Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wildflowers and Yo-Yo Weather

On a recent wildflower hunt, we tramped the hills for miles before finding a few blooms peeking warily out of the ground. I can understand their trepidation. We had gales and rainbows last week, 78 degrees F on Monday, snow on Tuesday, hard frost Wednesday morning. Has April ever been so temperamental?

I didn't see this tiny Indian paintbrush until I almost stepped on it. I can hardly wait until the real paintbrush party begins!

While her people looked for flora, Ellie searched for fauna (rabbits and pronghorn antelope). She had less success than we did.

We found a passel of brave phlox atop a windblown hill, hugging the earth for warmth. Perhaps their bluish tint was from the cold.


"Comebacks are God's specialty. He loves turning around impossible circumstances." ~Tony Evans

Saturday, April 14, 2018


This was the delightful view from our back window Thursday evening.

Looking out the same window the next morning was this beautiful sundog.

Before dawn on Friday, between said rainbow events, Princess delivered her 11th calf. I thought about naming her Rainbow or Billie (short for Bilihkúppe, which is Crow Indian word for rainbow). But Princess can't stop licking her velvety black coat, so I dubbed her Velvet.

This afternoon we found Velvet wearing a new punk hairstyle. Her mama may have a few gray hairs, but she does keep up with the times. 


"For we live by faith, not by sight." ~2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Meanwhile in Wyoming

Why don't cows, if they can help it, ever poop in the same place twice? This is the kind of inane question which springs to mind when one spends much of her spring either forking cow pies out of calving pens or harrowing pastures and hayfields. I use the term "spring" loosely; a couple of mornings ago, it was only 7° F, and snow is in the forecast. Again.

If you've always wanted to learn something about harrowing pastures, you're in luck. Here, I'm traversing a cowpie-packed field which we fed hay on last winter. Frozen manure, you'll notice when looking out the front window of the tractor, doesn't decompose. When the snow melts in almost-spring, our place is littered with the stuff.

I took this shot looking out the rear window. I'm dragging a 12' pasture harrow behind our 2640 John Deere. Not a clean window. Hopefully you can tell that the manure has been broken up and essentially smeared over the field, turning ugly brown mounds into environmentally-friendly fertilizer. Add some precipitation (hopefully rain, not snow) and voilá, we've got a happy hayfield which will green up fast if it ever gets warm. 

They say that the cherry blossoms are beautiful in Washington this week. At least it's spring somewhere.


"You can't see Canada across Lake Erie, but you know it's there. It's the same with spring. You have to have faith, especially in Cleveland." ~Paul Fleischman 

(I've never been to Cleveland. It must be a lot like Wyoming.)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Instead of Bunnies

Easter greetings from our little corner of the planet--and from Cinnamon's calf, Ginger!


"Easter is why we don't give up." ~David Jeremiah

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Scenery

Is March as Marchy at your neck of the woods as it is here (stormy, sleety, snowy, rainy, muddy, mucky, windy)? I haven't seen so much as a dandelion yet, but the cute new calves do much to enhance the landscape. 

Tulip and her darling little guy, Teddy. 

Dazzle with her boy, Razzle II. (We're recycling some calf names this year. It's just easier to remember!)

Curly with his doting mama, Peaches. 

Bella, showing off her new heifer, Bonny-Lee, to an admiring crowd.

Ziggy's terribly proud of her not-so-little Hoss.

Cupcake and her heifer, Cocoa. I find the coal-black calves difficult to photograph; unless the light is right, they just look like silhouettes. We have calves that have been here for weeks who still don't have a decent picture!

Sweet little Midnight, Fancy's heifer, trying to eat hay at only 24 hours old.


"When we are secure in the finish line, the winding road is just scenery." ~Alli Worthington

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sit, Stay, Trust

Can anyone recommend a reputable dog obedience school?

Seven-month old Ellie couldn’t be any sweeter, smarter, or friendlier. She’s great with kids, goats, cows, other dogs, even cats, but she doesn’t follow directions. Oh, she doesn’t ignore us; she just weighs her options first.

For instance, if we tell Ellie to get in the truck, she pauses and then paces warily, just out of reach. Her eyes tell all: Hmm, is this a trick? Are we all going on some adventure together, or do they just want to imprison me so I won’t be in their way? What a dilemma! Should I submit to their wishes or to my own fun-at-all-costs philosophy? Which is worse, making them mad or losing my liberty? Can I really trust them? I can't decide....

In the meantime, Ellie’s humans are beginning to growl and bark.

Ellie doesn’t realize that if she did obey commands like Come, Go Home, and Stay, we could trust her more, thus allowing her to accompany us more. But if she disobeys orders which keep her safe from vehicles or tractors or protective mama cows, then we must leave her safely tied or penned up--when we finally convince her to do so. 

One day I was grumbling to Hubby, the cats, Jesus—anyone who would listen, really—about how disobedient Ellie is, how slow she is to trust us, and how many good times she’s missing out on because of that. Ahem. That's when it occurred to me that the Lord could readily say the same about Ellie’s mistress and, in fact, couldn’t be blamed if He enrolled me in obedience school.

Ellie gladly follows her big brother Zach on fun excursions.

Ellie expects her goats to go where she tells them. They usually do, eventually.


"Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you....Don't think for a moment that you know it all.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6 TPT

Monday, March 19, 2018

Felicity and Friends.

Calving is proceeding faster than my photographing and blogging. Sometimes I think I don't have time to stop working long enough to stalk calves with my phone camera, but then I remember that I should share pictures with those of you who may not be fortunate enough to have cute baby cows in your back yard. (If you do, you're not reading this anyway. You don't have time.) 

The newest arrival, Felicity, with her mama, Joy. 

Frosty morning with Little Blossom, Calla, and Bugs.

Breakfast. Left: Marcie, shown in front of her mama, Lucy. Right: Calla with her mama, Lily. 

Abigail with her mama, Annabelle. The latter diligently watches over every calf on the place; I've been calling her Mama Belle.

Violet with her mama, Pansy. Violet is much spunkier than her name would suggest.


"Nobody savors a spring breeze like the one with a face chapped by winter winds." ~Beth Moore