Uprooted Magnolia

Yellowstone: Wildlife from the Window

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 14, 2016

Thank you for your kind comments yesterday. I always enjoy hearing from you guys. While I was typing replies and looking over the shots from yesterday, I realized that some of them just didn’t have anything to help with scale. I mean, I’m sure you get it that it’s a large hot spring because the name is Mammoth Hot Springs, but my close-ups and detail shots may not have really shown that.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So in this image above, on the left and beyond the trees, you can see the boardwalk and people. Not only is it huge, it’s high. It was definitely a climb.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Pretty darn impressive.
As I said yesterday, since we didn’t make it to Old Faithful, we sought out landscapes and wildlife in other areas of the park.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

One creature that isn’t shy in the daylight or at any time of day in fact is the Raven. They are HUGE! Much larger than the crow that we have at home.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Not only is the size difference a way to determine a raven from a crow, the fluffy feathers around the head and neck is a feature of the raven.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Tower Fall. One of the several waterfalls we visited along the way.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I rolled the window down to get this rumble between two bull bison. The drama didn’t last long.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This coyote casually ran past the bison fight and trotted along with a mission. Not sure where he was going but I thought since he was close, I’d keep the window down for a quick portrait.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We drove for a bit and saw cars pulled off and people out with their cameras just snapping away. Three bull elk were grazing. The one farthest away is a young bull. The two older ones would stomp and chase him away but he’d always come back to graze with them. It’s typical behavior between the young and old. Competition at it’s finest.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I’d like to say that we stayed in the car to get our shots of these guys but we didn’t. We stepped out to get a closer look and we became the average tourist taking a risk to get “the shot”. It’s not a smart thing to do. This is not Disney or a petting zoo. These are wild animals and at anytime, they could look up and see that they are surrounded by a threatening presence of humans. And out of that fear of threat, they could injure any one of us. All I can say is that they are more than likely used to humans ogling at them but if anything were to spook them, we’d be in danger.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Fortunately on this day, these guys were pretty docile and were mostly interested in grazing the bright green grass. I shot this with a telephoto once back in the van. Must be nice to have an impressive rack to scratch that itch.


 

Yellowstone: Living Landscapes

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel by leahyetter on June 13, 2016

We stayed in Gardiner Montana, just near the  north entrance of the park. Located about 5 miles from the entrance is the Mammoth Hot Springs, our first stop in Yellowstone.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine, a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs.

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“It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution). Because of the huge amount of geothermal vents, travertine flourishes. Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas”- Thank you, Wikipedia

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It was a cool morning but the steam coming from the springs warmed us right up.

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©Leah Yetter Photographer

Detail shots of mineral build up.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s quite a hike touring these hot springs and fortunately there is a boardwalk to steer us in the right direction.
Just look at those two.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We sat for a bit to take it all in then took to the road to make our way to Old Faithful, one of the most predictable geographical features on earth. It erupts every 35 to 120 minutes. Our plan was to have lunch at the Old Faithful Lodge and sit out and watch this geyser shoot boiling water up to 185 ft in the air .

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But it’s so hard not to stop at every turnout to admire the great scenery.

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Here, we stopped at Roaring Mountain. Roaring Mountain is full of microscopic organisms wearing away at the mountain amid the sulfur rich gases. It is inhospitable to humans but is the perfect home for heat-loving microbes.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We loaded back into the van and headed south. We came upon a long line of cars about 10 miles or so from the Old Faithful Historic District. We sat for a while and waited. And waited. You expect long lines and a lot of traffic through the park but we felt something bigger was going on. Plus, at the time of year that we were there, the crowds hadn’t made it to the park yet. Surprisingly so far, the crowds were not that big. So we flagged down a driver coming the other direction and in her thick and kind British accent, she told us that a large herd of Bison had parked themselves in the road and weren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. So, we turned around and made a different plan. We found lunch and happened upon some wildlife along the way and finished out the day admiring the gorgeous landscapes. More on that tomorrow. 🙂


 

Journey to Yellowstone

Posted in Local, Nature, Photography, Thankful, Travel, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 10, 2016

I’ve been travelin’.
My dad and stepmom came out a couple of weeks ago and we hung out around here for a couples days. Then we packed up their minivan and the three of us took off for an adventure in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks that we will never forget.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

What a drive, let me tellya. Dad drove through wind, rain, hail, sleet, and heavy fog. It was wild and I was so relieved to be the passenger.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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We had to stop for this gorgeous view of Beartooth Mountain as we weaved in and out of Montana and Wyoming on Beartooth Highway.

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We made it into the park by mid-evening and the light was beautiful. Right off the bat we saw Bison. What a great time of year because Bison calves were everywhere!

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Pronghorn and Bison graze on the flats together.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

When you visit Yellowstone, there is a lot of driving. I’m not kidding. It’s a HUGE park. So we had to get organized as to how we were going to tackle this place. We had a Geyser day, a wildlife day, a waterfall day, etc. They all kind of melded together and didn’t always go according to plan. In fact, the day we were headed to Old Faithful, the road was completely blocked by a herd of Bison so we had to turn around and change our plans. We were in a line of cars 10 miles long and didn’t even see the herd but it is obviously not an uncommon event (see above). This isn’t Disneyland. This is Bison, Bear, Pronghorn, Wolf, Elk, Deer; basically all God’s Creatures’ land. We did make it to Old Faithful the next day.

I’ll share more images from this trip throughout the next few days. It was a fantastic time and a wonderful trip to share with my Dad, also a photographer. I am so thankful to my stepmom, Debbie, for making this happen. She is a heck of a trip designer and orchestrated a spectacular adventure for the three of us. They just started their travel blog and you can visit it by clicking here: Travels with Skip & Debbie

🙂


And just like that…

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 29, 2016

…we’re back to dry meadows and snow covered hills.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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! 🙂


 

Whipped Snow

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on February 4, 2016

As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve been under a “ground blizzard” watch. It’s basically like a sandstorm, but with snow.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

But yesterday morning, as the sun rose, it was perfectly still and beautiful.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And by mid-afternoon, as I showed you yesterday, it was still gorgeous.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

By 4pm, I noticed from the comfort of my dining room window, the over 30 inches of snow was moving in the hills.

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I hightailed up the driveway again so I could show you this fierce beauty.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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. 🙂


 

Before the Wind

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on February 3, 2016

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I climbed to the top of the driveway today. I wanted to take in this view before the wind picks up. A ground blizzard is predicted for later today into tomorrow. But for now, I’ll enjoy the peace and quiet of our snow blanket.
 


Castilleja

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on July 1, 2015

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja, a genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I was lucky enough to be called upon to photograph portraits of a sweet couple I’ve know for a few years now. We roamed around their ranch in the hills and shot portraits in shady spots among pine trees and rock piles. Later on, we went further into the hills at sunset where we found a patch of Indian Paintbrush. It was a beautiful evening and these colorful flowers, our state flower, makes the hills look like a painting.


Clouds Over Cows

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on May 18, 2015

“Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.”-Gavin Pretor-Pinney

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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. 🙂


 

Peeking Through the Storm

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on May 15, 2015

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Clouds briefly opened up at sunset during a downpour over the hills last night. We have more storms on the horizon for today. Might be a wet weekend for us here in the wild west.

Have a great one, folks! 🙂


 

A Cowboy’s Vessel

Posted in Cowboy, Photography by leahyetter on May 4, 2015

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Happy Monday, friends!
We had an eventful weekend full of horses, cows, cowboys, snapping turtles, and good friends and it couldn’t have been better. The rain held off down here but the thick clouds drenched the hills. The river is high and muddy and since we don’t have a boat, Patrick had to cross it horseback to mend fence. Gray did well at a branding and on the ride home, helped us lead our bay horse to the barn so he could go home with the best horse whisperer we know. Oh, and speaking of the river being high, we, ahem, Patrick, captured two HUGE snapping turtles out of puddles in the meadow and relocated them. They are a danger to the cows and especially the calves. Anyway, that was an adventure all in itself. Those things are scary!!
Hope you are having a great start to your week. I’ve got a lot of images to share with you from the weekend, sans turtles. 😉


 

Wind in the Hills

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on December 27, 2014

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s been a heck of a month. Heck of a year I guess.
We had storm move in on us Christmas Eve and Patrick worked over 14 hours on Christmas Day. For me, it was a quiet and reflective day at home alone. For him, it was a stressful day of keeping the roads safe for holiday travelers.
We have about 6 inches of the fluffy stuff blanketing our ranchette and today the wind has picked up. The hills are alive with blowing snow. I am thankful to have chores done for the day, wood in the stove and warmth in my heart. I hope the holidays are treating you well.
Shine On,
Leah


-3º at Sunrise

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on November 12, 2014

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A friend of ours called this morning and said it was -29º at his place but he lives in the mountains. It’s only three below zero here. My goodness! There isn’t a lot of snow on the ground however. The air is just so cold and cuts like a knife. I stepped out for a couple of seconds to shoot the sunrise illuminating the Peak. My skin tightened up, my eyeballs teared up and froze and camera strap grew stiff. I think I’ll stay in until it warms up a little. At least until it gets above zero.
Stay warm folks! It’s not even “officially” winter yet!


The Light Before the Storm

Posted in Horses, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on November 10, 2014

The wind blew all day yesterday. I mean it howled (still is today, but with snow circling as well).
So we decided to go down and check on the cows and horses and give them a little cake.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The light was stunning! The sunsets and sunrises have been spectacular these last couple of weeks.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I think I’ll call this one The Gray Ghost. He just wouldn’t stand still for his portrait!
Shooting in very low light is always tough and I had my old 40D with me. These shots are quite grainy but I think it gives them even more character. 🙂
Maybe I’ll have some snow reports for you tomorrow. The weather is so weird right now. Cheers!


Turqoise Sunrise

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on November 1, 2014

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The leaves have all but dropped but I grabbed this scene early one morning a couple weeks ago. As the sun slowly rose, the light was a rich turquoise for a few moments through the thick fog. A day late for a Halloween photo but it’s kinda spooky, eh? 🙂
Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween.


Weaning Day 2014

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on September 18, 2014

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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. 🙂


 

Tilda Tuesday: Summer Evenings

Posted in Matilda, Photography by leahyetter on July 29, 2014

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Happy Tilda Tuesday everyone!
We’re not the only ones that love to watch the sun set. Tilly loves her summer evenings on the deck. I don’t normally let her sit on the picnic table but for portrait purposes, I let it slide this time. 🙂


Summer Grazing

Posted in Photography, Ranching, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 26, 2014

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We took the cows to the hills for summer grazing.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I think they’ll enjoy it. The grass is up to their bellies.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

While leaving, we found ourselves in a horse race.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

As we slowed down to let the horses “win”, Patrick spotted a baby antelope in the tall grass.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

He crouched, trying to hide from me.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

But no such luck. I had my eye on him.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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. 🙂


Sunset over the Peak

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on May 28, 2014

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Not a bad view while doing yard work.
After a couple thunder boomers moved through our area yesterday evening, there was this gorgeous sunset over Laramie Peak.


Snow-packed Road Home

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on February 12, 2014

©Leah Yetter Photographer

On Monday, I finally made it out of our place to meet an 11 day old precious baby girl and provide her first photo shoot. I drove 140 miles round trip on slick but mostly dry interstate. Easy. And the shoot went very well.
It was this half mile jaunt home that was most difficult. My little Honda Civic wasn’t too happy about the snow-packed road. But she got me to our entrance and I took the ATV the rest of the way home. Of course, I’m sure it didn’t help that I stopped the car to shoot this image. I probably should have kept the momentum going but I’m glad I took the risk. The sun was setting on such a gorgeous day, it had to be recorded.

P.S. Here is the same shot (a little further down the road) at sunset last fall.


Icey Cold

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on January 6, 2014

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s been a chilly start to 2014 all over the country. I enjoy the brisk air in my lungs when I go out for a hike in the peak of the day but it grows colder quickly as the sun goes down. I love how the mountains and trees turn purple as the sky reflects off of the ice. The Laramie River is so peaceful when it is covered in ice.
Many of us are starting the first work week of the new year. The rest are snowed or iced in. Hope it’s a good one nonetheless. xoxo 🙂