Homemade surprises.


I spent a good two weeks away from this place. After our vacation with friends spent skiing down mountains in Colorado, I hopped a plane and met my mom in Minneapolis where we shopped at market for clothes and shoes and other fun things for her store.

It was a good hiatus from life that was sort of stressing me out, but it was sure nice to get home to the ranch to see how spring was shaping up.

Turns out it wasn’t really. Just snowing and cold. March went out like a lion, because, if you remember correctly, it came in like a lamb, so that’s what we get.

It took me a few days to get caught up on life around here, and then Easter rolled in and well, there it was, Tuesday afternoon and I had yet to take a look around the place.

Because it’s crocus season.

So after my work was done enough for the afternoon, I took a little walk out to see if I could find any that survived the melty snow.

But before I could even get outside our yard, I ran into these beauties…

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Yup, the elk came for a visit, down across the bottom of Pots and Pans, heading toward the dam right outside our door before they caught wind of me and this beast…

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And while I know the elk live around here, because I see there tracks on my walks, catch the places where they bed down at night or linger on a stray hay bale in the fields, it’s still quite something to see them right in your yard.

I took a breath and held it and watched as they ran away up over the hill, hoping that I didn’t ruin their plans for a drink. Hoping that they might come back later.

Then I took another few steps toward the little hilltops where my sister and I found the first crocuses last year. Searching the ground as I walked, moments later I looked up to find the rest of the herd following suit, another pleasant and quick surprise.

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These animals on this landscape are so imposing. In the mountains they look smaller, dwarfed by the magnificence of the peaks, but here on the rolling hills they are the kings, the largest wild animal you’ll find roaming free. And they take my breath away each time.

I wished there was someone next to me to witness it. And then I was glad it was just me.

I had been missing this place. Life and tasks and deadlines were getting in my way. I stepped outside to see what I could see and nature delivered.

But even after such an unexpected show, I was still thrilled as I always am in early April to see these pretty purple flowers again, reaching through barely thawed ground to promise me summer…

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Before getting rolled over by the gremlin of the farmyard…


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Oh well, to live out here you gotta be hardy. If anything, the crocus teaches us that…

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I’ve traveled all over the place, but home, at the beginning of spring, is still my favorite place full of the best sort of discoveries…

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7 thoughts on “Homemade surprises.

  1. Jess…So good to hear from you I was beginning to wonder!! Glad you are back in the saddle! Love the Elk….a “God Thing” I believe. Crocus Oh My! Same.
    We had 16 wild turkeys in our yard the other day as our “beasts” were in the house. We knew one pair had two broods last year but had never seen Dad.
    Well, my husband said “Be quiet hes there” (We were in the house but whispering all the same.) And out of the blue or from behind a large cedar tree came the biggest male Wild Turkey Ive ever seen ever!!! Amazing! He was bigger than a miniature horse and was sporting the longest “beard” we”d ever seen. I got him on my phone…all of them….another miracle:-)
    If he’d been breeding and all fluffed up…. he’d been like a Shetland Pony! 🙂 These turkeys scare the daylights out of our horses…You’d think they were dinosaurs.
    I find it amazing how we are mysteriously drawn to the window, a walk or a task and we stumble on such magnifcant things. Enjoy Spring!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Elk — what a thrill ! Actually I’d be thrilled to see a Crocus. We’re having a non-existent Spring here in Nova Scotia after an endless winter from Hell. Still two feet of snow on the ground. Lovely to see your bare fields and growing f’lars.

  3. We just moved to our place in the country last August so I don’t know where any of the spring pretties are yet. It’s so much fun to go out and poke around or go around a corner and find some little green shoots bravely poking through recently thawed ground… won’t be long now! Spring 🙂

  4. A spring in your step.An elk. A crocus. A walk on the Veeder ranch. Tread lightly,and view the beauty. Met Pete and Edith there. Your dad first brought me to see this place. I was ,and am attached to this place. From afar.JS

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