Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Golden Girls

I think October's buttery sunbeams flatter nearly everyone, even goats. Ariel, Mindy, and Calico look expecially lovely when framed by honey-colored cottonwood leaves.


"Ah, Hope! what would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look beyond the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow." ~Susanna Moodie

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Evermore Joy Ye"

Ellie's deliriously happy around little kids. "She's so excited," one mom said, "she's practically wriggling herself inside out." 

Maybe it's because she's a bit tired of her fuddy-duddy parents. All day long, poor Ellie hears, No, you can't chew that! and, Let go of that! and, No chasing cats! and, Come on, Ellie. Time to go outside and go to the potty. 

But kids, like puppies, are all about the fun. 


"Evermore joy ye." ~1 Thessalonians 5:16 (Wycliffe Translation)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

575 Lbs Later

My, how the time has flown and the calves have grown! I can hardly believe that it's already time for the steer calves to go to market. Talk about a bittersweet day! On the one hand, it's such a sad goodbye; on the other, the money they bring is our long-awaited, sorely-needed paycheck.  


Anyway, I hope you enjoy these then-and-now photos of some of the boys. 

Big Jake




Little Ikey




"Whoso is wise...will diligently consider the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord." ~Psalm 107:43

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blush and Glow

Sandwiched between summer's swelter and winter's bitter, Indian summer in the Bighorn Basin is all kinds of delightful--and it's just begun.

Mosquitoes and wildfire smoke are nowhere to be seen. Flies that aggravate the stock are almost gone. Golden sunshine and crispy coolness add zip to work and walks. Honking geese, flashing mountain bluebirds, and swarming starlings punctuate the sky. Snow gleams on the mountains. Pumpkins permeate stores and steps in town.  Potato soup, made with creamy goat milk and just-dug carrots, onions, and russets simmers in the slow cooker. Best of all, the edges of the countryside have begun to blush and glow!  

Our little apricot tree always puts on a big show.

Miss Ellie loves our walks, even on a drizzly day.

 Quaking aspen shimmer in our front yard.


"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." ~Danny Kaye

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Greenhorn

Bodie is in his autumn years--he's 13--and needs an apprentice herder. (Lily moved to Boston with Zach and Cady, where she chases squirrels, herds neighbor dogs, and drinks so much of the Atlantic that she throws up.) Bodie doesn't actually want a tenderfoot sister to train, especially a cute, happy, silly, boisterous pup that gets too much attention, but he doesn't get a vote. 

It looks like Bodie's got two new sisters!

But--whew!--Ellie is the only one.

"Be joyful though you have considered all the facts." ~Wendell Berry, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" from Good Poems (selected by Garrison Keillor).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Taking No Chances

The Farmer's Almanac predicts that winter in these parts will be cold and snowy but "not as harsh as usual." I was hoping for a forecast with "mild" in it, but "not as harsh" sounds promising.

Taking no chances, Little Red has already grown her winter coat.

So far, Calico and her sister...

...Ariel have the fluffiest goat-coats.

"He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." ~Psalm 91:4 NLT 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Someone Call ESPN

The doelings have invented a new sport: Queen of the Hill, Ninja Warrior Version. The winner is the one who conquers the daunting Tractor Tire Mountain obstacle and then, of course, pushes her competition overboard.


 "The greatest dreams are always unrealistic." ~Will Smith

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dots in the Distance

During August and September, the Rocky Mountains may as well be the Great Smoky Mountains. Because of wildfire smoke from neighboring states, particularly Montana, we haven't seen the mountains for some time. I'm not complaining; after all, Wyoming isn't burning, flooding, or blowing away like some states. Still, I feel sorry for tourists who have traveled from afar to see our beautiful skylines which, at present, can't be seen. 

Attention, tourists: the beauty remains, but you may have to squint. For instance, if you're driving through northwest Wyoming and see a few dark dots in the hazy distance, you may want to pull over and get out your binoculars. The dots generally manifest as cows but occasionally as wild horses. 

Squint. Squint harder.

You may have to get a magnifying lens or enlarge the picture (sorry, my phone camera doesn't zoom), but there they are--seven wild horses. A bay stallion (left) led two mares, along with their colts and an older gray horse, away from us at a gallop. The wild horses along Fifteenmile Road (near Worland) are less photographed and much warier than the McCullough Peaks mustangs.

These two McCullough Peaks bachelors saw us but didn't run away. We probably could have gotten closer, but folks are supposed to keep 300 yards from the horses, so as not to disturb them. (But one delightfully surprising day, an entire herd approached our vehicle--within three feet--and hung out with us for half an hour. We weren't disturbed at all.)

"But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." ~Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It's Not Easy Being Peaches

This is a picture of Peaches, a more-than-devoted young mama cow, mooing for her calf, Junior (far, far right). It's a common sight (and sound!) around here, since even 4,000 volt electric fences are porous to Junior. 

Peaches doesn't relax until Junior returns. A few of the other calves occasionally wander off, but their mamas don't fret as long as they can see them. When we have to wean the calves in October, no one will be surprised if Peaches takes it the hardest.

We still remember back when Peaches was weaned. She bawled for her mama, Flame, days longer than the other weanling heifers did for theirs. Kinfolk are very important to Peaches. 

"It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it." ~From the television show, The Golden Girls

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hoofing It

Our goats love to go on walks.  They don't walk though. Why walk when you can jog, run, kick, rear up, explore, snack, race, jostle for position, and snack some more? 


"The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; 
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake."
                           ~Psalm 23:1-3 NASB  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Let's Un-eclipse

In America—maybe in your country as well—many debate the cause but few could deny the shadows of hate attempting to eclipse the light of peace, honor, and love.  In the face of such darkness, I can only hand over a few sunflowers and a bright reminder for all of us from the Bible.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
With the pointing finger and malicious talk,
And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
And satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
Then your light will shine in the darkness,
And your night will become like the noonday.”
                                                ~Isaiah 58:9b-10 NIV

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summer FB Remix

The majority of Hayseed Files readers don't view the Facebook version, so I've collected a few of this summer's photos for those folks.

Zach (my son) and Cady's wedding! Hubby and a friend, Donna, made the cake stand. I baked the cake; my sister Jenny helped me decorate it.

Left: Sugar and her subjects. Right: Sugar and her newest friends.

You can see why I named the new bull Pigpen.

Anything that can be climbed will be climbed.


"I am Summer, come to lure you away from your computer." ~Oriana Green

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Calico and Ariel Go to Camp

Blueberry's kids, Calico and Ariel, visited a youth camp at Circle J Ranch and Retreat Center in the Tensleep Canyon. Yours truly chauffeured, shepherded, and introduced them. At first, Calico and Ariel were rather overwhelmed by the new surroundings and strangers, but they soon began to have fun and make new friends. 

Before we left camp, three children told me of their plans to acquire a goat of their own. Two boys even announced their intention to come to my place and buy a goat. I grinned, imagining the expressions on their parents' faces when they heard the news.


"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" ~1 John 3:1 NIV

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's a Species Thing

The human hiking experience:

Finally here. Ah, the cool, pine-saturated air. Bright butterflies and wildflowers. Imposing peaks. Beef jerky and almond M&Ms eaten beside shining waters. Friendly hikers from afar. Trails that beckon come higher. Soul-soothing tranquility. Why do we stay away so long? 

The cowdog hiking experience:

Countless chipmunks, squirrels, pikas, marmots! Each one chattering, teasing can't catch me, can't catch me, you dumb redneck dogs! We try. Come close a few times. Do manage to bushwack an unsuspecting Labrador retriever at the trailhead. The folks call us back, but we only hear the call of the wild. We wolves have no names, obey no orders--but give us a bite of your pimiento cheese sandwich, please.


"'For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,' says the Lord, who has mercy on you." ~Isaiah 54:10 NLT