There’s nothing more spectacular than a season change. And around here, we all have the chance to get up close and personal with the shifting of breeze, the cool down or warm up and the new colors the big guy decided to paint with. So when I feel the shift, when I hear the leaves start to crackle or take notice of something new poking through the ground in the spring, I pay attention. I look around. Because I hate to miss a day of it, really. It happens so fast. One morning you will be walking through oak groves of plush grass, under a canopy of leaves sparkling with life and green, and the next those leaves have all changed clothing and some have already decided to turn in early for the year.
It’s this time of year, the autumn, that I hate to be away from the ranch. I hate to miss the 50 and 60 and degree weather, perfect for rounding up cattle and maybe, if it’s the morning, digging out my neckerchief.
I hate to miss how the horses seem to lay a little longer in the sunshine, breathe out breath we can see into the crisp early air and work on growing their wooly, winter coats. I hate to miss the days the leaves on the oak trees start turning from green to yellow to orange one by one or the crunch of the leaves under my feet and the smell of the damp air reminding me of a childhood spent in these very same places, in this very same season-change ritual.
Oh yes, I’d hate to drive away from this toward warmer sun in the south or shut myself in between safe and heated walls and miss all of the miraculous and well planned preparation going on around me. Because I fear that if I didn’t pay attention to the shifts occurring on the top of the buttes, under prairie grasses and animal skin, I wouldn’t understand what was happening to me….
…why my skin has faded in color and is begging me to put on long, wooly sleeves, why I want to warm up soup and sink in next to husband on our big chair and talk about plans and life and how I adore him. Without taking notice of the cool breeze, settling plants, and a sun that sinks below the horizon at an earlier hour each evening, I may not understand why my eyes feel heavy, my body weary and my bed calls my name at an hour when I may have still been on a back of a horse miles out in a pasture just months before in a season we called summer.
I might not understand why I don’t allow myself to go down easy, why I hustle around the house at 8 pm putting the finishing touches on projects and work, strumming my guitar and singing songs into the darkening sky, making sure all living creatures in the household know that I have things to do yet, I’m still here, regardless of the light. I would find myself crazy and alone in a world that was trying to get some sleep already if I didn’t witness the sky putting up the exact same fight during this time of year…
See, she’s not quite ready either–not ready to turn in her party dress. Because this time of year, more than ever, in the evening hour, right before dark I catch her showing off her biggest, most fluffy clouds with splashes of fuchsia and deep orange costumes as together they threaten a heavy fall shower with big, splashing raindrops when all the world thought the next thing to come was the dark and the snow.
I see her, I know what she’s doing, I understand the need to make a scene like this and I hear her laugh as she watches the crazy woman with the camera gaze at her face and dream about climbing those very clouds and laying down there for the winter, held softly in the warm fluff of the sky, eyes closed tight, knees to chest like a child, sleeping soundly through the winter until she lets me down with the rain in the spring.
But it can’t be so. I must stay here on the crust of the earth and watch her performance as she turns down the lights and paints the world soft pink, how she keeps the rain in the sky for a few moments, under small and un-daunting slivers of fluff evoking a trust and wonder in the creatures below basking in the uncommon warmth of a late fall evening.
Yes, I must wait here and watch as the sky pushes her sun further down the horizon line, lighting up the farmstead one last moment before she lets loose those big drops of rain, slowly at first, onto the crazy woman’s head.
Because the sky thought the woman needed one last reminder of a warmer world.
And she was right, the sky, she was. The crazy woman who could see the barnyard, a small dark dot on that very horizon, quite enjoyed the way the drops stuck in her fuzzy hair…
the way her feet helped float her body down the butte toward the light glowing from the kitchen of the farm house….
she laughed at the sound of her big brown dog’s paws hitting the dirt, his mouth blowing out air, his tongue hanging and bouncing along his clumsy body as he found his rhythm alongside a woman who was running now…
Running in the autumn rain, under a sky who is wrapping up her show, a season, with a reminder of the scent and feel and colors and sound of summer…
One last rain.
So I slowed my pace because a little rain never hurt anyone…
and me and the sky, we were not going down easy.
Amazing skies! Lovely!
You should send your cloud pictures to Tom Skilling, Channel 9 News, Chicago and he will put them on the air. Try WGN (station name). He’s our favorite weather guy and he loves pics of clouds.
Not so sure I’d show the “Easterners” how darn nice it is out here. There might be a traffic jam from all the people wanting to experience the beauty…Rich
Unbelievable cloud pictures. Like award winning cloud pictures. You have outdone yourself Jess.
The pics are simply (extraordinarily) stunning. I just want to jump in the clouds. Better buckle up for the winter, cowgirl, the almanac says it’s gonna be a colllllddd one this year.
There’s a song in that … I’m sure you’ll find it. Great photos too!
Your pictures, and your words, as always, amazing! Especially the clouds – fantastic!
Great pics. Ranch life is great.
I’ve seen pink and orangey clouds but never in my life have I seen lemon yellow clouds as in one of your photos. Wow! Remarkable cloud pictures!
Stunning pics. Really like the rider in the grass. And, of course, your message always adds to the beautiful ambience. Wonderful post.
Wow, the pictures of the clouds are amazing.
Thanks Peas. Don’t you just want to curl up and have a nap inside of them?
Beautiful writing, and absolutely spectacular pix!
There is something so magical about photos of clouds — just seems easy to get lost in those, doesn’t it?
Thank you for sharing,
Yes I felt like I just had to get closer when I came into the yard that day, so I scrambled for my boots and run up to the top of our hill in the horse pasture to make sure I didn’t miss the sunset before it was gone over to the other side of the world. Some days are just real gifts…
This was a wonderful piece to read. I felt as if I was there. Well done!!
Thanks so much! It was a truly spectacular evening.
I wish I could see those colors of clouds too. Lovely photos! Awesome post!
So glad I could share them with you then!
Thanks so much. I am obsessed with my camera, but sometimes nature just gives you a good show~
I like the cowboy one the best. I find this kind of landscape more interesting than cities and skyscrapers.
I love cowboys too 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!
I had to save this site. There is so much beauty in the writing and especially in the photos. May I use two of your cloud photos with one of my recent poetry postings? I will insure credit with your name upon the photos.
Sure Joh, go right ahead! And thanks for stopping in to our little corner of the world!
Your writing and photographs are so exquisite that I feel humble next to them. Nothing wrong with humility I suppose.
What a lovely description (and images of) the sky and the slow sunset. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely post! Well done!
These photos are incredible… I ride horses and you look like you have a horse riders heaven of an area. Simply beautiful!
Wow, all your pictures are beautiful, but I’d have to say that the cloud ones are my favorites. Your writing just completes the beauty of this post. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!
Stunning prose and pictures. I never rode a horse- I wish I had! I was out today capturing Autumn in a Yorkshire village, but not with your flair. I can echo some of the feelings though. Skies are endlessly fascinating. Sunrise is my time.
Thank you for this
Wow, Ranch Life compared to soggy England Life looks fabulous! Love the pics.
Lovely photos. Congrats on FP.
Such lovely writing and beautiful photos. I especially loved the one with the man on the horse. So captivating.
Simply an amazing post. There is something so special about autumn, and sunsets and rain. You wrapped them all neatly together, and your pictures are stunning! Thank you so much for sharing.
Love “fall sky” and “autumn rain” beautiful!
Fantastic post. Fantastic photos. Fantastic everything. Well deserved of FP! Cheers.
Amazing! I love these photos, I can’t say much because I am stunned by their beauty! Keep going….
You deserve you be on Freshly Pressed, by far!
Oh my goodness!!!!! That is AMAZING!!!! Why don’t you have more “Like”s!!!!?!
Beautiful photos. Quite a contrast to what I’m used to seeing in Long Beach, NY. Thanks for sharing!
Beautiful sunset. 🙂
Awesome cloud pictures!! Love them!
Stunning photographs. I too love it when the horses breath out and you can actually see it. It is nice to know someone else notices the same things. Great blogging. Thank you so much for sharing your photos. Angelique
So beautiful…! I am missing my countryside so much now… I never see scenery like this in downtown Toronto anymore. There isn’t the same feel of autumn that I’ve loved for eighteen years, and not a star to wish on either.
Awsome skies! WOW!
Wow beautiful pictures and make me relax to see all of them. Do you live in bush country side?? Ah, the life seem there looks awesome ;D
Awesome photos! really love the sky 🙂
I wish I can see the real one, on that place.
Amazing photo’s 🙂 Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!!
Visually stunning and I love the commentary. Thank you!
Yours pictures are really beautiful.
Grt photography and beautiful writing.
Great treat for eyes. Gorgeous photos and nice narration.
this is awesome, beautiful pictures
beautiful pictures! I visited my sister at the ranch she works on in the summer and this reminded me of it. love it!
I want to have a barn someday. 🙂
Yeah, that was pretty much amazing.
Very beautiful pictures. Your writing is inspirational and poetic! Can’t wait to read more.:)
Where were these photos taken? I particularly love the one with the yellowish field and yellowy/ blue cloudy sky- beautiful.
Clare, these photos were taken on my family’s ranch where we live on the edge of the badlands in Western North Dakota. What a gift that day was. Thanks for stopping in!
great pictures! beautiful place 🙂
Beautiful amazing photography!!!
You made me smile and weep in the same post, thank you.
Beautiful clouds! I never see this beauty in the city. 😦
What pictures, what poetry, what wonder. You should definitely make a book out of this kind of writing!
October is my loveky month, I have so many posts about October ❤
These pictures are amazing! Wow I want to live with you 🙂
Stunning photos, I love each and ever one of them!
Looks like you’re living the dream. Great work. Respect! : )
It’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us…
How on earth (:p) did you manage to take those pictures of clouds? It looks as if you took them from above.
Simply amazing pics…
Lovely writing, lovely photography. What a beautiful post.
Can I come to visit? Please? Simply fantastic. Your shots of the clouds and the land is awesome. Loved it.
very nice photos!
Just as everyone said, beautiful photography and beautiful writing.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m saving this onto my computer. It touched me somehow . And just like I’m jealous of Steve Jobs and Julie Andrews and other visionaries/bigshots, I’m jealous of you for writing this post. 🙂
Oh my, right up there with Julie Andrews!! Haha, love it. Thanks for taking a look. I am so glad we were able to connect through the clouds 🙂
Your photography is amazing. I love the way you captured the colour. Wow. Thanks for sharing.
Oh my Stars! Those are some beautiful photos! and wonderful read to accompany it! Thanks!
dont juatdo enough toget by do evough to get ahead.
Nice pictures! good taste!
Good colour and cenary
wow ,nice pic
This post is beautiful. 🙂 It made me want to be out on a ranch like the one in the photos …I’ll definitely be following your blog on here.
Amazing captures. thank you
What’s left to say? Thank you for some wonderful words and photos. Both are incredible.
Love Your Photos and Blog, beautiful, amazing, how do I follow this ? Someone please Help, this is all new to me. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos !!!
Hi lilbit, thanks so much for your kind words. You can receive email notifications when I update this blog by clicking on the “sign me up” button under the “Email Subscriptions” heading in the upper right corner of my page. I hop you come back and visit us here at the ranch!
some thing what i drafted :)) worth a read .. amazing !!!!!
What an amazing collection of photos! Your love of your place really shines through. Congrats on being FP’d.
Another wonderful blog Jessie..as a child out on the farm, enjoyed watching the clouds. Something about clouds that could be soothing unless a storm was about to come. Now even w/ storms I love clouds. Kudos. Happy weekend. Nicole
Beautiful and very vivid photography. Thanks for sharing. Connie
your photos are beautiful.
I too enjoy photographing clouds. You have some lovely shots!
A true American dream, well done.
Not for tourists:
October (and the Autumn) is the best period of the year to take photos. I love the colors of this season and all your photos show wonderful colors!!!
Really appreciate how your writing complements your photography and vice versa. I am actually not sure which one is the star. Nice post.
Incredible photos! I love the red skies. Awesome!
I always try and leave intelligent comments when I comment on a Freshly Pressed post, because there are so many others and I want to stand out. But. I don’t have anything else to say….
Well thanks Miriam. I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. So glad you could come along with me on my autumn walk!
Love the photo’s and miss the change in seasons that I am used to where I grew up. The sights, sounds and feeling on your skin !
The seasons, if we listen, really do change us too don’t they?
Wow great photos! I love how you added narrative into the photography. Thanks for the post!
these are all insanely beautiful… love the colors at dusk
– Katie from http://www.ohshineon.com
`Thanks for posting this! I like to read about this stuff!
Lovely pictures. One feels at peace by just looking at them.
Great photos, you’ve done a great job at capturing the most golden of seasons! I never noticed fall before, I always dismissed it as a prelude to winter. This year though, I am seeing things for the first time. Funny isn’t it? 🙂
Ah fall and spring as such understated transition seasons…and so much appreciated around here…especially spring! Love the fall though, it’s just stunning! Short, but stunning!
Your photos and writing are beautifully evocative! Thanks for sharing them and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
Very lovely photographs! Well done!
Your writing is stunning, I felt like I was with you running in the rain with your dog, shocked beneath those bristling bustles of pink. Your pink clouds made me think of Mama Rose in Gypsy, finally taking the stage for her long awaited turn. You are a poet.
So glad you could come along!
The pictures are wonderful and very visual. I love your explanations and the coming rain seems to be something treasured. I have never visited your blog, but now that it is on Freshly Pressed, I went right to it out of curiosity.
Thanks for stopping in! Glad you could get lost in those clouds with me!
Love the photos, especially the cowboy and the barn. Amazing.
Thanks gracie. I love those cowboy shots too!
Well written, I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the pictures or the words.
Love your photography! Beautiful!
Oh wow, beautiful! You truly deserve being Freshly Pressed. Your words, lovely chosen and intertwined with your pictures, breathtaking pictures. Congratulations.
I love country living and viewing this blog makes me droll! hehe 🙂 FAB post! The picturesque photos are inviting! I love clouds and these are really awesome! Keep inspiring! 🙂
Congrats for being Freshly Pressed! 🙂
Those photos are stunning, absolutely beautiful. What camera do you use?
Hi sjr85. Thanks for stopping in! I use a Cannon T21 Rebel and took some of these photo with a telephoto lens, that’s how I got so close to the fluff!
Those clouds are STUNNING. You’re lucky to live in such a beautiful place!
Amazing photography! I am stunned at those photos of the skies! Love love them!♥
Wonderful evocative writing even without those fantastic cloud and landscape photos – we’ve had a golden October here in Switzerland, and have incredible scenery, but I have rarely seen anything as beautiful as your photos. Thanks for sharing!
These photos are very intriging! Beautiful capture!
Pingback: Cores do verão « Os detalhes
Lovely, lovely words and amazing photos!
Simplicity is the best, isn’t it? Love your work.
more like volcanic clouds 😀
If I saw a painting of those scenes I’d think, “No Way” could they be a real scene. What an imagination the artist has!
But you and your camera proved this easterner wrong; the magnificent scenes, colors and forms are real. I have one word to some up my thoughts.
Your words made me feel like I was right there with you on your ranch! Your writing is very engaging and compelling. . . . Really like the cloud photos. They’re stunning!
Loved your words and pictures.
You are so lucky to live way out, away from a lot of the hassles, I am as well only my prairie is the sea and the seasons can change really quickly.
Im on vacation at this time in Australia and Today being Halloween I saw some classic people at the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle Australia.
it was off the hook check it out.
Kudos to you, well done keep playing that guitar.
Incredible and amazing photos of natural beauty.
I saw North Dakota mentioned in your topic list – is that your location?
I grew up in rural, northwest Iowa, and your photos evoke many memories of the glory of seasons changing. Thank you for your blog – and congrats. on being Fresh-Pressed.
Beautiful photos and words. Love that fierce orange!
Really enjoyed reading this, and the pics are brilliant.
Really like this blog..like the photography and stream of conciousness environamnetal musings beautiful.
Beautiful, beautiful pictures!!! I love the ones in the fields!
I also love autumn… In the woods, all the trees are different colors, and it looks like a painting!
I’m also into photography, feel free to check out my blog : http://clearlyhomemade.wordpress.com
Congrats on being freshly pressed! 🙂
The photos are amazing, and the sky too. They landscapes are beautiful. I love it! One of my hobbies is the photography, I like to learn!
http://jacquirose17.wordpress.com (Autism from a Different Perspective)
Can I take you up on that offer for a hike and cocktail?! Beautiful pictures, what a serene place to live in! I could just imagine the amazing adventures you must have on that ranch! The colors of the sky are so amazing as well, what a gorgeous shade of orange!
If it is okay with you, I would like to mention my own blog that I just started and share the link with your readers. It’s called Logic Meets Reason and it would be great if you and your readers could comment, subscribe, and take a look at the pieces I have posted! Here is the link: http://www.logicmeetsreason.wordpress.com.
Thanks for your kind comments. Fall is a spectacular time of year! Thanks for sharing your blog with us. Best of luck!
Your photos are breathtaking… The country is so beautiful through your eyes!! 🙂
Thanks so much! It really is beautiful out here this time of year!
I love clouds, when I was little I thought that someone went up in the shy with a paintbrush and painted them. Even today, sometimes clouds look more like a piece of art instead of a large number droplets of water and ice crystals.
I hope you don’t mind but I would like to take a moment to talk about my blog. My blog focuses on literary criticism and what people think about topics concerning English. I hope to promote friendly debate on my blog and will post topics that will allow for discussion to occur. The pictures are wonderful thanks for sharing!
thanks for stopping in. You are right about clouds looking more like paintings…nature is one hell of an artist!
These photos are incredible, they make me want to live on a ranch!
I love the colors of the sunset in the clouds…
Stunning skies and gorgeous colours. Really enjoying looking through this post and found the images very inspirational. Lucky you to have witnessed all that natural art and drama.
Miriam from themessynest
Those are great photos!
Your pictures are beautiful. I want to live there. We don’t get seasons in here in LA unless you count fire as a season.
Hi there! I’m in awe, such wonderful images… I am obsessed with my camera too, and I’m wondering what you’re using? How do you get your shots of the moon, for example, or the ones of the sky where the rain is coming down in the far-off distance? What settings are you using?
I have lived on the Palouse, in Washington state; it often looks like your pictures… such beautiful skies… !
Thanks Alison. I am using a Cannon Rebel T2i. Mostly I use the ‘no flash” setting in the outdoors to make sure that I am capturing the view as it exists exactly, but my ticket is to give myself the time to shoot the same scene several times with different settings to get the look I like. The clouds and moon photos were taken with a telephoto lens, so I am able to get up a bit closer to the details. Thank again for stopping in! My sister lived in Washington State for years…it is lovely indeed!
Interesting post. I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing. Having a ranch and a view like this can refresh my mind. 🙂
I love the colors of fall and how well you have managed to capture them in these photos!
Great work! Love the last one of the entire farm. Congrats on getting ‘pressed’!
I absolutely live for this time of year.
You are so right! Cheers!
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! So happy for you, and so well deserved! As said many times before, your photos are amazing!
Beautiful post – photos and article! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Thank you so much for your response… my thought is that you could offer photography classes on your ranch… there are many people who would benefit from learning what you know. Good luck, and now I must invest in an SLR and get seriouser about this. 🙂
THiS is Beautiful ❤ Beautiful words! Such Beautiful scenery! LOVE iT!! 🙂
This is gorgeous photography. Blogs like yours have been inspiring me to take more pictures. Photography is such an art. I especially like the sky at sunset and dawn. You really captured this beauty.
Read my blog…
Yes yes, take more photos! That’s how we get good at it, practice, practice, practice 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!
beautiful shots of the skies and wonderful writing.
aaa…They are really the beautiful and awesome pics
your words alone simply take me there. how much more your photos? thank you.
amazing photos.. thanks for sharing
wow. .wonderfull, nice collection 😀 . see my blog too,
These photographs are standing a poetry of October rain… So beautiful. You captured them so nicely. I loved so much. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I am so glad to meet with your beautiful blog. Thank you, with my love, nia
These photographs are standing like a poetry of October Rain… So beautiful. You captured them so nicely. Congratulations on being Freshly Press! I am so glad to meet with you and your blog, Thank you, with my love, nia
Lovely pictures 🙂 I need a camera!
Congrats on being freshly pressed
I am too 😀
congrats to you too! Great post!
Great pictures. What a treat to get a glimpse of your life and surrounds.
I ought to do the same for this lovely place I live: Bath UK
Wonderful landscapes. Nature is very amazing.
Wow, this is gorgeous. 🙂 I love it when summer fades into autumn like that. I’m a little jealous, actually, because we didn’t really get that here this year: one day it was still t-shirt weather and the next the temperature had dropped 15 degrees and it was all gray and rainy for a week. Bleh.
Fresh Pressed looks good on you 🙂 MJ
Your pictures put a smile on my face this morning. Thank you :).
What gorgeous pictures! 🙂
Beautiful shots! The pictures of the clouds are especially pretty. Sometimes I forget how beautiful the clouds are. You’ve captured their beauty perfectly.
Love the photos!!
Great post and amazing pictures!
Beautifully written! I love your symbiosis with the sky.
Brilliant descriptive language and amazing photography. Congratulations indeed!
Great post and AMAZING photos. You’ve just motivated me to get away from the screen and go for a hike.
so beautiful, photos like text…
thanks for this emotion, really !
excuse my bad english, please (I’m french)
have a good day !
(my pen name means mary smiles)
I just stumbled upon your blog, because I was immediately drawn in by the photo of the barn under “October Rain.” Wow! What a great site you have, and I’m breathless over the photography. Some of the pictures reminded me of the home we left a year ago in Arizona, in the high desert of the Gila Valley. Plenty of ranches up there. Gorgeous sunsets, too. Now that I’ve visited, I’ll be back to your blog as often as I can. I’m very busy with writing for NaNoWriMo right now. If you want to follow me on that, go to my blog at :elizabethhauser.wordpress.com Would love to have you visit!
awesome pics for a lovely saturation
Beautiful photos, especially the ones of the sky.
You know, I always feel this intense need to travel and to move about and to see beautiful places like this. But it’s people like you who take these phenomenal photos that allow me to close my eyes and drift off to another place, without leaving my home. You have satisfied my travel bug for a little while but a place like this is definitely somewhere I would love to visit. Thank you for sharing this with the world 🙂
Not that it hasn’t been said enough, but beautiful writing. I got spiraled into all those tactile, delicious descriptions. I’ve never been on a ranch, but now I feel like I miss it too.
Stunning and beautiful.
it felt like the set of an old western movie. Fabulous. Thanks:)
What amazing work shown here! Good job.
When you were describing the way you were getting ready to the colder days I felt for a second that not only were you a part of that nature but also something more than just a human.
awesome pics and narrative!
Hey, I like your blog and your photos, awesome views. I think that you have good quality blog in design and content. I would love to exchange links with your blog, so we can help at each other.
I am responsible of a websites and blogs’ directory that is online for about two years. It doesn’t contain advertising or commercial sites by the way.
My directory address is: http://www.blogdire.com
our directory has a PageRank of 5, we have a significant number of daily visits and it is at constant exponential growth.
This ensures you an excellent SEO for search engines like Google. This means that more people will find your blog in the internet.
If you are interested in doing a link exchange with my address and improves yours and mine PageRank, please send me the title, description of your blog and category as you want to show it.
From my side, I only ask you to make a link site http://www.games21.com with the title “Games” or insert a button.
If you prefer a banner (you choose the button or text link), you can choose one at this address: (the code for each banner on the right)
(Games21.com is a small site for free games for the whole family)
If you don’t know how to add links, I will sent you a simple procedure.
If you agree, please let me know.
Great Blog i come again to your blog …..:)
simple and nice, i like it, will forward this link to my friends. Thanks