Uprooted Magnolia

it’s that time again

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on October 4, 2011

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I am loving this beautiful fall weather! It’s a little bittersweet however, as this is the time of year for a lot of change…happens every year. The leaves are turning, the days are getting shorter, and we are preparing to wean our calves off of their mothers. Tomorrow, cowboys and cowgirls will saddle up and gather the herd. We’ll sort the calves from the cows and the young ones will be shipped to a new home. The cows will come back home with us in a week or so. But never fear, they have new babies in their bellies and we’ll be calving them out before they know it. 
I of course will document and report back to you in a couple of days. See you soon.


 

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All in a Day’s Work

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on September 2, 2011

Trailing at sunrise…again. It was a breezy beautiful Thursday morning.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

During the fire on Squaw Mountain, Patrick and I, with a little help from a wonderful neighbor and friend, got our cattle out of the meadows on Squaw to the safety of the meadows closer to home.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Now it’s time to truck them to the Laramie Plains to join the rest of the cattle and graze for a couple of months until  the calves are shipped to their new owners. These girls have done a lot of re-locating in the past 2 weeks.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The rising sun gave to beautiful silhouettes of Mark and Phil as they crossed the bridge guiding the cattle up the hill.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Once we got closer to the corral, Mark  stood guard to make sure the ladies didn’t turn and go the wrong way. They needed to aim for the open gate at the sunburst.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Phil made sure they didn’t run down the fence line. And I… took pictures.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Once we arrived at the plains and loaded the cattle in the corral, we gave them time to mother up and then Mark and Phil led them over the hill to water.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s a long drive to the Plains from the ranch and we passed some smoking mountains.  Yep, you guessed it. Earlier this week the volunteers were fighting a fire on a section of the plains. Lightning once again created a lot of smoke and flames. I didn’t go to this one so I don’t have much info. Patrick spent a full night and day at the fire until the feds arrived. This thing burned up Pole Mountain and got 50 yards from a ranchers home. Patrick is so ready for snow. I am too, but I’m just not ready for the hurricane winds that comes with it.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We stopped by the South Ranch for the guys to do, well, guy things. Count hay bales, take inventory of machinery, move horses, etc.  I did my thing, which as you know, my thang is to find photographs.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This field is covered in Sowthistle. They look like dandelions but they aren’t. They are really sticky and when horses eat them, their mouths are covered in their sticky yellow juice.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Patrick says it’s Rosinweed but it doesn’t look that to me when I look in my Weeds of the West book.
Anyway, the bees like them.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Finally, we got home as the sun was going down. I drove the atv to the house and against the purple sky, I saw a group of bucks roaming the hilltops.

It was a good day and we got a lot done. Now, for a restful weekend…I hope.

Yours till the cow moooooos,
Leah


Trailing at Sunrise

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Cowboy, Photography by leahyetter on July 6, 2011

We are going to pick up where I left off from Today,at Daybreak.

We started a little before the sun appeared.
The colt we are calling Crazy Alice (name that movie) ran the fence as the cowboys rode down the drive to the pasture. She wanted to go but being true to her name, we’re not putting a saddle on her just yet.

Patrick and Wayne laughed and told stories almost the whole trail. They had some catching up to do.

Good morning Squaw Mountain, we are headed your way!

It took some convincing but Patrick was finally able to get these calves down the hill to mama.

They mothered up quickly and easily so trailing them was uneventful.

Occasionally they would disappear in the dust and dirt of the sheet grass.

Once we got through the canyon of sheet grass, I turned back to see Wayne checking to make sure we didn’t leave any behind. I was so happy to see these clouds and his silhouette. During the trailing, the sky was cloudy and then blue. The sun would appear and then disappear behind clouds. The lighting was diverse all morning. That’s why the exposures here look like they were shot on different days. But they were actually taken over a 5 or 6 hour period.

The cows were happy to get to this pasture. The sun is high, grass is tall and the water is running. This will be their home for the next couple of months.


A Rather Uneventful Gather

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography by leahyetter on June 29, 2011

The last couple of times gathering the bulls has been, dare I say, easy.

I think it is because they know that they will be meeting up with the ladies soon. A bull is a bull. He’s got one job to do and he knows what that job is. This group and the group last week trailed single file all the way to the corral, ready to be loaded and taken to the ladies. No complaining, no fighting, they took the trail all in stride.

My camera and I were bored since there weren’t any fights to capture. Even the horses were bored with them.

So I went into the meadow of sweet clover and put my camera to work. This wild yellow goodness is everywhere.

And these precious little red and orange flowers serve as ground cover around the drive and near the corrals.

When we hike in the hills we have to be careful of cactus. But the blossoms are so pretty, it’s nice to see beauty pop out of something that is so prickly and painful when stepped on.

Flowering milk thistle is everywhere. I love the purple and pink hues of this one.

Of course we have dandelions, like everyone else, but the ones out here are the biggest I’ve ever seen.


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.


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.


Catching Grasshoppers

Posted in Calving, Cattle Roundup, Photography by leahyetter on April 11, 2011

The calves are growing up. They are still munchkins compared to their momma but they get feistier and run faster everyday.

They cautiously approach me full of curiosity when the rancher is unloading a bale of hay.

But today is branding day for these guys and gals and it won’t be as easy to get this close to them.

We’ve got to catch these little grasshoppers first.

Wish us luck because this will probably be our view for the next couple of hours before we get them pinned.


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.


Man of Many Hats

Posted in Cowboy, Love, Photography by leahyetter on February 1, 2011

**Warning** This is a Sappy one!

Fly Fisherman, Precise Cattle Herder, Cowboy.
Roper, Windmill Repairman, Farrier.
Fireman, Horseman, Driver of Tractor.
Rancher, Cattle Feeder, Houndsman.

My teacher of all things western. My muse. My heart. My true love on the four wheeler through life.

Happy Birthday Patrick. May all your dreams come true.

L♥ve, Sweetpea


 
**Updated**Patrick thanks you all for the Birthday well wishes in the comments below!
 


Backhoe Brian

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on January 4, 2011

This is a Charolais cow. Pronounced Shar-lay.

They belong to the neighbors.

As with any creature on earth, sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side. And on this particular New Years day, our hay stack was looking really tasty to these cows.

So tasty that we saw this girl jump into the stack and got herself stuck.

And I mean stuck…trapped.  With the 3 feet of snow surrounding and in between the stacks, the pig couldn’t get out.

Patrick called the rancher in charge of these cows and he said he’d be right over with the Backhoe. “Whats he gonna do with the backhoe” I ask. “I guess he’ll scoop her outta there, I dunno” Patrick answers back with the same curiosity in his voice. It’s getting darker by the minute. Pretty soon we see the headlights in the distance and sure enough as we were herding the cattle with the pickup, here comes Brian sliding the corners with the backhoe. He was hauling butt. I didn’t think a machine like that could go so fast.

She did eventually jump, scoot, and roll her way out of the hay stack to join the others.

They both discussed the plan of attack in the 10 degree evening.

Of course, I’m shooting out of the truck window. It’s too cold to be out there in the cold and windy mountain air!

An we’re off…. with Backhoe Brian in the lead. Once reinforcements arrived, they got the ladies where they are supposed to be.

The guys discuss the fences and how they are in good shape…can’t figure out how they keep getting in. But I’ve seen them jump so high, they clear the fence when we’re trying to herd them through the gate. Shoot, she jumped into the haystack. But nobody asked for my opinion. Oh the life of a ranchers “wife”. Sheesh.


Dusk

Posted in Cowboy, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on November 24, 2010

His eyes as blue as the sky.

His heart as soft as a well-worn saddle.

Sun-drenched hands covered in dust

guides his horse that leads the cattle

through meadows and open pasture

into the hills at dusk.


The Girls Are Back In Town

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Ranching by leahyetter on November 17, 2010

That’s right! The cowboys got the girls home safely from the Laramie Plains this past weekend. They spent a couple days in the meadows beyond the main house and today Patrick and I got them closer to the house and corrals.

Yeah, that’s me driving the tractor baiting them in with a bale of hay. Patrick and Shadow are behind them pushing them through the gate. When I got out of the tractor, they were so excited to see me.

Just look at the expressions on their faces. Pure joy to see me. It has nothing to do with the yummy feed in this pasture. No, uh uh.

Heads down ladies, we can catch up later. You’re skin and bones, eat eat.

Ha!  Skin and bones my a**.  Look at those bellies and winter coats.

Ahhh, so nice to see you again girls. I’ve missed you.

Thursday all three hundred fifty something of you will be peeing on a stick. So rest up, it’s time to see how the bulls did this summer. See you ladies at 6am!


Where Did All the Babies Go?

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Ranching, The Ranch by leahyetter on October 13, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, the cowboys rounded up the cattle at the home place for shipping on Monday. This is part of the weaning process and it just has to be done. They are all led into the corral and the mommas are let out while the babies stay in. The calves are then loaded into a semi and taken to new pasture. But even a day later, some mommas still haven’t left the corral in the hopes their babies will come back.  If they only knew that this too shall pass. They have brand new bundles of joy in their bellies.

And then we have mommas that don’t mind that baby is gone. This one is enjoying the tall grass and frequent sips from the chilly Laramie River.


 

Lessons Aplenty

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Horses, Ranching by leahyetter on September 14, 2010

I learned many things last week and weekend.

Among them is how to ride and work the horse for herding cattle.

Stand up in the stirrups! Tighten the reigns!  Hold onto the horn! Just get off and walk doggone it!

It hasn’t really been that bad, Patrick has been very patient with me and is a great teacher. I still have a long way to go before being even good at it and I’m enjoying the process.

When you’re out like this for hours at a time, you have to stay hydrated. And when nature calls, well ladies you find the nearest shrub out of sight of the others and take care of  business.

So it turns out that the most important lesson I learned this weekend was never, and I mean NEVER squat in a patch of Stinging Nettles.  Yeeeow!!!


Horses, Cattle and Wyoming Sunsets

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Ranching by leahyetter on September 13, 2010

This weekend and even today has been busy with collecting scattered cattle on horseback. Several pairs and a couple bulls were deep in the hills and the only way to get to them was by horse. Patrick and I mounted up, climbed the rocks, gathered,  sorted and now everyone is where they need to be. Phew!

We’ve certainly had some gorgeous days and even more gorgeous have been the sunsets. I captured these on the way home from getting groceries last night.

The clouds were so colorful. Patrick slammed on the breaks and while groceries hit the back of our seats, I hung out the door to capture the absolute beauty.

Menemsha has beautiful sunsets and we’ve got them too. There’s nothing like that big sky covered with streaks and swirls of colors that you just can’t  find in a box of Crayola.


Trailing Back Home

Posted in Cattle Roundup by leahyetter on September 9, 2010

*This evening:

We got them home safe and sound, bulls and all.  There was a lot of  mooing for momma or mooing for baby but we can rest assured the heifers are close to home now. And my favorite girl that eats cake right out of  my hand came right up to me looking quite curious. She licked my hand to be sure I wasn’t holding out on her, but alas, no cake.


*This morning:

We’re bringing the girls back from the Harris this morning. I hung off the back of the pickup last night throwing them hay and having conversations with them to keep them in one spot so it will be easy this morning. Yeah right. We’re on our way there now. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile enjoy this shot of the Miss Piggys.

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Sneaky Cows and Painted Grasshopper

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Georgia, Nature, Wildlife by leahyetter on August 20, 2010

We gathered a few of the neighbors cows the other evening because they sneaked into our pasture when we weren’t looking.  All ranchers put up with cattle thinking the grass is greener over the fence. So it’s not unusual to get a call about cattle leaks. We drove the rhinos through our rocky pasture and directed the cows back home.

The sun was setting and it was turning into a beautiful evening. A storm was brewing miles away but never reached us. That gave way for some really nice light topping the hills.

Look at the colors on this little guy. He is Dactylotum bicolor aka painted grasshopper.

Not only do we put up with an abundance of grasshoppers but also hopping around are very happy and very loud locusts.

I remember sitting on the front porch of a Georgia neighbor and his friend visiting from New York said “What is that noise, do you guys here that”? And in unison we all said “What”? He was referring to the songs of the katydids and we were so used to it, we didn’t even hear it anymore. Well my Georgia friends, I hear their songs out here too and it makes me think of y’all.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Trailing to New Pasture

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Ranching by leahyetter on July 2, 2010

This was my view ALL morning long.

And then this. I had to get away from the rear-ends for a while.

Then, and only for a moment, my view became this.

But then back  to the cows. We’re trailing them from the Bealy to the Harris for new pasture.

The haze in these 2 images is dust from sheet grass. When we were done, we were covered from head to toe in this dust.

This bull strayed away from the heard so John had to round him up and bring him back to the ladies.

It took a long time, it was hot and the ladies were not happy with that long trail. But I hope they appreciate where we took them. They gotta love this grass!

Freedom!

I love this pasture. The locals can’t believe we’re looking at grass so green in July. So hot, but so beautiful.

The Gathering of the Bulls

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Wild Life by leahyetter on June 24, 2010

On Fathers Day, it seemed only appropriate to gather the bulls from the distant meadows to eventually put them in with the cows. The calves are growing up so it’s time to make new ones. We don’t want the cows to suffer from empty nest syndrome now do we? On this particular day, the bulls were quite agreeable and didn’t give us much trouble at all.

They marched through the meadows like good soldiers. Except for the occasional snort and kicking of dirt, it was a slow and easy process.

It  took a little convincing but they made it through the gate without any hassle.

They stopped for a quick snack of flowering yucca weed.

And they made the turn into the corral nice and easy. But this was only the first set of bulls that needed gathering.

The next day we released the bulls with the cows for a little flirting and baby making.

Fast forward to yesterday when it was time to get the last of the bulls. I thought hey no big deal, just like earlier in the week, we’ll get them right in no problem. Well, I was terribly mistaken. These guys were a lot feistier than the previous group. The fighting started almost immediately.

It got rougher and tougher as time went on.

We started to worry that they might drown. They kind of look like hippos don’t they?

They started to slow it down and just stood head to head in a definite power struggle.

This guy was getting sick of the fighting too. He just stood there bellowing trying to beak them up.

Once they got out of the water, it started all over again.

We did get them into the corral and they will be placed with the cows eventually. It’s a good thing, they need to release that testosterone and fast!