Monday, September 29, 2014

Olive Twist

Harvest in the Big Horn Basin usually refers to alfalfa, barley, corn, sugar beets, or pinto beans. Sunflowers, oats, and spring wheat are not unheard of but are less common. Our continental climate, tough winters, clay soils, and relatively short growing season preclude more decadent produce grown in more forgiving climes. 

Which isn't to say we don't have olives, Russian olives, that is. They're not people-palatable, but our horses, goats, and songbirds are crazy about them. 

         Sugar, harvesting Russian olives

    Blueberry helping Solly with his work

"The tree of life grows where the fruit of right-living falls." --Proverbs 11:30 VOICE

Sunday, September 28, 2014

End Gate

Tonight I opened the last gate of the last pipe of the last irrigation set of the last field of this year's haying season. 

Many miles have been driven and walked to get to the gates, including back and forth from the headgates to the pipes. Even more miles were slogged through the flooded fields to check water distribution. Countless gates have been opened, checked, readjusted, cleared of moss and crawdads, replaced, reset, closed, and opened again--often under mosquito barrage. My "new" irrigation boots are bandaged with duct tape and leaking badly.

Nevertheless, I will miss making it rain in the desert. Sustaining countless species of wildlife while nourishing trees and livestock is a pretty cool gig. 

"The end of a thing is better than its beginning." --Ecclesiastes 7:8 NKJV 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pillow Trees

There are shade trees, and then there are shade pillow trees, as Marigold so graciously demonstrates. 

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty." --Psalm 91:1 (NLT)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Summer

We had autumn in summer, and now we're having summer (as in 90 degrees F) in autumn. I just hope that when December, January, and February roll around, I'll be able to report that we're having spring in winter!

      Today's Indian-summer day's laze

Thanks to hot sunshine and irrigation, the fields are happily rebounding from the recent haying. 

"They'll be like streams of water in a dry place and cool shade of a giant boulder in the noonday sun." --Isaiah 32:2 (VOICE)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fast Food

Even if you're an arachnophobe, you've got to be impressed with this feat of mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering. The web is tied into a 3,500 volt electric fence. I can only assume that it's designed for concurrent catching and cooking!

"All things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." --Romans 8:28 AMP

Monday, September 22, 2014


It's hard to take a friend selfie when your friend's face won't fit into the frame. My arm wasn't long enough. 

        My biggest friend, Brego, and I

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." --John 15:13 NKJV 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mad as a Catter

If I have two cutely crazy cats, does that make me a crazy cat lady?

Mercy takes her bug-hunting job seriously. 

Smokey, aka the Terrible Tiger, aka the Terribly Cute Tiger. 

"You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue." --James 3:7 MSG

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bloom On

Countless blossoms froze to a crisp last week, but much to the delight of the bees and myself, many are still blooming in this week's heat. 

This guy is bigger than the bumblebees, with wings that look like they're made of plastic!

"Kindness, peace, love--may they never stop blooming in you and from you." --Jude 1:2 VOICE




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Brego, Part II

Brego, a Thoroughbred-Warmblood gelding, presides over Maria Lisa Eastman's herd of equine learning and therapy horses ( He stands an imposing 18 hands high. 

He's got a big personality too. Every inch of that horse exudes self-confidence. With his two-legged pals, Brego is extroverted, gentle, and engaging, but he's haughty and domineering with other horses. 

Brego and I have little in common. I'm not in any way impressive or grand, and I'm far from self-assured! But Brego wants to be by my side, shadowing me like some towering Secret Service agent, rebuffing other horses who want to greet me. 

I'm not yet sure why Brego "chooses" me or seems protective of me, but I do know that I feel greatly honored!

"God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special." --1 Thessalonians 1:4 MSG

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brego, Part I

He's tall, dark, and handsome, with a movie star face and an athlete's build. 
He's at once the strong, silent type and the gallant, take-charge, dragon-slaying hero, but he shows nothing but kindness and solicitude towards women and children, especially those who need him. 

Envision, if possible, a suave combination of George Clooney, Sam Houston, John Wayne, Abraham Lincoln, and Joe Cool. Now, picture that guy as a horse. That's him! That's Brego.  (Stay tuned to future posts to learn more about this amazing dude.)

                      Brego and I

"The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you." --Zephaniah 3:17 GWT


This Indian summer day was so bright and glorious that all the outside jobs, the mowing and painting and livestock chores, seemed like so many fun and games. If only I could do laundry and dishes and cleaning outdoors!

"For you are all children of light, children of the day." --1 Thessalonians 5:5 ESV

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Overnight, rain-snow and heavy frost had turned summer's botanic beauty into a bent and slimy and blackened mess.  When we were surveying the unsightly garden casualties the next morning, Hubby pointed out an exquisitely fashioned ice-painting on the pickup hood. I was reminded that I always have a choice: focus on and fret about the ugly, or look upon and be grateful for the beautiful. 

"I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep." --Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Saving Summer

If the weatherman is right, these and many other of my petaled friends may soon be frozen under frost or snow--perhaps even tomorrow--so I took some photos today of their bright little faces. Here on this page they can bloom forever!

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying." --Revelation 21:4 NKJV 

Monday, September 8, 2014


I had a volunteer product inspector in the freshly-cut hayfield this morning: Samson. According to Sampson, the Alfalfa Palatability Rating is A-1.

Samson has obviously grown into his name, wouldn't you say? We estimate his weight at 650 pounds.

"It is strength which endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us." --Colossians 1:12 MSG

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wow Walk

I love to hike anytime, anywhere, but now--when summer still has center stage but autumn waits in the wings, peeking out from behind the curtain--hiking is positively sublime. 

(Photos taken atop Casper Mountain this weekend.)

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." --2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Although the goaties' pen is nearly a quarter of an acre in size, the heat makes them laze in the shade instead of run and play. Ergo, my little ladies have grown in circumference. Even Blueberry, who used to be quite svelte, has pudged up. 

The evenings haven't been as sweltering as previous, so the Round Ones are taken on fitness walks a few times a week, in which they participate with great enthusiasm. The only glitch: they snack nearly the entire time!

              Blueberry and Jubilee


"We are transfigured by the Spirit of the Lord in ever-increasing splendour into his own image." --2 Corinthians 3:18 PHILLIPS

Monday, September 1, 2014

The B&B

Tigger's interpretation of the bed-and-breakfast:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning." --Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV