We’re in it. Knee deep.
We are in the middle of a winter storm that is almost debilitating.
To feed the cattle this morning, Patrick had to drag the bale to flatten the snow to have somewhat of a lane to roll the bale and spread cake.
The cake still went down into the snow but a good bulk of the cattle worked at it to get a few mouthfuls.
The hay was fluffy enough to sit on top of the snow so I’m sure they are getting enough. And it will give the calf a little something to lay on, off of the snow.
It’s up to my knees in some places and up to my waist or higher in the drifted spots. This one is a doozy, folks. I just really want the snow to stop coming down. We’ve got enough. Uncle! I haven’t seen this much snow since we moved off the ranch in the hills in April of 2013. Maybe more than that. C’mon summer! 🙂
As I reflect on our last storm, just last week, big snow flakes are falling outside my window.
The wind had been howling for days, moving the six inches of snow into drifts and rivers and packed the roads with ice. So of course Patrick said, “let’s take a drive to the hills”. I bundled up, we buckled up and took a drive in the comfort of the truck. No ATV this time for me.
This is what’s called a blizzard. A ground blizzard. It doesn’t have to be actively snowing to be a blizzard. The wind was blowing 25 to 30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
As soon as the truck made a track, it drifted back in.
We came out of the hills and had a great view of the blowing snow on and below Squaw Mountain.
Closer to home, the snow was whipping around hay bales.
I find it spooky yet fascinating when the snow blows. It dances in swirls all over the road creating a scene from a scary movie or a disco. It’s dangerous if you aren’t careful navigating through it, but pretty groovy to watch.
We busted through a couple of drifts to get down to the meadow to feed the cows. But that isn’t blowing snow you see surrounding the cattle. The snow and fog you see around them is a result of their hot breath and a wide open run straight for us.
When the wind comes up, it warms us up. It took a couple of days but we warmed right up into the 40’s and most of the snow melted. It finally stopped blowing some time in the early morning this morning and then, the snow started to fall. And so the cycle continues.
Keep toasty, y’all!
We are in full on winter mode. It is serious. We’ve had temperatures and wind chills well below zero. Like 20 and 30 degrees below zero.
It makes the horse frisky. He throws his head up and down while running alongside the truck.
And the cattle have become cowscicles. But just look at those round bellies. They are weathering the storm beautifully. We cake them daily and they get a fresh bale every other day.
At times, we can’t even see the mountains.
The deer are sporting their full winter coats.
At sunset a couple nights ago, when temperatures barely made it to zero during the warmest part of the day, the river looked like a hot spring with steam billowing out of it. Patrick said he’d be glad to watch me take a dip if I’d like to.
I completely missed the month of November here at Uprooted Magnolia. I’ve missed you, to say the least. But all is well here. Actually, it’s wonderful. My calendar booked up with amazing new and former clients and I’ve had a joyful time with each and every portrait session and wedding. And it just keeps getting better. I am excited to see what the future holds with new and exciting projects on the horizon.
We brought the cattle home from summer pasture and good ole Gray is happy to have everyone back so he can boss them around the meadows.
Fall arrived in all it’s colorful glory and stuck around, extending the portrait season. Then all of the sudden, it turned to winter.
We had a cold snap that turned from chilly to downright freezing last week. Whoa, I hadn’t gotten myself mentally or physically prepared and the air hurt my face. I swear my eyeballs froze. Fortunately the river didn’t freeze completely so we didn’t have to break ice for the cows to get a drink.
Hello winter. And Hi everyone, I hope to be more regular again. ttfn. 🙂
It’s that time of year for those misty, cool mornings that slowly introduce us to autumn. So of course, my camera and I rolled out for an adventure with some roadside fog on one of those mornings.
Next door neighbor, a longhorn cow, having her breakfast.
Field of sugar beets.
Red Angus are grazing in the background. They weren’t visible when I set up for this shot. So I waited for them to get a little closer.
This road runs alongside an already harvested corn field.
Flock of blackbirds “swimming” in the thick fog.
Sunflowers started blooming early this summer and are still popping up in our yard. They are a bright spot on such a gray day.
Intersection on the way home. Our mailboxes are enveloped in the dense fog up ahead.
These views are seen daily from the windshield of our cars and trucks but it looks completely different when it’s underneath a heavy fog.
Taking time to notice our everyday surroundings can be very soothing and even inspiring. I encourage you to the same. Hope you’ve enjoyed these images and may they bring some peace and quiet to your busy day.
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… 🙂
…we’re back to dry meadows and snow covered hills.
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! 🙂
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…
We are having a nice break from the winter madness. The mud is drying, the temperature is tolerable and the sunsets are becoming more and more colorful. I’m not fooled though. I know winter isn’t over, I’m just expressing my appreciation for this lull in the winter chill. The old gray horse seems to be enjoying it as well.
I’m gearing up for my daily visits down to the meadow to check the cattle. Calving season is upon us and it’s my duty to watch out for girls in the meadow as well as the heifers (first time mothers) in the corral close to the house. There is one heifer that is really close and we are checking on her round the clock in case she needs assistance. It’s such a tense time of year full of worry and hard work. I’m up for it though I’m impatiently waiting on the song of the meadowlark.
Have a great weekend, friends!
As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve been under a “ground blizzard” watch. It’s basically like a sandstorm, but with snow.
But yesterday morning, as the sun rose, it was perfectly still and beautiful.
And by mid-afternoon, as I showed you yesterday, it was still gorgeous.
By 4pm, I noticed from the comfort of my dining room window, the over 30 inches of snow was moving in the hills.
I hightailed up the driveway again so I could show you this fierce beauty.
It was blowing down here but nothing like up there.
I love the look of the whipped waves of snow. Mmmm…this image inspired me to put whipped coconut cream in my coffee this morning.
By sundown, it was still blowing but not too hard here yet. Overnight, however, the wind speed picked up. Thankfully, it’s warmer today. Continues to blow, but warmer.
My thoughts and prayers are with those in higher elevations trying to feed livestock in all that snow and wind. Warmer temperatures are in the forecast for next week so we hope to see some significant snow melt. I don’t think there is any more snowfall in the forecast for a little while.
I’m off to break ice in the water tanks. I’ll put rocks in my pockets so don’t worry ’bout me. I’m just fine. It’s just another day in paradise. 🙂
Yep. Old man winter reared his ugly (or beautiful depending on your frame of mind) head yesterday. It started around 5am and hasn’t stopped yet, almost 30 hours later.
Up in the hills, which I still can’t see from here, at least 2ft of snow has fallen so far.
When Patrick got home from work yesterday afternoon, we headed down to the meadow.
The girls were excited to see us. They’d follow us anywhere on days like this.
They like cake. A couple of them will take it right from our hands.
This is the first time we’ve had to lay down hay this winter. The meadows have been plentiful but when there is a 10 inch blanket of snow covering their grub, we have to roll some out on top of it.
They love it. We said nighty-night and headed back in to keep the fire stoked up.
Then there was this morning.
Before you say anything, I am NOT forcing Collins LaRue to be outside on this snowy morning. She sleeps inside at night and explores the outdoors all day. But while sipping my coffee and watching the sun rise, she went in and out 10 times if not 20.
She just couldn’t decide. And she wants so bad to be out there but the snow is just too high. She has finally given in and is in her bed for the morning.
And what a beautiful morning it is. ♥
The snow is mostly gone and wind will be arriving soon. It’s our typical winter cycle but this past weekend was calm and beautiful. I took a walk to check on the cows just before sunset yesterday. Looks like we need to do some fencing. Such is the life of a rancher. 🙂
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. 🙂
A quiet morning in the hills. ♥
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!
Have you given up on me? Well, I’ve almost given up on blogging! Not by choice but life has been busy and business is growing and I haven’t had much time to spend here or on social media. It’s all good though.
We made it to another branding a couple of weekends ago and I’ll post that soon. But today I’ll leave you with Patrick hopefully roping you back into the Uprooted Magnolia world. 🙂
“Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.”-Gavin Pretor-Pinney
We’re still here… underneath cloudy skies and rain. We haven’t floated away yet. Water is standing everywhere we step and the cows have muddy snouts. They are loving the abundance of green grass. Happy cows. Happy ranch. 🙂
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!