer to load her and her calf and chauffeur them to the pasture with the others..

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It took a little convincing with a short chase and a rope. They finally got them both loaded and off to the pasture with the others we went. They will enjoy this pasture until it is time to wean the calves in October.

It was a good day without any casualties or injuries. And it was long day that started at 4am and went until at least 4pm. Then back to the ranch to unsaddle the horses and finish up chores until dark.

Phew! So glad it’s Friday.

See more images from this shoot HERE.


Antelope Calves

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on June 24, 2012

I spotted this cutie yesterday evening when I got home after a busy day in town.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Deer fawns aren’t the only young ones bucking happily through the meadows. Baby antelope are running around here in two’s (the cow usually has twins). This calf was getting ready to stand up because it saw it’s mom and sibling across the road but froze when I pulled up.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The doe has a gash in her front right leg. She seems to be taking good care of her babies but she’s got to be hurting. She could have gotten caught on a fence, gotten kicked, who knows how this happened. But it looks like she’ll heal up and be back to normal soon. They let me get a few shots before taking off.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Have a relaxing Sunday my friends and stay cool. It’s hot out there!


 

Pardners from the East

Posted in Branding, Cattle Roundup, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on June 18, 2012

Our crew from back east took charge a couple of weeks ago and branded the last batch of calves.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They led the mothers and calves out of the calving pasture,

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over the hill,

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along the fence line,

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and into the branding pen.

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They sorted the mothers from the calves and led them out of the corral.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Reagan and Marley were great spectators.

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These guys were also in the audience. They snorted and stared and were as grumpy as ever.

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And then the roping began.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Tommy and Hillbilly worked hard and did a great job of bringing the calves in so they could be vaccinated and branded quickly.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Once they were down, the ground crew swooped in and had them up and at’em in no time.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

A couple of days later, the cowboys and cowgirls led the herd up the hill so they could wait for the trucks to take them to the Laramie Plains

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

One little one tried to get away but Patrick and Jack guided him to the rest of the herd.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They went right in to the corral, with the encouragement from those on horseback, and waited.

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On the last day of their visit, Marley’s mom and sister went shopping so we decided to have a photo shoot.

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Marley was a fantastic model and we had a blast taking her “cowgirl portraits”.

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We dodged a few raindrops and had moslty cloudy skies. But the sun popped out every now and then and we were dolloped with some lovely light.

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All in all it was a great visit and even though we put them to work, I hope they enjoyed it!

Click here for more images from these shoots. 🙂


Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on May 13, 2012

Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like you expected.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

Hope your day is full of love, no matter what! 🙂
 
Love and miss you momma! #Remembering Mom 1948-2006
 


Pairing Out

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on May 10, 2012

This is a busy time of year for ranchers around these parts.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I love these sweet faces.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.


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.

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And strutting daily.

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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.

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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.


Our Little Pinrow

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 2, 2012

Patrick calls him Pinrow. Don’t know where he got that from but I’m going with it… I guess.
Anyway, our little bum is doing well and is a handful. After we got him from the meadow to the barn, it was a battle to get him to take the colostrum and his first feeding. He definitely wouldn’t have made it with his mother. He was so limp that first day and would not have gotten up to suck.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

On the second day, once the colostrum had settled in his belly, we were finally able to get him on his feet. He stumbled around for a while like he’d had one too many.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

He would jump and buck and really enjoyed his new found legs. I think he startled himself with his smooth moves.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Then he fearlessly came right up to me. I had to get Patrick to help me get him started on the bottle. He just didn’t know what he was doing since he was out of sync with his instincts to suckle his mother’s teat. But it didn’t take more than a day for him to get a handle on the bottle.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And now, he’s happy and healthy and full of life. Therefore getting in the pin with him can be brutal for me. He will chase and butt me so hard with his head, it’s better to just feed him through the fence.

As much as I enjoy feeding him, it would be so much better if he had a cow momma. All I can do is keep him alive and well. I can’t provide for him what a real momma would. He’s a sweetheart and I love looking in his deep blue eyes while he sucks. So, I’ll simply cherish this time with him while I’ve got it. ♥


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. ♥


Who’s the Boss?

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 16, 2012

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Apparently the heifer is. She busted into the corral where her calf was and he sucked her dry. We talked to the vet and he said to just leave them together and just see what happens. He’s still rather skinny but seems happier than before and gets up on his own. Maybe he’ll be okay after all. Most times human interference in cases like this is for the best but this is one of those times where we’ll just have to leave them together and wait and see. We are not completely out of the dark but we’ll leave it up to nature.

After a tumultuous week, here’s hoping for a good weekend.

Cheers,
Leah