Shades of Yellow

We have had one of the wettest springs I can remember in a long time. Nice little rains keep coming- almost daily. It’s always interesting to see how the spring weather pattern determines which plants will dominate the landscape. This year it seems to be the annual mustards (members of the Brassicaceae family) and Yellow…

Boys in the Hood

With low light, a zoom lens, and no tripod there wasn’t much chance of a stellar shot, but I thought you might enjoy the “boys” I’ve been seeing every morning. For those unfamiliar with agriculture in the Rocky Mountain West, it’s worth mentioning that it is estimated 80% of Wyoming’s native animals depend on private…

Imitating Nature

There are many considerations regarding when a rancher wants his/her cows to start calving. In the winter time, the native range just can’t supply the necessary nutrients for a cow,  let alone a cow growing a calf inside her, so most ranches in the Northern Rockies feed hay through the winter months. Feed is the…

An Unusual Sight- Even in Wyoming

I’m used to seeing any number of animals on early morning backroads, and it’s not unusual to see the occasional cow or horse on the road since many of the smaller backroads are not fenced off. It’s what’s known as open range. But this morning I had to take a second look and make sure…

Old Farmall Still Farming

My mother’s father was a farmer. My mother  couldn’t wait to get off the farm and experience the city lights. She says I got the farmer gene, which often skips a generation. This old tractor still runs, and we use it to cut hay. It’s a simple machine. When I drive it I feel the…

Gotta Be Tough

Spring time in Wyoming is defined by rapid changes in weather. The sun may shine, or it might rain or snow, or rain AND snow, all in the same day. Wet spring snows usually melt quickly into the warming ground. They may be inconvenient, but it’s good to know the earth is getting watered after…

The Pollinators are Here

The cherry trees are abuzz with insect activity. As one of the earliest flowers around my house, the cherry trees offer an early source of nectar to pollinating insects. Insects represent 80% of the world’s species. There are over 900,000 species of insects. Worldwide, many scientists agree there are more unnamed insects than named. There…

Warm, Dry March

It seemed like March was really dry, but I’m in a new place, so I don’t have years of personal experience regarding March weather in this location. According to the maps below, my impression was correct. We had good snow cover all winter, then it was as if someone just turned the clouds off. Almost…

A Cow Horse I Once Knew

Here’s a good video from the Wyoming Office of Tourism highlighting some of the uniqueness of Wyoming and the west. There is a tall, lanky, pale palomino in that horse herd, reminding me of a horse I once knew. The story follows below. We were working on a very large cattle ranch. The lanky palomino…

Real Food

I didn’t actually know there’s such a thing as a “real food” movement. It’s just a term I use for homegrown food or food I know is free of processing. You know, food where the ingredient label isn’t 100 items long. I don’t consider myself a homesteader, but living on a ranch, it just seems…

Wyoming Sage Grouse Conservation and Land Use

In 2010,  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife decided the greater sage grouse would be kept in consideration for placing on the endangered species list. They say the listing is “warranted,” but there are too many other endangered species needing attention at this time. “Based on a  12-month status review pursuant to the Endangered Species Act,…