My computer has returned! It is 106 degrees outside. Editing pictures has sounded like a pretty dang good job all day : )Here are a few from the past few weeks for you to enjoy.
Among my recent photography jobs was a campaign shoot for a Wyoming House representative. We did several classic headshots, some more casual shots, and I was able to get in a few more artistic shots, like this one, for him to potentially use in his ad campaigns.
I personally feel that baby pigs should be a cuddly animal if they're going to look like this : )
My grandma's poppy flowers.
We had some early mornings and late nights getting all our cattle sorted and shipped earlier this month, and were very grateful for the cool weather that accompanied our efforts!
How about a little update on what's been going on around here the past few days? This is in no particular order:
- My new computer has been slowly falling apart, physically. It needed a new case, so the Dell service dude came out, spent over an hour taking my computer apart, got to the last three screws and informed me he couldn't get them off without stripping them. Then he did a very mediocre job of putting my computer back together and informed me I would have to ship it off to Dell to be fixed. The entire time he was at my home (three hours total), he was mildy insulting in manner and beyond idiotic in his dealings. I was steaming mad when he left, and am now without my computer for another few days. This is not ideal as I am back to writing this week, and took my first round of wedding photos last weekend. I NEED that computer, and spent extra money when I bought it for in-field repairs because I knew how problematic it would be for me not have it for a week or two. I could wring that Dell guy's neck. On a side note, I do appreciate my mother letting me use her computer as needed until mine is back in my loving arms.
- The first wedding of the summer went wonderful. Perhaps the most beautiful day I've ever seen on Casper Mountain. Rain the night before, mid-70's in temperature, and no wind! The couple was fun, relaxed and happy. I can't wait to check out the pictures and start editing. One high note was stopping by the camera store where I bout my new camera and lens to get a couple odds and ends, and having the wonderful man there send me out with a rental lens free of charge to try out. Made my day, and it was a great lens that I used a lot! That's one of the benefits of buying equipment in a store over the internet in my opinion.
- In addition to my computer, my "ranch camera" is STILL being repaired. I was told one week, and we're on week three now. I have missed an entire spring of brandings, sorting, shipping and general cattle work. In my line of work, and personally as well, this is a very big deal.
-We just finished trailing the last bunch of cows to their summer pasture this morning. The bulls are out, cattle settled, and we're selling our steers later this week due to the dry weather. Cattle work is wrapping up for the spring. We had unusually cool weather this year, which helped us out a lot. All in all it went great and a good time, if not a lot of sleep, was had by all.
- I have decided that if you ever start a painting project, it multiplies out and never ends. I've painted my room and bathroom in the new trailer, and am moving on to the doors and closets later today. Then.....hopefully.....the paining of the walls will cease and I can move on to a couple furniture painting ideas. Perhaps trying to squeeze it in between loads of cows is part of why it seems to be taking so long : )
- From chasings cows one day to donning a suit to meet with folks in D.C. the next, all without the usual camera hanging from my shoulder, it has been a great spring! Looking forward to posting more photos in upcoming weeks, and getting back to more regular posting. Hope all is well with each of you : )
This cement slab is located on my Uncle's place, and has been a serious learning curve for us since he purchased the land it's located on. To reach his corrals on this place, you either cross this slab or trail 2-3 miles around. Naturally a little extra time at the slab is easier than the several hours involved in going around.
You also have to hit that gate with the high posts to get in or out of the little area containing the slab. It's a challenge for sure on some days. When gathering, it's through a gate and around a corner, then you funnel everything down across the creek, then up a hill and through another gate on the other side, which is thick with greasewood. It's been known to cause some sort of excitement on most trips across. We've trailed over it on days like the one above, and on days where water was running over the slab. We've had wrecks where cows and calves went back, and days where we spent several hours mothering after crossing this slab.
When my cousin saw this photo, he remarked that it looked like one big wreck to him. Sure makes a nice picture though : )
I did end up going to D.C. for a quick couple days of meetings and tours with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers. This was my fourth time going to the nation's capital. This round included meeting with the Department of the Interior, where I asked why the BLM does not maintain the same grazing standards they require of their permittees, especially in areas grazed with wild horses. We also talked about wolves, sage grouse and the Endangered Species Act, trailing permits across public lands, and the issue of disease transmission between domestic and Bighorn sheep.
The Brazilian Embassy was an interesting stop where we learned a lot about agriculture in the Brazil. Specific topics included Foot and Mouth Disease, their ethanol industry and international trade. Their ethanol industry, which uses sugar, was started out with government subsidization. Today it is not government subsidized, and the price of sugar on the open market is higher than the ethanol price, so people rarely use it because of the cost compared to regular gasoline.
Touring the American Farm Bureau Federation Office was also very fun, and we got briefed on several topics of interest/concern within the Farm Bureau organization at present, and see the rooftop view of the Capital.
My last stop was with our Senator, John Barrasso. We're very fortunate in Wyoming to have a great Congressional Delegation, so it was more a thank-you/what's new on issues meeting. From there I flew home to continue on with sorting and shipping while the rest of my group spent a couple days touring our nation's capital.
Here are a few photos from the trip:
The U.S. Capital at night.
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman's office, and the great view!
The Air and Space Museum, exhibit on the race to the moon between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Check out the newspaper articles (writer's plug, lol)
The super cool, super big camera America launched into to space to spy on the Soviet Union in the late 1960's or early 1970's to see if they were planning and making nuclear weapons (I think). Within a couple years, we perfected this camera from only being able to see items over 40 feet in length, to being able to see a line of people on the street. Very interesting, loved this museum!
Real airplanes hang from the rafters in the Air and Space Museum.
Another angle on the Capital.
Here I am....I'm really not that orange : )
View from the Capital Steps
Sitting on the Capital Steps, listening to the Navy Band play, at sunset.
Enjoying the Navy Band.
Here is the whole group that went. We had a great time!
(A big thank you to my mom for taking the only branding related photos of the year last week)
We've been running, literally it seems, around here for the past few weeks. Allow me to explain what I've been up to in my blogging absence:
May 23: Branded at my Uncle's
May 24: Gathered stray pairs out of the neighbors. Including three that were in a 4,800 acre pasture. Prepared to brand.
May 25: Gathered for our branding, got rained out. Played cards and visited with the family.
May 26: More rainy weather! Fed steers and worked on trailer house.
May 27: Fed, drove up and gathered for my Uncle's second branding.
May 28: Branded at my Uncle's again. Mom took above photo.
May 29: Shampooed trailer house carpets, more than once.
May 30: Hauled cows for neighbor. I fixed fence, searched for potential escapee cows, caught up with a good friend over coffee, primed bedroom in trailer house.
May 31: Finally branded our big bunch.
June 1: Oh, that's today... So far we've gathered up our dries and they are on their way to the sale. Decided to try to cancel D.C. trip (contingent on conversation with lady in charge of trip) . Fed, and now I am impatiently waiting for the computer repairman (my new laptop is falling apart, physically) while doing laundry and dishes and preparing supper in my head. So far this repairman has put multiple cramps into my busy schedule over the last week (he seems to think I have plenty of time to sit by the phone and wait for him to call). This afternoon we are gathering up the few pairs we somehow missed yesterday and branding them. Assuming the computer repair man is on time...
And, while that was fairly busy, here's what's coming up next, and is totally subject to change based on weather, attitudes, vehicles breaking down etc...
June 2: Sort first round of pairs to haul to summer pasture. Possibly go to town.
June 3: Possibly go to town, depending on how the 2nd goes. OR, fly out to D.C.
June 4: Shipping first round to summer pasture, and trailing a couple miles to pasture due to recent rain. OR, first day of meetings in D.C.
June 5: Sort second round of pairs. OR, more D.C. meetings in a.m., then flying home in p.m.
June 6: Haul second round of pairs to summer pasture and trail in. Did I mention this summer pasture is three hours away, one way?
June 6, 7, 8 or 13: Sell yearling steers? Otherwise you can add feeding them to every day.
June 6-9: Haul my Uncle's stuff to summer pasture. Ride, sort pairs.
June 6-15: Haul hay from ND (this isn't me, but it will affect my schedule too)
June 15: All bulls turned out with cows, including hauling some the three hours to one bunch of cows.
June 16: Photographing first wedding of summer
June 17: Run errands, drive home from wedding.
June 18: Checking into rehab to sleep.
I truly love what I do, and this is one of my favorite times of year. But, I must admit that I'm also glad the entire year isn't as busy as late May and early June! Bear with me, and I'll be back to posting more regularly after I'm out of rehab bright and early June 19 : )