Posts Tagged ‘rocks’

It is spring!

The snows have turned to rain and the grass has started to grow.  We’re getting ready for branding (when the last of the girls finally decide to have their babies) and I’ve been working in the garden – even though I still have to wear my coveralls to do it. 

Last spring I started something that I didn’t have time to finish so it must continue this spring.  It’s what I do…

I pick rocks.

I love rocks and heaven knows we have plenty of them.  And since they are abundant and ‘free for the picking’ I can pick as many as I want.  So almost every evening after work, I pull off the driveway and get a small load of big rocks.

And what do I do with all these rocks?  You ask.

Enquiring minds want to know! 

I build flower and planting beds like this. 

This is the herb garden.  There are 4 planting beds that roughly form a rectangle.  The closest bed is finished and soon the perennials will return and the newly seeded herbs will begin to sprout.  The bed in the center of the photo is enclosed with rocks and ready to be filled with good, black soil.  Hubby will bring a couple of back hoe buckets full of soil from the spot where the old sheep shed stood about 20 years ago.   This is extremely well-rotted manure that the plants love – unfortunately the weeds do too so there is usually quite a bit of weeding to do the first year.

This is the last section of the herb garden.  The black spot in the middle of it is where the cook had his fire for the wedding meal.  It will soon disappear under a load of dirt. 

I’m still hauling rocks for a new strawberry bed but I was glad to finish up the herb garden.

We’ve got a wide selection of rocks at the ranch.  I look mainly for rocks that are large enough to stay put when you stack them but still small enough that I can lift them without hurting myself.  And you should see my biceps – by the time I got done last spring it felt like someone had installed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms on my body – they just didn’t fit the same. 

I’ve also discovered that when you pick rocks for a hobby no one messes with you.

We have some beautiful rocks.  I especially love the ones with moss or lichens growing on them.  Believe it or not the lichens on this one are actually that color.  They almost look fluorescent when the setting sun hits them.

We’ve got big ones with trees growing out of them.

And really big ones that I can’t get into the pickup because they are roughly the size of the pickup.

Around here this type of rock is known as ‘Lerverite’ – because you ‘leave-her-right’ where you found her.  Not even Hubby’s Tonka Toys can budge it.  I actually think it’s holding up the mountain beside it.

There are also some rocks that have interesting patterns. 

You just never know what you will find when your out picking rocks or the views you’ll see.


Even though its heavy work I really enjoy it.  It’s a great way to take out frustrations after a rough day of work and the garden beds look great.

And just check out these cute little doors and windows we found at our Hobby Lobby craft store – they are supposed to be mounted on nails driven into trees but I used Liquid Nails (a really good construction type glue) and glued them onto a couple of rocks.  Just too cute!

When the neighbor kids found them and wanted me to open the tiny door I told them I couldn’t because when the fairies are home their magic seals the doors and windows  shut so humans can’t disturb their sleep and that’s the way you know if you have fairies in your garden – along with their footprints in the foxglove flowers, of course.  Everyone knows fairies love foxglove.

Every garden should have a touch of magic and a bit of mystery – don’t you think?

I only have a short ‘window’ of time from the time the snow and ice melts and the time when it warms up enough for the rattlesnakes to come out of hibernation.  On nice days I’ll kick a rock first before I reach down to pick it up and once the rocks start ‘buzzing’ I call it quits until next year – flower beds are nice but they’re not worth getting bit over.

Happy Spring!!!

Read Full Post »

It’s been very cold, windy and just plain nasty for the last couple days and I’m afraid I’m getting a little tired of winter.  That’s a bad thing as we still have at least 3 months of it left.  But to make me feel better I’ve decided to show you some foggy pictures I took last November.

We have had a lot of fog in the last year.  This is a good sign.  For the last 8 years we have been in the middle of a drought so any sign of moisture is welcomed and besides – I love fog. 

November 14th we woke up to this funky band of fog to the east of our house and the sun rise lit it up beautifully.

My husband calls this little hill in the center of our place ‘the saddle’ because it kind of looks like a saddle laid out flat.  You can see the fog behind the saddle with the tops of the distant mountains peeking out over the top.  

The saddle is a great place to pick rocks in the early spring (before the rattle snakes get active) and you can get quite a view of the place from on top.  I even drive the pickup up the back side and gather rocks from the top for the flower beds. 

I like to haul rocks – I know it’s weird but it’s what I do and for some reason God put a lot of rocks here for us. 

Maybe so I could build flower beds!

And if the legends are right – in this country, a person could get rich picking rocks…

In 1878 the stage route went by here – just on the other side of Elk Mountain.  On September 26, 1878 the stage was headed to Cheyenne, WY – transporting roughly $27,000 in gold bullion, some cash and a few diamonds and jewelry when it was robbed.  Within a few weeks the law had rounded up the robbers and all but $11,200 of the stolen gold.  

And as far as we know, that has never found. 

Now remember, that’s 650 ounces of gold still missing figured when gold was valued at only $17.25 / ounce. 

Let’s just say it’s worth a little more now. 

 Supposedly, the robbers had hidden the gold under a rock somewhere on Elk Mountain.  Elk Mountain is huge, it runs for about 25 miles North and South along the SD/WY border – just behind our house – now isn’t that handy?  The story goes that the robbers never told anyone where they hid the last of the gold because they planned on returning to get it once they got out of prison.  Unfortunately, while they were behind bars, a forest fire swept through the area and burnt off the mountain – destroying the ‘marker trees’ that would have helped them find their stash. 

It would be pretty exciting to flip over a rock and see the sparkle of gold – wouldn’t it?  I’ll be sure to let you know if I find it.

Here’s some of our cattle with the fog hovering just over their heads.  Notice the little calf in the stack yard.  A stack yard is a fenced in area built to stack hay in.  Hopefully it keeps the cattle, deer, elk and every other critter out till you feed the last bale of hay.  There wasn’t much hay in this stack yard when I took this picture but somehow the calf had gotten through the fence and was standing there bawling for Mom. 

Don’t worry, we did get him out and reunited with his mommy shortly after.

Foggy mornings are my favorite.  They always bring the promise of moisture. 

There’s a saying that 90 days after fog you will get moisture of some kind.

I just hope it’s rain and not more snow.  At this rate by mid February I’ll be up to my eye balls in the white stuff.

Happy New Year!

Read Full Post »