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! 🙂
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. ♥
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 have had a lot of client work lately and haven’t been here blogging as much as I’d like. I’m so thankful for the work and it’s been a great few months. Not to rub it in but I did get to spend the weekend with the Tetons to photograph a wedding on Friday. We were concerned about the fires going on in that dry part of the state but on Thursday, the day we arrived, it rained! It hadn’t rained there in a couple months and we had rain showers throughout the entire weekend. The next morning was clear and we spent time at the ranch while the bride got ready and had a first look with her groom. So romantic! We took a drive, walked across a beaver dam and stood with the Tetons as their backdrop while they said their vows. Everything went off without a hitch and we enjoyed every minute of it. The people we met, dare I say new friends, were a delight.
But the weekend wasn’t over. With a day off in between, I had the good fortune to photograph a newly engaged couple that came out to our gorgeous state from Illinois. He found me on the web, wanted a photographer for engagement portraits in that part of the state and I just so happened to be there that same weekend. We met on Sunday morning and had such a fun session. The clouds capped the mountains for the first hour and after a quick rain, it cleared off and we finished with a great view of the Tetons.
I’m now back at home and feverishly editing and processing. I do have more to share here…it just may be a little while. It’s cooling off and the leaves are starting to change. Yay for autumn! xo
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
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.
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!
…we’re back to dry meadows and snow covered hills.
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! 🙂
I posted this today on my Facebook page.
The start to spring here has been wonderful. Temps have been in the 60’s and we’ve been soaking up the sunshine.
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.
The clouds started building by mid-afternoon.
It was storming in the sky by late afternoon. Then it started raining here at about 10pm.
And this is how it looked at 7 this morning. I barely made it down to the meadow.
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve been under a “ground blizzard” watch. It’s basically like a sandstorm, but with snow.
But yesterday morning, as the sun rose, it was perfectly still and beautiful.
And by mid-afternoon, as I showed you yesterday, it was still gorgeous.
By 4pm, I noticed from the comfort of my dining room window, the over 30 inches of snow was moving in the hills.
I hightailed up the driveway again so I could show you this fierce beauty.
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.
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. 🙂
Wow! What a wet and stormy spring it was and a dry summer it has become!
Powerful rain and hail storms plagued us for weeks.
The river flooded up into the road in the meadows. The cottonwoods sure loved the drink. It finally went down by mid summer but we still had a good amount of mist and fog and overcast days at the start of our summer.
This golden eagle was onto something special because he didn’t move as I got closer and closer to take his portrait. Something must have floated down the river that he was intent on getting.
Ol’ Gray wasn’t impressed with the bugs that all this moisture brought with it but as you can see by the looks of his belly, he enjoys the abundance of grass.
This bull isn’t very impressed. Period.
But the sun has finally come out and we’ve warmed right up with hot and dry temperatures.
But along with the hot and dry temperatures, the horrific fires that are burning in the Pacific Northwest have blown smoke and haze into our state. There have been a couple of days that the smoke was so thick that staying inside was a must. We continue to have haze from it every other day or so. I pray for all of those in harms way out there.
Summer evenings are just about the best around here. The sunsets are incredible and for the second summer in a row, we had a hatch of dragonflies hover in the shade of our home. They are everywhere! The cows are in the hills on summer pasture so the Sand Hill cranes and other wildlife are loving the meadows all to themselves.
That’s about it. I’ve had a lot of wonderful portrait clients come out (and more on the calendar for fall portraits) and have traveled a bit on assignment. Life has dealt us some lemons with the spring and early summer storms. Our roof and my car were totaled out by ping-pong size hail. Ugh. But this too shall pass.
Oh, and did I mention…
…this little furry boo came into my life around Easter. She’s pretty wild but keeps the mice population in check. She isn’t an indoor kitty. She’s been through a couple of lives already and she’s barely 5 months old. But more on her later. If she sticks around…
Have a great weekend, friends! *Hugs*
Water is sitting everywhere. I plan my daily wardrobe around my navy blue rain boots. Patrick has had this property for over 15 years and he has never seen the river overflow into the meadows this high before. It’s just so unusual for this dry climate that I have grown accustomed to. We aren’t complaining about the moisture but we sure wouldn’t mind if the rain would stop. Today, however, we are in store for more thunderstorms. We aren’t flooding near as bad as Texas, thankfully, and my thoughts and prayers go to them.
A quiet storm blew in right off the hills and into the meadows. Standing on the porch last night, all I could here was heavy, sopping wet snow hitting the ground. I couldn’t see the hills and not long after this shot, I couldn’t see the horses. Normally the upper portion of this frame, as you’ve seen before, would be rolling hills and sky. But the only thing there is cold, wet snowdrops settling in for the night.
This morning, we woke up to a blanket of snow. In May. Ugh.
The sun can came out briefly this weekend and twinkled like little stars in the puddles around the meadow.
Looks like rain all week. I guess rain boots and umbrellas are in store for all of my shoots this weekend.
“Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.”-Gavin Pretor-Pinney
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. 🙂
Beautiful light at sunset during a rainstorm last evening. It was such a peaceful and sweet sound.
Have a wonderful weekend! It’s a busy one for us, how ’bout you?
It’s been raining for days and days. It.is.good. Happy weekend to you all!