Friday, March 25, 2011

Meandering Stream


There are so many little streams that criss-cross Wyoming's rolling plains.  They are like veins, delivering much needed water throughout the state.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  Today I am off to Pittsburgh to begin a two-week house search.  Wish me luck.  I am not sure if I will keep up with the blog while I am gone - I know I will be very busy and away from my much-loved desktop computer.  If I don't, well, I'll see you again around April 10th.  Don't worry about the doggies.  We have some family over to care for them so they don't have to be kennelled.  Thank goodness!  They will have all the love they can stand between now and the time I return. 

Until then I'll be meandering like this little stream. 
-Vickie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Picnic Spot


Leah and I found the prettiest little stream on Sunday.  Only when we got close to it could we hear the hollow tumble of water spilling down the rocks.  There was something green growing there, and I think we were both glad to see something green, amid all the winter colors in the landscape.  We photographed it, and then went back to the ATV and got our lunch, and trekked back to this idyllic little spot to enjoy our meal.  It was such a peaceful little picnic.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bare Aspens


Here are some more shots from Sunday.  These little aspens are bare but still so pretty.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birthday Adventure: The Cliffs


Leah snapped this picture of me on Sunday when we were out and about exploring.


Little did she know I got a picture of her, too!



Here is how those cliff faces looked close up.  We marvelled at how smooth and sheer some of the cuts were.


And we thought about cougars watching us from their cliff caves, though it was such a sunny morning it was hard to imagine anything bad happening.  It was the first day of spring, after all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birthday #31


Good morning, everyone!  Well, it happened.  I had another birthday!  I feel like I was just blogging about this, but it turns out it was an entire year ago!  My, how time flies. 

This year my husband was away from home, but thanks so some sweet friends I had a great day anyway.  Leah had me over to the ranch, and we went exploring on the ATV with our cameras, of course.  

We drove up over the grassy hills, to a little stand of aspens.  It all looked very barren, at first, but as we hiked around, we could see the first signs of spring in the buds on the trees and the hint of green growing up through the flattened grasses.  Even the cliffs that angled in around us looked alive with vibrant orange and green lichen.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch, along with the pound cake Leah made for me, by a little babbling stream.  The sunny spring weather made it so perfect.  We even saw the first butterfly of the year. 

There was a little bit of adventure to end the day.  We were riding back to the ranch house, when we came to a gate we had passed through earlier in the day.  It was wide open - not how we left it - and we knew some nearby bulls had jumped a fence and we didn't want them to be even more lost than they were.  So we hopped off the ATV and I pulled the gate closed while Leah inspected the lock.  We were of course worried that it had somehow popped open and that it was our fault!  But just as we were doing that, I spotted Leah's cowboy come rolling over the hill on his own ATV, trying to push the intruding cows back through the gate to the land they were supposed to be on.  We instantly realized that he had left the gate open, and the bulls were starting to trot toward it.  There I was - right were the bulls wanted to be - so I swung that gate back open and ran to the ATV and managed to not get run over by those huge, intimidating animals.  We had a good laugh about it over the steak dinner Leah and the cowboy made for me.

As for the photo, it wasn't taken yesterday, but I do always try to do a self-portrait on or close to my birthday.  I took this one about three weeks ago, out at the Greyrocks Reservoir.  The lake was frozen over as you can see, and lit by the golden afternoon sun.  I really like this image for some reason...it probably has to do with the fuzzy warm hat.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Sunshine


I wish you blue skies and sunshine for your weekend!  See you Monday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green


Here's a little bit of green for St. Patty's Day, all the way from lush West Virginia.  Have a good day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cattle Drive: Part X


After we wove our way through the cottonwoods, we crossed a creek.  Of course all the cows wanted to stop and take a drink.  It took a little convincing from the cowboys to get them to move across it.


As soon as the cows were up and over the creek, they needed to pass under the highway bridge.  I worried this might be the most difficult part, imagining some strays walking out into the road, but I worried for nothing.  With a little guidance, they funnelled right through the correct place.


Once we crossed the highway, we didn't have far to go before the pregnant cows reached their birthing grounds, and could finally stop for some of that tasty grass they had been yearning for.  Once we got them through the gate, our day was done.  We loaded up the horses and the ATV in a trailer and rode back to the main ranch in the truck, eager ourselves for some lunch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cattle Trailing: Part IX


We headed toward the cottonwoods, another place where it was easy to see the advantage the cowboys had on horseback versus the ATV.  The horses could pick their way through the landscape with ease, skirting the dry remains of huge trees, and the thick web of branches that hung down from the living trees.  We were less graceful in the ATV, powering over rocks and downed limbs and through the lowest branches, causing quite a bit of noise in the process.  The cows just plodded along.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cattle Trailing: Part VIII


On our cattle drive, we came over a rise and could see a different set of mountains ahead of us, the ones that lie on the other side of the highway (the one I drive to go to Laramie).  We headed right for them.


There were mountains on two sides, which made for an amazing view.

 

The cowboys herded the cattle through the draw, which held patches of snow still in its clefts, and toward the bare cottonwood trees you can see in the distance.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cattle Trailing: Part VII


We moved the cows up and over the rolling plains.  Mostly, they stayed together, but occasionally one needed to be pursued by a cowboy, and brought back to the herd, like in the above photo.


Always, the mountains were to our right.


And always the big sky stretched out in front of us.

Stay tuned!  I'll finish up our cattle drive adventure next week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cattle Trailing: Part VI


This may be my favorite shot of the day, of the cowboys following the cattle through another gate. 


Here's Leah, shooting some video of the cows moving along.


The ladies enjoyed a little bit of grass along the way, although sometimes they needed to be reminded by the cowboys that this was not an all-you-can-eat-buffet. 


But, once the cows were going the right direction, the boys could sit back and enjoy the view, too.