Tag Archives: nature

The World Seems Different at -20 Degrees…

cold1We shipped cattle early this morning.  The thermometer read -20 degrees as I drove to the feed yard about 5:30am. My mind held an awareness of the cold because I knew it was there.  I bundled up with layers of clothing and carefully covered my face with a mask.

But really, the phenomenon of temperatures like that provides an experience much bigger than layers of clothing.

The world seems different at -20 degrees.

Silent, unrelentingly harsh and yet beautiful at the same time.

Perhaps you have experienced this before?

  • The air takes the description of raw and crisp to a new level.
  • Sounds of the gates, the cattle moving, and the normal night noises are more distinct.
  • The hardness of the ground pounds at your feet as you herd the animals to the corral.

I, at least, seem to have a higher level of acute awareness at -20 degrees.

  • My cowboy laughed at me when I pointed out the small frost formations hanging from our steel pipe corral fence.  They took me back to science class as they were similar in shape to the molecular models in my high school text books.
  • I had to stop myself from reacting nervously each time the Union Pacific trains passed by on the tracks about ½ mile south of our corrals.  Normally, I am desensitized to the sound of the trains; but they sound unnervingly strange at -20 degrees.
  • Each step on the hard and unforgiving ground felt different and I noticed a clarity of movement in my own muscles that I often overlook.

Today I found a new level of perception.  A bitter cold morning with blessedly no wind opened up a new prairie experience for me.


With 8 pens still to ship, I am left wondering what I will notice next?



Filed under Chronicles of a Retiring Feed Yard Boss Lady, Farming, General

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas from our family to yours...

A very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

The trees whisper softly… their message rolls off the hills.

Snow softly blankets the cold, still Earth.

The slightest sound… a Cardinal tweets its song to the sky.

The tan tips of corn stalks peek up… barely above the soft snow.

 White lumps huddle together on the edge of fields.

Mother Nature throws her best at the farmers of mid-Nebraska.

A crackling sound interrupts the peace.

A single buck darts across the Platte River… the ice under his hooves breaks.

He nimbly jumps to the other side.

A geyser shoots from the cracked ice.. suddenly the sleeping Platte is alive again.

A light glow on the eastern side announces the new day…

Rays of pink and gold shoot out from behind a cloud in every direction.

The buck raises his elegant head… his racks rustle the icicles on a nearby tree.

The slight jingle makes a soft sound… almost like a message from the angels singing above.

As the gold of the sunrise drifts away with the wing, its speed picks up…

People near and far can hear the whistling… almost as if the sun must be blown from the sky.

This day is cold but happy… many families gather together to decorate and bake.

Soon far and wide, the smell of ginger and Christmas treats floats throughout the air.

The sun outside is breaking through the clouds, glistening on the fresh snow.

This picture seems untouchable.

The warmth of the sun heats the Earth, for a little while.

Little animals come out to play in the white powder.

Birds wrestle in the bare trees, turkeys scrounge around for food.

The evergreens, yet white with snow…

Sway in the wind, their needles playing with the pine cones.

It is midday by now… the sun is high but weak.

The animals now return to their caves, tunnels, and burrows… seeking shelter from the white snow that has begun to fall, again.

 Everything is hiding… keeping warm.

When night begins to fall… the golden sun turns to pink.

The beautiful clouds reflect its radiance… the snow is still falling,

And looks like powder puffs on the horizon.

A brilliant day is done.

By: Megan Anne


Filed under Family, General

Mountains and Critters…

In typical “Anne fashion”, I took a lot of pictures during our three days in Wyoming.  My favorite farmer told me that I could pick my additional favorite 10 to share with all of you (he figures that you all might not find my “hobby” as interesting as I do…)!

Because I only get 10 pictures to share, I am limiting myself to the topic of Mountains and Critters…If you would like to see my vast array of wildflower pictures let me know 🙂

One of the hummingbirds that live by my parents porch along the river...

One of the hummingbirds that live by my parents’ porch along the river…

Three identical expressions await the arrival of the  trout...

Three identical expressions await the arrival of the trout!

Running at 10,000 feet, anyone?  Gotta love a girl who is fueled by beef!

Running at 10,000 feet, anyone? Gotta love a girl who is fueled by beef!

When you get done running, you can cool off in a snow drift.  And, then warm your hands back up on your daddy's neck...

When you get done running, you can cool off in a snow drift. And, then warm your hands on your daddy’s neck…

Cooling off at the lake with the help of her loving friend...

Or perhaps you can cool off in the lake with the help of a furry friend!

At times the view took my breath away...

At times the view took my breath away…

And reminds me of our precious our Earth is...

And left me with an feeling of reverent awe.

Because fishing is hard work---

Playing with nature  is hard work—

Making my favorite poetry writing / book reading teenager glad to have a horse to carry her home...

Which made my favorite poetry writing / book reading / Cross Country running teenager glad to have a horse to carry her home!


Home is where your family congregates no matter what the address…

In the words of Sai Baba:

Life is a song–sing it!

Life is a game–play it!

Life is a challenge–meet it!

Life is a dream–realize it!

Life is a sacrifice–offer it!

Life is love–enjoy it!


Filed under Family, General

Poetic Beauty…

My beautiful poet...

My beautiful poet…

A towering tree and skier speckle Mt. Werner

Loom over a pretty slope side corner.

Rivers cut through snowy scenes

Like icy cold ribbon seams.

Squirrels and magpies chatter nonstop

Until deer hooves go clip, clop.

The trees are covered in ice and snow

And in the moonlight they seem to glow.

Children laugh and throw snowballs

Then come inside to warm and get snow in the halls.

If you look hard enough, you may see

Moose eating down by the stream.

As a careful skier picks their way downhill,

A snow boarder whizzes past showing off mad skill.

Cozy little cabins with white snow trim

Say that our chances of wanting to come home are slim.

The beautiful mountains...

The beautiful mountains…


Filed under Ashley Grace's Corner and The Chick Project..., General

The Call Of The Mountains…

A striking Wyoming mountain scene…

My parents bought a cabin in northwestern Wyoming about 10 years ago.  My dad’s lifelong dream was to retire to the trout streams of the Rocky Mountains, and this cabin made that dream a reality.  The laid back western pace and the neighborly community attitude are an added bonus to the many trout that my parents search for during the summer months.

Passing the dream down to future generations…

The girls and I go visit every summer, as I too feel the call of the beautiful Wyoming mountains.  We ride horses, hike trails, and fly fish for those elusive little creatures that live amongst the sparkling streams.  It is a time of joy for all of us as we experience the nature of our neighbors to the west.

The thrill of the catch…

The feel of fall and winter is in the Nebraska air.  We have already had our first snow, and Ashley Grace and I exercised calves and checked cattle last Sunday with a dawn temperature of 17 degrees.  In honor of the passing season of summer, I want to share a poem that Ashley Grace wrote about Wyoming.

Inspiring beauty…

This mountain’s floor

is heaven’s door

with pretty flowers

and nice rain showers

a bubbling brook

runs through a nook

of a mountain scene

that could be a dream.

My fledgling poet…


Filed under Ashley Grace's Corner and The Chick Project..., General