Monday, September 10, 2018

Fun in the Sun

This past summer, some friends of mine from the Slash RS Ranch installed a solar well pump to water cattle on their BLM lease. 

When they checked on the well a few days ago, they were surprised to see bear tracks on the solar array.

The tracks appeared to be the work of a young black bear...

...who climbed up on and slid down all 16 of the panels.

It's not exactly bear country.

Imagine how delighted that bears was to discover a tank full of fresh water and a brand new playground beside it!

"Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." ~Isaiah 43:19 The Message


Thursday, August 30, 2018

FS 65

At least once a year, I post a picture of this little falls on Middle Tensleep Creek alongside my favorite trail, #65 in the Big Horn National Forest. My sore knee kept us from reaching Mirror Lake that day, but the falls were still a worthy destination.

Wildfire smoke greyed the skies and shrouded the mountain peaks.

Most of the wildflowers had succumbed to frost, but the asters were out in force.

Ellie appeared to be posing atop a boulder, but I think she was just looking for more squirrels to chase.  

When you pass a stranger on a city street, you probably don't even make eye contact. Up on the mountain, though, folks are much friendlier. This couple hauled their horses all the way from Michigan in order to ride in the Big Horns. We also met a nice young forest ranger from Massachusetts. 


"The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for." ~Louis L'Amour

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Field Work

August finds my fellow field workers and I in the middle of sunflower harvest. 

While the bees bustle about doing their pollen-nectar-honey thing...

...I'm gathering sunflowers, calendulas, and marigolds...

...for making my Sunny Honey goat milk soap.


"One of the remarkable characteristics of young wild sunflowers, in addition to growing in soil that is not hospitable, is how the young flower bud follows the sun across the sky. In doing so, it receives life-sustaining energy before bursting forth in its glorious yellow color. 
Like the young sunflower, when we follow the Savior of the world, the Son of God, we flourish and become glorious despite the many terrible circumstances that surround us. He truly is our light and life." ~Quentin L. Cook

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A (Not So) Grave Matter

A month ago, I spied a kochia weed growing on Blueberry's grave. (Blueberry was my dear little goat who passed away a year ago.) When I leaned over to pull it out, I discovered several wildflowers and tiny sagebrush poking up from between the sandstone. I began pampering them and blossoms soon followed.

A few days later, I spotted this sunflower growing beside the graves of Bodie and Moey (a beloved dog and darling goat, respectively, both of whom we buried this past year). Stray sunflowers aren't uncommon around here, but this one was grinning from a patch of dreadful soil where even weeds fear to tread. 

When I took the photo, I noticed that the flower's funny shape. Close inspection revealed a double bloom. 


"Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors." ~Wm. Paul Young, The Shack

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lily's Leave of Absence

My granddog Lily, an Australian cattle dog, resides in Massachusetts but got to spend her vacation in Wyoming. Much of her time was spent irrigating; herding goats and cows; chasing foxes; and diving into the big canal to herd golden carp. I daresay the best part of her summer, however, was hiking in the Big Horns.

Due to their energy, strength, toughness, and loyalty, Australian cattle dogs make great hiking partners. Keep an eye on your jerky though.

Lily's longest hike was a 23-mile round trip excursion to the summit of Cloud Peak (elevation 13,171') completed in one day. Needless to say, I wasn't along for that hike.

Lily's not really into selfies. (Left to right: Zach, Cady, and Lily.)

Between thunderstorms one day, Cady and I hiked in Willow Park with Ells, Lily, and Mona, my sweet little grandpoodle. 

Cady and I didn't take the dogs with us on our badlands hike because we thought it was going to be too hot for them. A thunderstorm blew over and cooled us off nicely though.

The badlands are amazing. It looks like a tough hike, but we were actually on a smooth, well-marked trail. We didn't see any of the local wildlife population, which was good because many are rattlesnakes.


"Let your faith and sense of adventure be bigger than your fear!" ~Christine Caine

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Home Grown

I thought I'd better show that roses aren't the only things that are flourishing this summer!

This is Calla with her mama, Lily. Lily's only a two year old, but she's already quite the milk producer.

Bonnie Lee poses with her mama, Bella. We bring the cows in every few weeks to spray them. Biting flies make cattle miserable, and the stress hinders weight gain. 

The squiglets, as I call them, are growing as fast as the weeds they love. This is Squiggy.

Lenny and the other goats love the occasional weedy bale of hay.

Josephine (foreground) isn't as tall as Lenny but weighs as much. When I took this photo, Lenny had just bumped into the bucket of water I'd been carrying. Ellie took it upon herself to lick him dry.


"Let your faith and sense of adventure be bigger than your fear!" ~Christine Caine

Friday, July 6, 2018

Worth the Wait

After a slow start, the garden is taking off. We're enjoying lettuce, kale, onions, peppers, and the first tomatoes. Cucumbers and cabbage will be ready soon. When I'm in the garden, I'm either weeding, watering, or swatting mosquitoes, so I forget to take pictures. Here's more rose photos, though, with a little surprise at the end.

A few days ago, Sparkle gave us one of those better-late-than-never calves: Sparky! 


"[God's] not late because He doesn't care. He's late because He's up to something greater." ~J.D. Greear, Not God Enough