Uprooted Magnolia

Good Evening Crop Ear

Posted in Photography, The Ranch, Wildlife by leahyetter on December 14, 2010

Good ole Crop Ear stopped in for an evening visit. I spotted her while out getting firewood last night.

She is always welcome at the ranch. Even if she does give me a startle after the sun has gone down.


Piggin’ Out

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Photography by leahyetter on December 13, 2010

We took a drive over to the bluffs to feed Patrick’s cattle. They have plenty of grazing left but we felt like giving them a boost with a couple bales. We pulled down with the flatbed full of hay and the girls came a’running as soon as I called out to them.  Sooey!!!

Like before, I had one hand on the wheel and the other on the camera and shutter button. Carefully steering and trying not to knock Patrick off the flatbed, I succeeded in keeping him upright.

Just look at this mess.

I thought we were raising cattle here on the ranch. But with every day that passes, it seems like we have a bunch of pigs on our hands.


Elk in the Road

Posted in Horses, Photography, The Ranch, Wildlife by leahyetter on December 10, 2010

Was trying to photograph the ranch horses running across the open pasture.

But this wad of elk got in my way.

Camera hogs.


 

A Ramble with Shadow

Posted in Home, Photography, The Ranch by leahyetter on December 8, 2010

My favorite walking buddy around the ranch is our border collie, Shadow. He works here on the ranch herding cattle and lots of times he herds us when we take him and the hound dogs for walks. But when it’s just me and him, we walk side by side.  And during these cold winter days, it is so hard to entice him out of his insulated dog house and straw bed.

After begging, milk bone bribing and a little tugging on his collar, he eventually joins me on a ramble.

He patiently sits and waits for me to get my photograph of the landscape I’ve framed up or a portrait of the horse I’m visiting with. His big brown eyes stare a hole straight through to my heart.

Then he does a little dance and hams it up for the camera when it’s time to move on to the next scene. Shadow is definitely a loyal friend and fun subject.


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!


Good Morning Crop Ear

Posted in The Ranch, Wildlife by leahyetter on November 8, 2010

This pretty dear of a deer greeted us in the front yard on this gorgeous Monday morning. She has been on the ranch for a couple of years now. Patrick calls her ole’ Crop Ear because her left ear is smaller than the right.

She was checking out this buck prancing across the meadow.

She didn’t care about him though. She is enjoying the yummy tall grass in our yard.

Happy Monday folks!  xo


 

Still Fall

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on November 6, 2010
Our colorful leaves are slowly turning brown and falling off of the trees.

Twigs of a bare Buckbrush

Only a few beauties left on this shrub.

Mountainside Buckbrush

We’ve been outside a lot enjoying the last little bit of warmth so not much time for blogging this last week. But the cattle will be coming home from the Plains next week. I can’t wait to have them in the meadows again.

Have a great weekend. I’ll be in touch soon!

 


 

Have Hay? Cow will Follow.

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Ranching by leahyetter on October 21, 2010

Wanna know how to get cows to surround and follow your truck? Put hay on the flatbed.

Stick a cowboy up there with a pitchfork and drive slowly. Be careful not to throw him off while pressing the gas and the shutter button on the camera at the same time.

And even though hay has been pitched out for them to munch on, they continue to follow. I guess they think the next forkload will be better that the last.

Or they think I’ve got yummy cake for them to eat from my hand.


 

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.


 

Leaves of Gold

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on October 2, 2010

I found gold in the Laramie River.

Was walking along and a sparkle caught my eye.

There in the river lay..

..a Cottonwood bouquet!


Scenic Drive Through the Mountains

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife by leahyetter on September 29, 2010

We weren’t sure where we wanted to go so we jumped in the truck and just drove. It was a beautiful day and I wanted the folks to see our surroundings. Along the way, we caught this Mule deer relaxing in the brush.

We happened upon this quiet ranch. The fresh hay bales means someone is there but at first glance we thought it was abandoned.

We got out of the truck to take in the view and breathe the fresh mountain air. As I walked along a short trail, I stepped on this rock and had to take a picture of it. It came home with me needless to say.

We saw all kinds of wildlife but of course antelope were everywhere we went. You can’t go anywhere without spotting hundreds of these guys in various pastures. But the thing that is a constant frustration to me and Dad with photographing wildlife is that we always get butt shots. They are always running from us and we’re sick of all the rear ends in our lens. So don’t be surprised if one day there is a post on this blog with strictly deer and antelope butts!

But as this one got away, I was glad that the grass covered his backside and I got a good view of his horns.


Good Company, Oh I Can’t Deny

Posted in Family, The Ranch by leahyetter on September 27, 2010

Excuse me for borrowing and changing lyrics from a 1970’s rock band but I just couldn’t help it.

Dad and Debbie arrived last Thursday for a visit and they left today. Dad has been here once before. It was back in March and in the snow when he brought me out here to my new home. It was great for them to see how beautiful it can really be here in the “middle of nowhere” in Autumn.

After a couple of days of house cleaning, I was happy I could finally go out to pick flowers for the house. It was the last thing on the “to do” list before they got here. You know how much I love flowers and I wanted it to look nice for the folks. They’ve been on the road and in hotels a lot lately so I wanted to cozy it up as much as possible.

The sunflowers are just about gone but I spotted these pretty white flowers popping up everywhere. Of course a Wyoming centerpiece isn’t complete without a little wheat dried wheat grass.

This heartshaped basket holds a small arrangement to greet them as they entered our home. Then I set up some smaller arrangements for their bedside tables. I also placed a framed picture of my Yellow Finch because they both are bird lovers.

And I chose these vases because they are the color of their Z car.

Yay! Here they come down the hill. This car is a color of blue that I don’t even know you’d find in a Crayola box. And it definitly doesn’t fit in around here.

They successfully crossed the Bridge to Paradise.

We had a great time and the weather was perfect.

They left this morning for their next adventure through Colorado and New Mexico. But while they were here we took peaceful drives through the country and traveled through some real “middle of nowhere”. I’ll fill in the gaps with more photos of their visit. For now, I’m sorting through the shots and reflecting on how great it was to have them here.


I Heart Firewood

Posted in Cowboy, Home, The Ranch by leahyetter on September 21, 2010

It’s still warm here but that will change in an instant. And this Georgia girl isn’t afraid to admit she’s a little nervous about her first Wyoming winter. That’s why I was grateful when I walked into the shop and Patrick was sharpening the blade on the chainsaw.

Twas 90 degrees outside and the effort seemed futile but better to do it now while we can still feel our fingers and toes. Patrick, the heat stroke you suffered will all be worth it, right? I can’t thank you enough.


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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.


Goodbye Golden Palamino: Part II

Posted in Horses, The Ranch by leahyetter on August 1, 2010

We took the Red Dun horse, Chugs best friend and brother, to the South Ranch to run with the other horses. We wanted to do this so that he didn’t have to be at the main ranch to see Chug leave.

The horses raced over to see the new guy but there was a creek between them.

Chug was in the trailer behind us and the Dun horse did not want to leave his friend. He would run back to the trailer, breaking my heart with every whinny.

So the others came closer.

And waited.

Patrick and the Dun made it across and they all finally met.

Then he ran.

And they followed.

And when he tried to run back over to us, they turned around.

And he followed.

He’ll be OK. He’s probably already forgotten the trauma of the separation.

We brought Chug back to the main ranch to wait for his ride. He was pretty upset in the corral all by himself. I went in with him to talk it out. I pet him and he followed me around while I reassured him that he was going to a great place and to a wonderful family. His eyes are so kind and his lashes so long.

He’s hoping that these pesky horse flies aren’t back east. I told him I honestly didn’t know and to not get his hopes up.

So long Chug, you will have a wonderful life. I’m sure of it.

Goodbye Golden Palamino: Part I

Posted in Horses, The Ranch by leahyetter on August 1, 2010

I met this colt on my first visit out to the ranch, in June of last year. He was very young and still attached to mom.

When I came out in January, he was off of his mom and in a pasture with his brother and best friend. They eat together. Pose for the camera together.

Walk in sync together.

Talk together.

Get into mischief together.

He’s pictured here in his winter coat and is so handsome. Little did we know then that his name would become “Chug”, for Chugwater Wyoming and that he would soon be living back east in North Carolina.

And little did I know how hard it would be to separate these two.


Busy buzzy bee

Posted in Home, Nature, Ranching, Wildlife by leahyetter on July 27, 2010

We’re not the only ones that work hard around here. Remember my Sunny Flower? Well here she is this morning getting worked over by this honey bee.

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Just another day of…

Posted in Home, Ranching, Wildlife by leahyetter on July 26, 2010

work work work. From sun up to sun down, the chores must be done.

We’re baling and stacking hay at the main ranch these days. Patrick drives the tractor. I drove the truck and trailer full of hay bales yesterday.

The head ditch needed cleaning from beaver and flood clogging. It’s time to get water flowing into the meadows to grow a second cut of hay.

I can’t go on without mentioning that we dodge buzztails regularly.

Putting shoes on the horses can be challenging. I think I was more in the way than helpful but Patrick got them done successfully. The rocks out here are tough on their hoofs and shoes are necessary for an evening ride through the hills.

Then sometimes we get to watch the moon rise over the meadow,

and through the trees.

That is only if we’ve finished the days chores and if we haven’t fallen asleep face first into our dinner plate.

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I knew this day would eventually come.

Posted in Cowboy, Thankful by leahyetter on July 13, 2010

I got the call yesterday evening that there was a fire at McCauley’s Ranch just across Palmer Canyon. I called Patrick off the meadow he was baling to let him know they were in need of some serious help. While I waited for him to come in,  I went and stared at his firefighting gear. I’ve always known it was there but I had hoped I would never see him in it.  I knew this day would eventually come. And I know it’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last.

But I must admit he does look mighty handsome in that fire retardant suit. That, however, did not help the ache in my chest.

cowboy firefighter

Back home, safe and sound.

He was out there all night long until a team of 13  that travels to help towns on fire arrived to relieve them. When he got home his morning, he said it seems well contained. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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The Laramie Plains

Posted in Cattle Roundup, Nature, Ranching, Wildlife by leahyetter on July 13, 2010

The cows are spending the summer on the Laramie Plains and we go check on them from time to time. I use the term “we” loosely because Patrick goes  way more often than I do. But I like to think I do some good on these trips. Hey, I’ve got cows eating cake right out of my hands remember? Anywho, we see a lot of wildlife in this wide open space and I can’t help but share some of the beauty with you once again.

Twin Baby Antelope waiting for momma

Triplets!

The cows were happy to see us. They gobbled up the salt and mineral. They look really good and tubby out there.

Yum!

The bulls were not so happy to see us. They never are.

Staring contest with a bull can be scary.

But it didn’t stop them from attempting to get their groove on.

He's asking her if she wants to "see the inside of his truck".

Patrick spotted these guys as I got out of the truck to open a  gate.

Bucks Running Wild

And I almost stepped on these. Thank goodness Patrick saw them before I became Godzilla and destroyed their town and family.

Grounded Birds Nest

As we were leaving, we finally spotted our first state flower of the year.  You know it’s summer when you finally see Indian Paintbrush.

Indian Paintbrush, the state flower

more Indian Paintbrush

This guy needed to check us out before we went through his gate. We said hello and went our separate ways.

Curious Horse

It was a good day.