Uprooted Magnolia

The Five Points Ranch

Posted in Nature, Stormy Skies, Travel, Wildlife by leahyetter on July 8, 2010

We  took a quick drive to Nebraska for a barbecue on July 4th.  We weren’t there long but we had enough time to fish and hunt elk. By fish I mean with a fly-rod. Patrick taught me how to fly-fish. I caught a few too! And by hunt elk of course I mean with my camera. I have never been this close to elk unless it’s hanging on someone’s wall. Out in the hills around the ranch where we live, I will see them way off in the distance and usually it’s just their rear-end getting the heck away from us. But on this trip, we located them at sunset and sunrise.  They posed for us and it was incredible.

Click this image for some close-ups of elk in the velvet.

Elk silhouette at sunrise

Click this image to see the area and insects that hopped and fluttered around us while we fished in the ponds that were FULL of bass. We spent time with Patrick’s Uncle Rich and his lovely gal and her two kids. Storms would creep up on us and quickly move along which created great conditions for the fish to bite.

the beautiful calm before the storm

Needless to say we had a great time.  Thanks Uncle Rich!

Been Travelin’

Posted in Home, Travel by leahyetter on July 4, 2010

We were in Nebraska for a barbecue Saturday evening and I’ve got some great images to share with you soon.  We didn’t go to any of the fireworks shindigs but we did have beautiful color in the sky at the ranch this evening. Sunsets are always a treat out here. It was lovely.

Fourth of July Sky

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.

3am, Wednesday Morning

Posted in Nature, Ranching by leahyetter on June 30, 2010

Do you know where your cowboy will be?

While I’m sawing logs, mine will be baling hay.

He waits until the dew is just right on his already 80 acres of cut hay and then bales it into round bales. Being on top of the moisture measurement prevents mildewed hay. Round bales do best to keep mildew at it’s lowest but some ranchers make square bales. Those are best for stacking and transporting for selling.

I’ll take him some lunch mid-morning. I might find him sleeping in the tractor. I’ll keep you posted.

*Yawn*

Our Daily Greeter

Posted in Matilda by leahyetter on June 28, 2010

Where the heck have you been mom? Worried sick over here.

Oh what was that? I thought I saw a bunny.

Stop taking my picture and come in please. You should see my food bowl.

Food mom, right meow!

Blue

Posted in Home, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 27, 2010

This isn’t a post about one of the greatest albums of all time by Joni Mitchell, although it is one of my favorites.

I was visited by this dragonfly today and I felt like sharing some images of blue.

The Mule Shoe Ranch on the way to town has peacocks out to keep traffic slow around there. I love being greeted by them while coming or going from the ranch.

One thing I enjoy doing with my blue-eyed cowboy is take the hounds (blue-tick and walker) out for a stroll under the blue evening sky.

And then we have Patrick’s hands when he gets home from spraying weeds with a vibrant blue dye. Steering wheels and door knobs mysteriously turn blue during this time as well.

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!

Two Fathers Today

Posted in Family, Georgia by leahyetter on June 20, 2010
My dad has always been an important and strong influence in my life. He started my love of  photography in my early teens and encouraged me to stick with it.

me and dad, 1992

Who knew I’d end up being the photographer at his wedding 16 years later.

photographing dad and debbie, 2008

me and dad, 2008

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My brother became a father in December 2008 to the most beautiful baby in the world. I knew he’d be a good dad because he is a great big brother to me.

ken and baby Joey, 2008

Joey loves his daddy. He looks just like him too.

ken and baby Joey, 2009

Happy Father’s Day fellas. Miss you and love you. Hope you are having a marvelous day. xoxo

2,750 cubic feet released per second and done rising

Posted in Home, Nature, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 15, 2010

It’s twice it’s width and 3 times or more it’s depth and the Laramie River is still a beautiful sight.

It rose rapidly yesterday evening. Patrick took down the buck fence to prevent debris from taking down the bridge in case the water rose high enough. It was good that he did because we sat and watched huge logs and trees float rapidly down and bump into the bridge before making their way underneath. Limbs could have gotten tangled in the fence and wreaked havoc on the entire bridge.

While we sat quietly enjoying the nice weather and watching our beloved bridge, we had some visitors. Down the drive came a doe and her fawns.

And next came a hen waddling out from the tall grass. We watched them for a while then decided to head out back to check that part of the river.

The water crept up quite a bit into the road. Where Patrick is standing is where I stood the day before to photograph the rapids. It was dry land then.

We’re told that no more water will be released but the river will probably be this high for at least a week if not longer. In all it has risen  2,750 cubic feet.

The Laramie Rages

Posted in Home, Stormy Skies by leahyetter on June 14, 2010

Wyoming has had a large amount of rain and spring runoff this year so far. That said, the rivers are so full that the water management has released water from the reservoir in the small town of Bosler. Yesterday they released 900 cubic ft and today they plan on releasing another 2,000.

We went out in our mud boots to check on things yesterday evening. These are views from the bridge leading into the ranch.

The water is only about a foot or 2 from reaching the bridge. We’ll check this evening but we’re nervous about losing it. There is already one road closed because of flooding.

This is the river behind the house where we cross the cows to graze more meadows.

Usually this river is a peaceful little stream lazily flowing over the rocks and around the bends. Now we have crashing waves and buried willows and trees.

This is pretty common back east but out here, we’re used to a dry climate.  Fortunately, it’s nothing like the flash floods that are going through in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Took a ride in the Big Green Tractor

Posted in Cowboy, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 12, 2010
We took a tractor ride over to the sprinkler the other day and came upon a flock of cuteness. The first is my stubbly cowboy in the rear-view.

tractor ride to the sprinkler

But the real preciousness came when we saw a turkey in the drive snuggling her little ones. She quickly got up before I could get a picture of them and they escaped into the tall grass.

baby turkeys with momma hen

If you look closely, you can see the babies following the leader.

more baby turkeys with momma hen

In all we saw 6 broods with their mother hens. They are already flying over the tall grass and we hope they all make it.  Those evil coyotes are always on the hunt.

Love Bugs

Posted in Home, Nature, Wildlife by leahyetter on June 9, 2010
Springtime on Dakota Ranch continues.

little love bugs

very coordinated little love bugs

Happy Hump Day my friends!

Fast Times at Spring Creek High

Posted in Family, Stormy Skies, Travel by leahyetter on June 8, 2010

We’ve been in Nevada for a few days for the high school graduation of Patrick’s nephew Kaleb. It was a windy yet beautiful drive through Wyoming. Salty, humid and hilly through Utah. Dry desert through Nevada. A 10 hour drive and I loved every minute.

Windmills in Wyoming

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Train crossing the Flats

Kaleb graduated 3rd in his class. Such a smart and kind young man. I enjoyed meeting him and his friends.

Yay Kaleb!

Congratulations Kaleb and the 2010 Spring Creek High School Graduates!

Our drive home was great until we got back into Wyoming. Storms were brewing all around us.

Sheets of rain were blanketing the meadows and farmlands.

We drove as hard as we could but were not successful at outrunning the storm.

And WAM! Suddenly we were caught in a massive hail storm on highway 34. Have you ever been inside a car when hail is pounding so hard you can’t hear what the person next to you is saying? If you have, you know what I’m talking about. Frightening.

We made it home safely just before it started pouring down at the ranch. We slept so good to the sound of rain I barely remember my head hitting the pillow.

Early May Branding Days

Posted in Branding, Cattle Roundup by leahyetter on June 1, 2010

We were invited to a couple of brandings in early May. Yes, you’ll see a lot of Patrick on horseback, you know I can’t resist. But if you were wearing a cowboy hat, you were also focused on closely.

The weather, as I’ve stated before, is so unpredictable out here. I got sunburned at Tom’s on the 5th and we froze our fannies off at the Smalls’ on the 7th. Go figure.

Click the images below to view the gallery of each of these 2 brandings.

Sunny but cold at Kenny and Patty Small branding, May 7, 2010.

Hot and dusty at Uncle Tom's branding, May 5, 2010.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear” ~Mark Twain

Posted in Thankful by leahyetter on May 31, 2010

To those brave women and men who serve, shed blood, and have died for our freedom, We Salute You.

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*Updated*

This evening Patrick called on his way home from the South Ranch wanting me to make his favorite snack, “a shiver” he says. “You mean a smoothie sweetheart”?

So tonight we made Very Berry Patriotic Smoothies.

The Yellow Finch

Posted in Home, Nature, Wildlife by leahyetter on May 26, 2010

The weatherman said we were going to be riding out thunderstorms and high wind today. Boy was he wrong. It has been a gorgeous day. I had a lovely morning walk, baked a macaroon pie, and for a little while stood and watched these golden beauties frolic all over the yard. They would fly from tree to fence to grass and then soar over the roof of the house. They even got close enough for  a portrait or 3.

perched on the apple tree

grazing through grass

resting and observing

May 24th, Snow in the High Country

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Stormy Skies by leahyetter on May 24, 2010

Yes folks, this day in May the wind howled and snow fell. Patrick grabbed my camera and took a couple shots of the mountains behind the house.

Squaw Mountain. Image by Patrick McGuire.

The Lawrence. Image by Patrick McGuire.

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Gathering Pairs

We worked all day Sunday. The weather was much better yesterday than today. We got 43 mommas and their babies paired up to be trucked to the Laramie Plains today for more grazing.

John’s cow dog, Dixie, did a great job. She perched at the top of the hill until John told her to come. She’s very obedient and works hard.

Dixie, down.

Dixie and I sat at the top of the hill and watched the cowboys work.

They're all down the hill thankfully.

They all crossed the creek by golly!

Once in the main corral, we had to make sure the babies were paired up with momma and then put them in separate corrals for the big delivery. They are going to love the Plains. The grass is getting greener by the day.

Cowboy Cutting

We needed to get a few more pairs from the meadows. I was told to get behind the fence and DON’T BE SEEN!

Watching through the knot hole. I'm hiding, Patrick!

Through the knot hole: Ron and Patrick work their magic.

It’s a dangerous job-

Posted in Cowboy, Stormy Skies by leahyetter on May 20, 2010

-but the cowboy has to do it.

We’ll be taking the cows to the Laramie Plains soon so getting  the windmills pumping water is part of the preparation.

Patrick gets belted up and climbs 40 feet to add oil and start the blades rotating.

Dang that’s high. It’s scary up there he says.

And we have water!

The land is so flat and you can see storms miles away. Sheets of rain and dangerous lightning makes me very nervous but it never came near us thankfully.

It’s so wild to see this violent storm in the distance while we sit and watch all nice and dry.

The storm arrived later that night on the ranch. The roads turned into lakes and the night sky was lit up with lightning. But we welcome the rain. We should have some fat cows by the end of the summer.

Georgia Spring Beauty

Posted in Georgia, Nature by leahyetter on May 18, 2010

I made it back home yesterday evening. It was a great week of visiting family and friends. I had several shoots while there, thank you to Mercer and Ginger and Avery! Here are some shots of springtime in Georgia.

Happy Butterfly

Last year, I found some old seed packets of my mothers that dated back to the seventies. Miraculously I lucked out with one sunflower.

Miracle Sunflower I

Me and a tiny honey bee just loved this flower. He’s burrowed in the seeds of the flower.

Miracle Sunflower II

This little guy would visit me often. He deserved a good portrait.

Smiling Dragonfly

It rained a good bit here in Wheatland last week. When I drove into the ranch, the meadows were green and the trees were blooming. I’ll have local updates soon.  xo

Time Flies

Posted in Georgia, Photography by leahyetter on May 13, 2010

My how the years go by. This young lady has been a beautiful subject of my lens for 4 years now. We did her portraits in a friends yard and by the neighborhood lake earlier this week. We had great weather and little Avery was a trooper. Tears streamed once and only for a short amount of time. Otherwise we played and smiled.

She wanted to pet the ducks but they weren’t having any of that. We looked for fish in the lake instead.

This was her birth announcement portrait. I still cannot believe it’s been 4 years.

See you next year Avery!