Uprooted Magnolia

Yellowstone: Geysers

Posted in Photography, Travel by leahyetter on June 21, 2016

Once the Bison traffic jam dissipated, we were able to get further up the road the next day and see some Geysers.

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Our first stop was the Norris Geyser Basin.

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There are two areas of the Norris Geyser Basin. The Porcelin Basin and the Back Basin. The Porclein Basin is barren of trees and the Back Basin is a good hike through the trees. We stuck with the Porcelin Basin so that we could get a good look of the geothermal activity.

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These colors are living thermometers. The orange color from the iron-rich water is a temperature anywhere from 122-140°F. The green has green algae called “phototrophs” and they use the sunlight for energy. They live in temps of 100-133°F.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Some folks in front of us pointed out that there was worm like creature moving around in there. Unbeleivable that an insect could live in such high temps.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Our next stop was Old Faithful. We ate at the Old Faithful Lodge and admired the incredible architecture. After a fantastic lunch we joined the hundreds of other tourists to wait impatiently for the next eruption.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

He erupted in a timely manner, as expected, and it really was a sight to behold.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Our next stop was West Thumb basin at Yellowstone Lake. It was so colorful and absolutely gorgeous.

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©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Percolating Spring. When it was named, it bubbled vigorously like a coffee pot.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This is a part of the surging spring. It can be as hot as 167°F and sends hot water into the lake.

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The last known eruption of Lakeshore Geyser, pictured above, happened in 1970 and erupted up to 50ft. They say that one day, however, earthquake activity or other processes may cause the geyser to gain energy and begin erupting more forcefully again. It didn’t happen while we were there. It was calm and serene.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This is Black Pool. Not long ago, Black Pool really was black. But the water temperature rose and killed off the heat-loving microorganisms that made the pool appear black. It also erupted in the summer of 1992 and the following winter. It is such a beautiful color and turquoise and deep green. Just lovely.


 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©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.

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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

🙂


Whitetails at the Door

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on May 16, 2016

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I woke up to another misty morning and much to my delight, had some visitors.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This family decided to graze right by the house in the early morning.

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Aren’t those faces the sweetest?

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They are welcome any time and I wish they’d stop by in the daylight more often. I see their tracks every day so I know they are passing through during the night.

Happy Monday, everyone. I believe this thing called Sun will come out at some point this week. We are overcast, soaking wet and the river is rising. I think that’s why these guys are close to the house. That and the pesky coyotes.


 

Counting Cattle

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 28, 2016

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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… 🙂


 

Back to Spring

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 27, 2016

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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.


 

it’s called Sprinter

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 26, 2016

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Oh, no worries. It’s just another Winter storm happening in Spring. It’s called Sprinter.
Now, if only I can find the cattle.


 

Seeing Green

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 22, 2016

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

I feel like this quote is spot on about Wyoming. We may insane wind speeds, blinding snow storms, and hail that will make you feel a little crazy, but when it’s still and warm, it’s heavenly.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s so great to see the wild iris taking form in the meadows. Our little corner of Earth is waking up and it is a delight!
Happy Earth Day!


 

Mother Goose, Mother Nature

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 21, 2016

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We have two sets of resident geese. One pair stays at the west side of our property, the other at the complete opposite end.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Whenever I walk up to the edge of the river, they take off squawking and kicking and it spooks me so bad, similar to when a sage grouse pops out of the sage grass spooking the heck out of your horse while gathering cattle on the Laramie Plains. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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The river is high and rapid in some parts but it doesn’t bother them much.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

While looking for newborn calves I quietly photographed this little family hiding as best as they could. I only see two babies here. Looks as though our resident owl has possibly been snatching these babies up for their own enjoyment. Oh the beauty and heartache mother nature gives us. Those fuzzy babies are so cute.


 

Spring = Mud

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 20, 2016

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Springtime equals mud around these parts. We’ve had a couple more storms like the one I posted about a couple weeks ago. But the snow melted away as quickly as it fell and we’re left with puddles and mud. We are thankful for the moisture.
We are a little over half way through calving and the little squirts are growing fast and healthy. Again, we are thankful. Lots of new life is happening in meadows. I just spotted our resident geese with their goslings and the resident horned owl has three owlets again this year. The turkey’s are gobbling and the deer are grazing. The meadowlarks are singing and Sandhill cranes are kicking up a fuss in the meadows. Man, they can be loud.
I’ll share images of all of the new life and spring beauty soon.
Happy Wednesday y’all!


 

A Wyoming Spring…

Posted in Calving, Photography, Winter by leahyetter on March 23, 2016

I posted this today on my Facebook page.

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The start to spring here has been wonderful. Temps have been in the 60’s and we’ve been soaking up the sunshine.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The clouds started building by mid-afternoon.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It was storming in the sky by late afternoon. Then it started raining here at about 10pm.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And this is how it looked at 7 this morning. I barely made it down to the meadow.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

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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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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. 😉


 

Red-winged Blackbirds at Dusk

Posted in Photography by leahyetter on March 9, 2016

©Leah Yetter Photographer

These guys chirp, blirp and fly down the road with me down to the meadows. I know it’s because there is a nest somewhere close by but I like to thing they are just leading me in the right direction. 🙂


First Born

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 7, 2016

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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…

PS: Our Winter Art Fair went well on Saturday. Just wish you could’ve been there. 🙂


Winter Art Fair

Posted in Gilchrist Gallery, Photography by leahyetter on March 2, 2016

Gilchrist Gallery Art Fair

Our wonderful little gallery is putting on an art fair. We’ve never taken on anything this big before but we’re pretty excited. The wind here has been blowing 40mph with stronger gusts and it’s just been miserable. We’re inviting the community to come in out of the wind and surround themselves with colorful art, have lunch, do a little shopping, a little bidding, and learn more about the artists right here on their own turf!
So if you, my loyal blog readers, are interested in coming out and supporting us, you will be welcomed with open arms!! It takes about 3 days to travel to here by car from the eastern side of the U.S. More like two days drive from the Southwest I think. 🙂 Time for a road trip!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I took this image and had it printed on maple wood. I wasn’t sure what to expect and when I got it back from the lab, I wasn’t wowed like I had hoped to be. But a great friend and local frame-maker helped create a beautiful frame out of oak to surround this lovely image. I can’t wait to have it on display. It was pretty costly and I’m not sure if I’ll ever do it again. I’ll just have to see the feedback I get from folks when it’s out there upon judging eyes.

If you check out our Facebook page, you will get a glimpse of the many different mediums that will be on display. And that’s not even the half of it.

I hope to see ALL of you out here in Wonderful Wheatland Wyoming for a lovely weekend of art and entertainment.

Cheers!


A Horse of Course

Posted in Horses, Photography by leahyetter on February 26, 2016

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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!


And Then There Was Mud

Posted in Photography by leahyetter on February 15, 2016

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The wild snow storms have tapered off for now and the wind has picked up. Now we are left with puddles and mud. But at least it has warmed up a bit. Dare I say tropical? 🙂

Have a great start to your week, folks!


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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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

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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.
 


Blizzard Conditions

Posted in Photography, Winter by leahyetter on February 2, 2016

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Up in the hills, which I still can’t see from here,  at least 2ft of snow has fallen so far.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

When Patrick got home from work yesterday afternoon, we headed down to the meadow.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The girls were excited to see us. They’d follow us anywhere on days like this.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They like cake. A couple of them will take it right from our hands.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They love it. We said nighty-night and headed back in to keep the fire stoked up.
Then there was this morning.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

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.

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And what a beautiful morning it is.