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!
The snow is mostly gone and wind will be arriving soon. It’s our typical winter cycle but this past weekend was calm and beautiful. I took a walk to check on the cows just before sunset yesterday. Looks like we need to do some fencing. Such is the life of a rancher. 🙂
The grass has popped back up now that the heavy snow has either melted or blown away. We have to watch the grass carefully and determine if we need to feed the cows and horses with a bale of hay. We have plenty of grass for them to graze upon to fill up their bellies but when it’s hard for them to get to it, we roll out a bale of hay.
Anyway, I thought this was a neat perspective while I was sitting by the fence watching the horses.
Have a great weekend my friends!
It’s been a heck of a month. Heck of a year I guess.
We had storm move in on us Christmas Eve and Patrick worked over 14 hours on Christmas Day. For me, it was a quiet and reflective day at home alone. For him, it was a stressful day of keeping the roads safe for holiday travelers.
We have about 6 inches of the fluffy stuff blanketing our ranchette and today the wind has picked up. The hills are alive with blowing snow. I am thankful to have chores done for the day, wood in the stove and warmth in my heart. I hope the holidays are treating you well.
The wind is HOWLING today. Dirt and cow pies are circling the meadows. For protection from the madness, Gray and the herd are napping among the cottonwoods.
Happy Monday everyone!
Took a walk through the meadows and along the river yesterday before the wind came up. By the end of it, it was howling out of the west. Notice the tail waving in the “breeze”on the bay horse. Looks like ole Gray has been rolling in the mud again.
Happy Friday everyone. I hope your first week back to work after the holidays has been a good one!
After 50 to 80 mph wind gusts the night before last and all day yesterday, the weather finally became calm in the evening. I could actually hear the wind ripping shingles from our roof. Patrick had time to get on top of our brand new home to nail down the shingles that came loose during the wind storm.
A soft snow started to fall at dark and we woke up to glitter once again. It’s still Fall. Winter doesn’t “officially” begin until later this month. Looks like we’re in for a long one.
Not only is it snowing here on the blog, it is snowing and blowing here in real life. It’s a blizzard out there folks and I’m hoping it will settle down at some point for a photo walk. But with temperatures below zero, I’m opting to stay inside and feed the wood stove. In the meantime I’ll share this image from the last snow where the tumbleweeds were stacked along the fences and a gentle frost had covered everything in sight.
Rare moment of a still turbine against a stormy Wyoming sky.
“It howls and haunts
Goes where it wants
It’ll taunt you and get under your skin
No there ain’t no shelter
From the Wyoming wind”
Highways that surround our little town are closed today.
The wind is howling a hurricane force that folks in coastal towns are very familiar with.
The dishes are rattling in the cabinets. Birds can barely make it to the neighboring limb. As soon as a horse or cow gets a bite of grass in their mouth, it blows out as they start to chew.
It’s enough to make you crazy. Really.
So fortunately I can find images on the hard drive that remind me of my peaceful hikes around the ranch.
I remember capturing these cattails on a calm and sunny day a couple weeks ago. The hairless ones look like corn dogs to me. The furrier ones look like cotton candy.
mmmmmm cotton candy.
See, I warned ya… Crazy. Please don’t judge.
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
– Ellen Goodman
We’ve been battling wind these first days of the new year and moving cattle while trying to keep our feet (and wheels) firmly planted on the ground. I’ve been trying to shoot but have come up with almost nothing. It’s been a little frustrating. But like this pheasant, with poise, I will take these winds head-on and power through because even though it’s been a somewhat flawed start, there is great potential.
Here’s to keeping our balance as we look to improve ourselves and rise above.
Onward and Upward,
So, I’ve talked about windy Wyoming before but yesterday was for the record books.
We drove around the southeast on ranch business with the pedal to the floor at 100mph but ground speed was only about 60. On highway 30, dirt was being blown 20 to 30 ft in the air. Patrick and I had to yell just to hear one another because the road noise was so loud. The truck doors and windows rattled and I swear the windshield cracked a little more.
Once we were on the interstate heading home, we saw a wall of weather straight ahead and we weren’t sure what was in there. Snow or rain?
As we got closer, my palms got sweaty.
At least to my right, I saw blue sky. How bad could it be? (Excuse the dirty window. If I rolled it down to shoot, I would have been sucked out and blown across the prairie. And I wasn’t up for that risk.)
The digital highway signs we telling us that winds were 65+mph. I just knew we were going into a hurricane.
Turns out, we were experiencing a Chinook wind. But it was kind of a letdown, or a relief depending on how you look at it. Once we got into that weather wall of rain, sleet, and snow, the wind died down and it got eerily quiet. Not much really happened.
-After doing my research, I’ve learned that a Chinook wind is a Foehn wind. A rain shadow wind that has dropped it’s moisture and these turbulent winds have created warmer temperatures.
Thank you Wikipedia.
We got to the ranch where the wind had finally let up and it was peaceful until about midnight. All night and today the winds are back to howling and beating up the grass and trees. Any remaining snow has melted away.
In the high country of Colorado, there were wind speeds up to 102 mph. Can you believe that? We aren’t the only ones experiencing the high winds and we are thankful that the temperature remains in the 50’s. That’s good for the livestock.
We’re not sure what to expect for New Years Eve but snow is in the forecast. We’ve had several invites for various activities but we just might sit this one inside by the fire watching it on TV. Needless to say, we’re not too anxious to get back on the road after the slick pavement over Christmas and the wild winds of yesterday.
I risked life and limb this morning to bring you our sunrise. I hope you like it.
No, but really, the wind is howling at 50mph with 65mph gusts today. As you can see, the 8 inches of snow has blown off of the meadow and it has warmed up from the teens all the way to the 40’s.
We had a white Christmas though. We should have considered ourselves snowed in but we were stubborn. We busted through snow drifts and drove off-road to get out and visit family. It was worth it. We had a good time with family and friends.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are recovering from it all.
The sky tried to snow all day yesterday and it did a little but didn’t stick. I tried for a walk early this morning but the wind is just howling. I spotted this turkey feather blowing all around before sticking to the tall grass. It took off just after I captured this so all I came home with was one image and some dirt in my eyes.
‘S okay…it’s forecasted to be calm and maybe a little snowy tomorrow. Hope you’re having a more tranquil and productive Tuesday than me. 🙂
I’m so thankful the weather is turning and we are starting to warm up. Well, sort of. We woke up to a light dusting of snow yesterday morning but it melted away by noon. The skies were blue then overcast, then blue again.
I went for a walk near the river and noticed the willows reaching sideways. It’s either that they chose to grow this way or it’s because of the 70 plus mph winds we had this winter.
I continued my walk through a couple of meadows toward the hillsides and noticed the grass laying sideways. I tell you folks, the winter winds were vicious here but I think they are on the way out.
Yep, the weather is a-changin’. I’ve taken the rocks out of my pockets. The cows are calving. Deer are losing their winter coats. The hounds are ready for their evening walks.
And I’m getting nervous about swimsuit season. Ugh.
After a restless night of the power going off and on continuously, I awoke this morning after dreaming of the ocean. I heard the sound of waves crashing and the sun was warming my face. But lo I was in my bed, the sun was rising and the wind was whipping at 78 mph. Today, here in the hills of Wheatland, we hear the sounds of the beach. Except there isn’t any salty moisture in the air or any bright colored swimsuits being worn. Shoot, I can’t even keep a hat on.
I have to laugh at my eager attempt at a morning walk. It just can’t be done today.
Guess I’ll play wii sports for my daily workout. Big thanks to my Georgia friends who got me a wii specifically for days like this.
Raging winds whipped through Wheatland all day yesterday. On my way home from a shoot yesterday evening I watched the clouds change as fast as I turned the corners. I had to stop and capture this one.
When I pulled into our drive, I got out of my cozy car with Bob Dylan blaring “Hurricane” , to place panels over the cattle guard that keeps the cows where they need to be. The wind pushed me right into the panels and into the dirt and manure. I recovered quickly, no biggie, and parked my car in the drive. I gathered my equipment in one arm load and our dinner for the night, a large veggie pizza from Pizza Hut, in the other hand. Patrick was holding the door open with a big smile welcoming me home when a huge gust of wind ripped the pizza right out of my hand and into the dirt and manure. It laid there face down, like me a few minutes prior, while tears started to stream down my face. This was the icing on top of a very long day. I have obviously not adjusted to dealing with the wind, but I’m not discouraged. I’m still learning.