Monday, March 30, 2015

Calf Capers

Today's edition of Calf Capers stars Bella, the leggy diva, and Zoe, her quirky little sidekick. 

Bella and Zoe get another round of spit and polish from their mamas. 

Bella discovers that sagebrush is not to her taste. 

Zoe climbs atop the cows' supper and helps herself. 

Buster challenges Zoe to a "bullfight".

Zoe's mama, Ziggy, rushes to break up the shenanigans.

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." ~Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

Saturday, March 28, 2015


With considerable help from obstetric angels, human midwives, and fervent prayers, Sparkle safely delivered Glitter!
Thankfully, Glitter is no worse for wear, although her attempt to buck backwards didn't work out so well. 

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see." ~C.S. Lewis

Friday, March 27, 2015


Most cattlemen get repaid for all of their investment of time, hard work, equipment and infrastructure maintenance and acquisition, feed and medicine and minerals, fuel and tools, land payments and taxes, veterinary and labor expenses, bull and vehicle purchases, weatherproof clothing and gear--oh, and their own meals and housing--once a year when the calves are weaned and sold. 

But I don't have a head for business. To me, recompense is calving season, when the rewards are for the eyes and heart. 

Meet one such reward: Pepper!

"Joy is the serious business of heaven." ~C.S. Lewis

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Flame delivered Peaches at midnight. She's been bucking and racing about with joyous abandon ever since her legs could cooperate, only stopping to refuel and rest when absolutely necessary. I can only assume Peaches was a bit claustrophobic in her previous quarters. 

"For freedom Christ did set us free." ~Romans 5:1 (ASV)


Ziggy gave us Zoe, and the world will never be the same!

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." ~John 10:10 (NKJV)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Blossom brought another big bull calf into the world a few days ago. Hubby promptly dubbed him Buster. 

Buster has it made. Blossom, aka the Dairy Queen, has enough milk for two of three Busters. And since he discovered the comforts of the calf shed, Buster rarely leaves it. He's such a couch potato that I'm thinking we should have named him Spud. 

"Is not this the kind of fasting that I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice...
to set the oppressed free....
to share your food with the hungry,
and provide the poor wanderer with shelter...?"
                  ~Isaiah 58:6-7 (NIV)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


In the beginning, Angel had Wings...

...and now Wings has Sky!

There's some blue sky in those eyes! 

"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes." ~e.e. cummings

Monday, March 23, 2015

Presenting Bella

Annabelle blessed us with Bella yesterday afternoon. Annabelle's heifer calves have always had extraordinary ears, but Bella's have exceeded all expectations. 

"You have done amazing things we did not expect." ~Isaiah 64:3 (NCV)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Face Time

In honor of the new season and just in time: a tiny Johnny jump-up peeking bravely out from last year's litter. 

"when faces called flowers float out of the's spring!
when more than was lost has been found and having is giving and giving is living--but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing--it's spring...." 
           ~e.e. cummings, when faces like flowers float out of the ground 

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Intersection of Nowhere and Heaven

My favorite running trail sees far more hoof and paw traffic than foot or tire. The hills are challenging but the vistas are amazing, the flora captivating, and the horned lark ditties charming. 

It's been years since I've caught a glimpse of the elusive mustangs that cross this trail. Maybe they're just over that hill, I tell myself. The fact that they're not just makes the next hill that much more inviting.

Looking northeast towards the Big Horns. 

The Owl Creek Mountain range lies to the southwest. 

A pronghorn track surrounded by a mustang hoofprint. 

The season's first phlox blooming from beneath a sagebrush shelter. 

"The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." ~Psalm 33:5 (NKJV)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Black is the New Yellow

Some time after Jenny (my sister) and Brian lost their beloved golden retriever, Riley, they launched a search for a yellow Labrador retriever pup. Before that happened, however, they met Gus. 

Gus has grown into a handsome heartthrob (and Jenny's running buddy) with a heart of gold. 

"Black is the new yellow," Brian says. 

"Love never fails." ~1 Corinthians 13:8 (NKJV)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Calves Pending

Six cows are on the short list (those whose calving hour appears most imminent) and are kept nearby for easier nighttime surveillance. Yawn. Calving season is at once the most exciting and the most wearying time of year. 

Anyone want to take the midnight shift?

"The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me." ~Psalm 42:8 (NKJV)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Upgrade

Our neighborhood bald eagles began refurbishing their nest in mid-January. Over a period of several weeks, we watched them haul in long, sturdy branches, cattail reeds, and shreds of cambium. Even from a respectful distance, we can tell that the remodel features noticeably higher walls and an upstairs deck. 

The eagles have also been preying upon Canada geese, presumably for the meat but possibly also for a goose-down comforter for the chicks. 

"Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high?" ~Job 39:27 (NKJV)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jogger's World

I like to call myself a runner, but my pace (which I won't specify) designates me a jogger. Being slow of trot does have one perk, however: I don't scare the eagles. 

This morning, I jogged close enough to get these shots with my phone camera. 

"Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see." ~Jimmy Buffet

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Farm Chic

Angel is always polished and camera-ready: eye shadow, 3D mascara, lip gloss, earrings, highlights. The wings aren't trending just now, but Angel might just change that. 

"Joy is the best makeup." ~Anne Lamott

Sunday, March 8, 2015


It won't be long now. 

"Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him." ~Psalm 62:5 (NLT)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bluebirds of a Feather

When my parents named me Robin, I'm sure they couldn't foresee the avian-related nicknames that I'd earn from other kids. Even my best friend's dad, a most likable fellow whose sense of humor was influenced by his choice of beverages, regularly called me Bluebird.  

Despite my name and monikers, I had eyes only for horses back then. It took birds quite a while to catch my notice. Now, although I know little about my winged relatives, I'm quite a fan--especially of mountain bluebirds. 

Yesterday's unusual (for this area and time of year) sighting of mountain bluebirds set my heart soaring. My phone camera does little justice to these little beauties, but this was the first time I've ever been able to capture one--well, three-fourths of one--in flight. 

"Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished." ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


When it comes to cattle, Wyoming is a black state. Known for their hardiness and palatability, Black Angus populate the vast majority of farms, fields, and feedlots.

Roughly 55% of our small herd are black baldies (meaning they're black with white facial markings). Since we used Hereford bulls last year, that percentage will increase dramatically by the time calving season is over. (We should even see a few red baldies thrown into the mix.)

Hubby is something of a Black Angus snob, but even he admits that our Hereford-cross cows (and especially Hereford bulls) are far more good-humored than most Angus. 

I'm all for docility myself, but the artist in me adores the remarkable variation of pattern and contrast in baldy cattle. Brand me a nonconformist. 

"In such a diversity it was impossible I should be disposed to melancholy." ~Daniel Boone

Monday, March 2, 2015


As another "arctic blast" bears down upon us, Minnie, Meels, and Moey kindly demonstrate the concept of insulation, a strategy employed by most of our critters. Winter can't get in!

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"It is?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
                         ~A.A. Milne