March was a proper spring weather month. Little to no snow, warm temperatures and sunshine. A perfect start for the calving season. The meadowlark arrived singing the song of spring, red-winged blackbirds fluttered all over the meadows and cranes and geese announced themselves with their loud calls. April is a different story. We’ve had a lot of rain and snow showers. The snow isn’t sticking much but mud is up to my ankles everywhere I step.
After getting my count of the cows and calves this morning, I looked up and saw two eagles sharing a limb. This snow melted quickly but it’s still spitting out there. It should warm right up tomorrow and the rest of the week. The calves will appreciate that. We will too. 🙂
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! 🙂
Pretty excited about the new kid. She smells funny. 😉
We had a heck of a snow storm roll in last week. But first, I woke up to a solid sheet of ice out here at our place. A friend and I were to travel that morning and the snow wasn’t predicted until later in the day. The ice should have been our clue to stay home but this trip was a must for my friend for a dental appointment. By the time we hit the road heading south at 0:dark thirty that morning, the snow started to fall. But the further south we got, it cleared up. On the way home, heading north, it was a different story. Our vehicle hit black ice and we lost control. We fishtailed, crossed the median and twirled around finally landing in the southbound lane. Fortunately we weren’t hurt and there was only one vehicle on the road. He was able to avoid us because he was, thankfully, paying attention. Later that evening when heading out to do chores, I took a spill on the ice and landed on tailbone, further aggravating an injury that happened years ago. I’ll tellya, it was so good to get chores done, get inside the house, load up the wood stove and go to bed. That day just needed to end. I’m still stiff and sitting on a donut a week later.
I told my Dad about that mess of a day and he said “and after all of that, you still aren’t convinced to move back to Georgia?”
Not a chance, Dad. Not a chance.
We’ve got calves getting ready to drop in less than a month. ♥
Spotted these grazers out of the dining room window. Not sure if that’s a standoff or just a pause while chewing. 🙂
We’ve had a break from the snowfall. If there isn’t snow, there’s wind, which has thankfully warmed us up. But it’s overcast with the wet stuff in the clouds and it’s definitely on the way. We’re getting close to calving season too. With a storm on the horizon, I better get ready!
Nothing much prettier than than a horse walking though the snow at sunset.
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. 🙂
I know it’s cliché to say but I don’t care. October is my favorite color. 🙂
Here is a shot toward Laramie Peak at sunset to prove it. The wind has taken a lot of our leaves which means winter is coming. But I will hold on to this feeling for a while. It’s been a couple of really great months out here in the wild west.
Our last art guild meeting took us on a barn tour. We’ve done this once before and it was a blast. We had the same blustery weather as the last one so it made for some soft lighting and an interesting sky. A lot of the barns in our area were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Here are just a few shots from that day.
The Shepard Barn
Wood-vine and plain old nature is taking over this little homestead near the Douglas Barn.
The Artery Barn
I just love the way the texture of barn wood photographs. And the old rusty horseshoes and metal fence make a nice subject as well.
Until next time…
I took an evening walk down to the river to scout out spots for upcoming portrait sessions and caught this gorgeous rainbow over the bluffs.
Happy fall y’all!
Did that get your attention? Well, it wasn’t snowing the cold and wet stuff. It was snowing cotton.
We took a drive down to the meadows one evening to check the irrigation ditch and the water level of the river. We had already taken the cattle up to summer pasture so all was quiet except the summer wind blowing through the cottonwood trees.
Cotton was on everything. The barbed wire fence, tree limbs and blades of grass were covered. The scenes were out of a fairy tale.
This image is my favorite.
I ran around chasing the sun while trying to outrun the deer flies. We don’t frequent the meadows in summer because the bugs are bad. But wow. I’m so glad I went down there this particular evening.
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.
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.
We had to stop for this gorgeous view of Beartooth Mountain as we weaved in and out of Montana and Wyoming on Beartooth Highway.
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!
Pronghorn and Bison graze on the flats together.
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
I woke up to another misty morning and much to my delight, had some visitors.
This family decided to graze right by the house in the early morning.
Aren’t those faces the sweetest?
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.
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… 🙂
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.
Oh, no worries. It’s just another Winter storm happening in Spring. It’s called Sprinter.
Now, if only I can find the cattle.
We have two sets of resident geese. One pair stays at the west side of our property, the other at the complete opposite end.
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.
The river is high and rapid in some parts but it doesn’t bother them much.
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.