Sunday, March 21, 2010

Signs of spring in Wyoming are different than they are in the South...

So many of my fellow bloggers are posting beautiful photos of spring as of late.

Like this one from Brenda at Cozy Little House. She has the most wonderful yard and flowers. (I am green with envy... pardon the pun!)

And this big, bunch of gorgeous is from Rhondi at Rose-Colored Glasses...

This flowering tree from Denise at Den's Daily Life makes me swoon...

These signs of spring make my heart sing! But spring is very different here in Wyoming.

We only have a hint of green grass...

Most everything is still brown. There are certainly no flowers to be found and the trees still don't have leaves.

There is a leaky water pipe underground right here so this is always the first place I see green. I start checking in January!

Do you see the greenish hue? I know it's a bit of a stretch...

But I can tell that spring is in the air whenever I have to dig out this yellow, plastic funnel. (It kind of resembles a daffodil, don't you think? Okay, another stretch...)

And this plastic measuring cup...

And my paint-can opener...

Which is what I use to get this...

Onto this...

Spring means a trip to the feed store for 50-lbs of powdered milk...

So we can make four of these every day...

Because we have one of these to feed...

We don't officially start calving until April 1 but there have been three or four "accidents" running around for a few weeks now. You can see one of them here...

Cowboy found this little girl without a mother about three weeks ago. That means we have to bottle feed her until September, or so. (Please pardon my shoes. I had to hold the bottle between my knees in order to take the picture.)

I named her Smidgeon because she's just a tiny thing and she has a smidgeon of white on her back leg.

She's difficult to photograph because as soon as she sees me, she starts licking her lips and runs toward me. When she trots after she's eaten, I can hear the milk sloshing around in her belly. Here she comes...

She is the hungriest, most slobbery calf I've ever raised. And she squirts milk everywhere when she eats. See it on her face?

We call orphaned babies "bums." This is our first bum calf of 2010. I would like to tell you that I hope it's our only one but that would be a lie. You see, one baby calf gets lonesome all by itself. They are herd animals and need a friend. Dogs just won't do!

This red calf is, Elmo, one of our 2009 bum calves. He lived in the house for a few days during two blizzards last March.

When Elmo met his new friend Zoe, his face literally lit up. He was overcome with joy. He went through the most amazing transformation right before our eyes. He was the happiest baby bull ever.

Elmo loved to suck on Zoe's ear... which she did not appreciate. They were named after the Muppets.

It's hard to believe this is the same pen in which I photographed Smidgeon in today. I can't wait until we have green grass again. Isn't it lovely?

This little fellow was my first bum calf, Brinkley. I named him that because he was born on the day David Brinkley passed away. I think it must have been in 2002 or 2003.

Brinkley didn't have another calf for a friend but he had four sheep (which were also bums a year earlier) to keep him company. He thought he was a sheep, I think.

This is my bum sheep, Ivy McIvy. I swear, she was so proud to be wearing these clothes that she posed for the camera. (Do you think it's because they're wool? I know, yet another stretch...)

This is Ivy's cousin, Springstein. She didn't appreciate the whole clothing thing as much as her counterpart but she was a good sport. I got Spring and Ivy when they were two-days old. They are registered Targhees.

The big boy on the left is Pippy and next to him, with the short tail is his twin, Phyllis Diller. They were raised for six weeks by the ewe so they never became as friendly as Spring and Ivy.

I am sad to report that precious Pip was killed in a spring snowstorm.

The three ewes now live with a herd of sheep. Phyllis has blended in and I no longer recognize her. But Ivy and Spring will still come if you call out, "babies." Cowboy's mother sometimes takes them Tootsie Rolls.

Although I'm not celebrating spring like my Southern sisters, it's spring just the same.

Honestly, I'd think I'd prefer to skip spring... which is essentially winter... and jump straight to summer... which is essentially spring... at least in Wyoming.


  1. Such a sweet story! I had to share it with my 10 year old daughter.We love the sheep in clothes...too cute!

  2. Oh Necel I love your photos and all your sweet guys... where are their moms I wonder? Did they die during the birth, or do they just wander off? not sure if you have your cattle fenced in, I have no clue really!
    Love the sheep in clothes, so cute. Have a wonderful Sunday, glad you could use the photo:)

  3. Thanks for sharing your Wyoming life.

  4. Oh, but I love your ranch babies! I adore that photo of your feeding him the bottle between your knees. That is your sign of spring, these babies. Thanks for featuring my flowers.

  5. I meant her. Smidgeon I now realize is a her.

  6. Love your orphans! We had to bottle feed a few calves as I was growing up, but it was rare. The dressed up sheep are adorable!

  7. What a great post!
    What a great time of year this must be for exciting!
    How did you ever get those sheep to pose with the clothing? that is absolutely hilarious.
    Now they've gone off and joined the heard.
    Those baaa-aaad sheep.

    Happy Spring!

  8. I adore those photos, Necel! Can't wait to show my daughter the "models."

  9. Great post! I love the fancy sheep too! I think your bums are adorable (if a lot of work, I'm sure ). I'm anxious to see green grass too!

  10. Oh what beautiful babies! Love Brinkley! Looks like you have some beautiful land.

    ~ Tracy

  11. I enjoyed all of this post, especially the animals all dressed up...those were great!

  12. How cute! Love them all. I have a ton of the Pincushion flowers - the first photo. Love that they bloom from now until Nov/Dec - non stop! Can't beat that! (But I do get tired of dead-heading!) I hope you'll drop by AtticMag #8 to see the butterflies.


  13. Such a fun post... I enjoyed seeing all of your bums. I've had bottle calves here too. A lot of trouble but still, they're fun. I had a bottle like yours and replaced it with one that has a screw on top like an oversized baby bottle... so much easier!

  14. Your pictures are so cute! I do see some green and Spring is definately in the air! Have a great Outdoor Wednesday and a Happy Easter too! Sherri : )