Happy Day Earth! Thanks for being our home.

IMG_6720Earth, we love you. We love how you bring flowers after the snow. How you promise them to us, even when you’re still brown and thawing. How you don’t let us down.

IMG_6553Earth, we love you. We love how you keep us, how you hold us, how you call us to lay down in the grass under the warm sun.

Cowgirl Wildflower

And how that warm sun changes you so you look different every day.


We love your tall trees and your tall grass.

Grass and Sky

We love your mud and dirt for growing things.

Rain on the ButtesYou’re stark and flat and predictable.


You’re rocky and uneven and scary and beautiful.

Horses in BadlandsWe love your horizons and the way the moon emerges from the edge of it all.

moon above the landscape

And then the sun comes.

Ranch SunriseOh, we love your sun.

IMG_6727 Wild SunflowersSunset

Sunset RideAnd your wind.

IMG_6517 WindWindWindAnd your rain.

Rain on horsesRain on ConeflowersRain on berriesBarnyard RainAnd your snow.

Purple flowers in snow Bird in snow

snow stormFrom all who take from you, live on you and love you and thrive…

Horses on Hill


one last clover Lake Binnoculars Laying in the grass Big Lake Lab

IMG_6745Happy Day Earth. Thanks for being our home.


Spring, around the world!

Happy Earth Day friends! The sun is shining at the ranch, reflecting off the sparkly, melty snow and streaming in the window of this house. I am so happy to see it that I’m pretending not to notice the layer of construction dust it is also illuminating.

It’s a perfect day to share the photos I’ve received of spring from around the world! Your photos were just what I needed to recognize that rain or snow, clouds or sunshine, nature has a rhythm and a reason and never fails to fascinate and intrigue. It seems that no matter the location or climate, all of us have that wonder in common.

So thanks for playing along and sharing a little piece of your world with us. The temperatures are still far below average in North Dakota, but I’ve got my eye on the sky and Cliff the weatherman and am hoping to find some color out there soon.

It was hard to chose a winner and hard not to favor the scenes that make spring more believable, but it had to be done, so a big congratulations to Colleen in California! Your photo of the green hills of your home reminded me of my own in that brief time after the spring rains when the colors seem like a painting.  Pure beauty.

ColleenPhoto by Colleen in California
“Hi Jessie, this is how spring is looking in our part of California.
Warmest regards, no pun intended…”

Send me an email to jessieveeder@gmail.com with your address and I’ll send you a copy of my new album “Nothing’s Forever” and a print of spring at the ranch. Maybe you can hang the two side by side and think of your friend freezing up here in the great white (and sometimes green) north! 

Now kick back and enjoy your images of spring from around the globe, and feel free to give a shout out to your favorite! 

sylvia mindingthefarm.wordpress.comPhoto by Sylvia in the Philippines from www.mindingthefarm.wordpress.com
“I took this picture last month (March 8) from my bedroom window in our house in the city. The bird is a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier). They are very common garden birds. It is eating a macopa. In English it is known as the Malay Apple, Mountain Apple or the Tersana Rose Apple. The fruit of this tree growing outside our window doesn’t seem that sweet though. The birds mostly ignore it.”

Baby with Cherry BlossomsPhoto by my friend Cami in Washington, DC. Baby with Cherry Blossoms
“I snapped this picture when my mom and I took Linnea to the Tidal Basin to take in the famed cherry blossom trees.  She’s in a little playsuit my mom bought at your mama’s store.”

Is it spring yet? Photo by Barb in Kenmare, ND
“Is it SPRING yet?!”

Lois from TexasPhoto by Lois from Waco, TX
 “I was born in North Dakota but have not lived there in quite awhile.  I do remember the snow though.  So here is how spring is shaping up in Central Texas–a little slow, but coming along.  I live in Waco, Texas and I am a wild flower freak.  Here is a photo to cheer you up–taken April 17th, on Rattler Hill Road–one of my favorite places to go “wildflowering”.  By the way, there are no Bluebonnets in the photo.”

Jess PhotoPhoto by my friend Kathy from Alexander, ND
“This was taken one of the first days of spring, 2013, in Tarpon Springs, Florida at a HS classmate and his wife’s home… the greenery did my eyes wonder…it made me long for our Dakota spring green…I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll see it this year or if 2013 is going to skip spring, summer and fall and head right back into old man winter!”

CalliPhoto by my friend Calli from a ranch outside Watford City, ND
“I wish these weren’t my “spring” photos, but they are 😦 Ha!  This photo is of Ty sitting in her lawn chair waiting for spring to come” 

Naples, FLPhoto by Kathie in Naples, FL
“The view from our lanai in Naples, FL”

spring 2013 028Photo of Blue the Dog by Jody in Breckenridge, MN

Texas SweetheartsPhoto of my cousin’s beautiful daughter by my aunt Judi in Texas
“Texas Sweethearts Spring 2013”

BettyPhoto by Betty in Black Hawk, SD
“I’m afraid we are in the same boat Jessie!!!  Last week it was two feet of the white stuff.  This week not so much, but as I look out my window, there are a few flakes playing tag with each other in their rush to the earth!!  We welcome each and every one because we need the moisture.  How I’ll welcome the sunshine when it chooses to show it’s warm face.  The hyacinths, and tulips will rejoice with me and we will celebrate Spring along with you as western Dakota becomes green again.”

RosesPhoto by Lynda in California
“Despite the cold, despite the sadness, despite everything going on; the roses come up each spring and has me amazed and filled with joy every single time!!!”

Photo by Melanie from Fargo, ND
“Crocuses in my mom’s yard in Fargo. A little color beside the snow”

Photo by Lynda in Tarves, Aberdeenshire, N E Scotland
“Beautiful crocus flowers opening their buds towards the Spring sunshine in Tarves, Aberdeenshire, N E Scotland. Spring very late this year but Mrs Blackbird sitting comfortably on her nest today and buds on trees now appearing! Onwards!”

Photo by my friend Megan up the road!
Don’t be confused… This is from Monday, not Christmas! 😉
“Thought I would share my 2 favorite things to photograph all year around… My barn and my boys… Which I’m guessing were both hoping the sun would come out and the white stuff would quit falling!
Happy “SPRING HAS SPRUNG” from up the road a couple miles.”

Photo by Barb in northern Oregon
“In northern Oregon Spring has sprung. The Western Meadowlarks provide the dawn to dusk soundtrack for this photo. Seems like all of the birds are in pairs: the geese, the Scrub Jays, the White-crowned sparrows. The Song sparrows are pulling bark off of the ninebark and I wonder if the poor bush will be stripped before the nest is complete. And then there are the wild flowers. When the lupine blooms amid the arrowroot, cold temps and cloudy days aside, there’s no denying spring.”

Photo by Harriet in the Faroe Islands @ www.olafsdottir.wordpress.com
“Here in The Faroe Islands we sure get happy when the sky’s blue and the sun is out 🙂 Although today is rainy, I took this photo the other day where spring really showed it’s sunny side :)”

Photo by my cousin Shanna in snowy Fargo, ND @ www.franzenfive.wordpress.com
“Yet ANOTHER snowy day and not so much fun to play outside yet! So my Munchkins expressed their feelings about our “Fargo spring” through some artwork on our patio door with their window markers today. On the left it says “Spring is NOT in the air”, there is a snowman at the beach, a sad-faced sun, and an angry orange monster at the bottom who “ate up all the snow and punched winter in the face” (his words, not mine).”

Photo by my cousin Seth (Shanna’s brother) in Washington, DC.
Here he is trying to make us jealous…
“Two of the highlights of living in our nation’s capital: The monuments and spring cherry blossoms! Oh, and temps in the 70s ;)”

Photo by Kaye from Grand Junction, CO
“On the left: my tulips on Saturday. On the right: my tulips today. Springtime in the Rockies, what are you gonna do…Usually our spring is warm, windy and drier than we’d like. This year, cool, windy, some wet.”

Photo by Ed in Glen Ullin, ND
“Robins in a sea of white.”

Photo by Rachel in Brueau, ID
“Our Spring is looking windy and dry, we’re still feeding hay.”

Photo by Linda in California @ www.ANatureMom.com
“Here’s a little bit of California to brighten your day! Due to drought-like conditions this winter, spring arrived early for us. The upshot is that there are beautiful wildflowers blooming everywhere!”

Thanks again for your submissions. You made my spring a little warmer and brighter!

Our feet are planted

Earth Day.

That’s what it is today.

And I feel there’s so much to be said about it as I sit here in this house plunking out words surrounded by this open space, this landscape that cradles me, hills that gently roll, creeks that babble and trees that reach up to the sky and dig their roots in the gumbo soil.

The fog has settled in, the rain is misting on my window, the last snow drifts are hanging on for dear life and I feel like telling you something about what a day like today means to me. Me, a woman who leaves footprints in the mud, catches dust in her hair and steps out for kisses from the wind. A woman who recognizes the smell of each season rolling in and celebrates it with a walk, a listen, a photo, a good deep breath.

A woman who was raised in a place that depends on the sun, the rain, the snow, the wind to nourish the earth to feed the animals to feed our bodies…our souls.

I want to tell you how I came from the greatest stewards of the earth, people who have sacrificed and worked long hours through winter nights and hot sunshine to plant, to water, to feed, to fix, to take good care of this acreage that has been in the family for nearly 100 years. I want to tell you that nothing was more important to them than the land. Nothing had more of an effect on the lives that they led and nothing was more important for the generations to come.

Because long before Earth Day was established, my relatives were establishing their lives here and instilling in their children how to care for their world, how to encourage it to thrive, how to take from it and how to give back.

And I want to thank them for holding on so tight, for their children, for their children’s children…

for mine.

But most of all I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to hold this dirt in my hands, to frolic in it, to spread my wings and dig my roots in deep. I want to thank them for passing on something to believe in so strongly that I would give any material thing to belong here and work hard to make plans for it to remain in tact–the most fundamentally miraculous gift.

Yes, today the calendar says Earth Day and the people on our the planet are asked to take pause…

But out here our feet have always been planted like trees with our branches exposed standing in the face of the storms that pass, the ground that shifts and the soil that dries up, freezes, thaws and floods…

so we dig our roots deeper, reach up closer to the sun, pray harder, take good care…

and celebrate every day.