Visiting Baby

☆ June 29, 2011

erv and girls

I went to visit Sir Baby. He’s with the cows and the other bulls on their spring pasture. It’s gorgeous.

road in

This is the road going in. Mike calls this a road. I call it a truck trail.
It only goes so far, then it’s time to travel a’foot.

This pasture is a couple thousand acres, which we lease from another rancher.
It’s all natural rangeland, untouched by human cultivation methods, no chemical fertilizers, no genetically modified seeds. Just wild Wyoming grass.


Hidden Edens, each more beautiful than the last, lay thick with grass, trees sheltering the creek.

taking a sip

The creek meanders through the land, roiled brown from mountain snowmelt.
This is where they drink!

Another of those ‘I’m-not-from-Wyoming’ bits: I say “creek” and everyone else says “crik.” I once asked Mike how to spell “crik” and he looked at me like you’re not that dumb and said “C-R-E-E-K.” Okaaaay, then.

far as the eye can see

The cows roam free. Here, there’s no sign of human interference ~ no road noise, no telephone poles, no buildings for as far as the eye can see, in all directions.

I wasn’t sure if I would even see Baby ~ 2000 acres is a lot of land to canvass. But I spotted him easily from afar; it’s not hard to distinguish a bull from a cow even at a distance thanks to the way they posture this time of year, sniffing the air for love.


I saw a hint of pink in his ear and knew it was Baby. He was with a group of cows across the creek, obviously courting one of them. He’s the one on the left.


She likes him!


54 Responses to “Visiting Baby”

  1. Rhonda
    June 29th, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    Thank you for sharing! So beautiful!

  2. Eija
    June 29th, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    You are having a dream of a life….all the things you do, see, experience, write about….all the animals around you, the nature, the “farmily” and all the work needed (you don’t seem to mind) to take care of all that and then more!!!!
    I am heading to my “recharge-place”: lakeside summer place in Finland….aaahh, the ‘sound of silence’, the sauna, freshly digged new potatoes with herring and dill, the forest berries….
    Let’s cherish ‘la vita bella’

  3. Marg
    June 29th, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    I think she’s telling him to ignore that blond, we look better together, lol.

  4. Milaka
    June 29th, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    I like him, too!

    Those photos make me want to breathe deeply and stretch out in the sun. What a beautiful country we live in!

  5. Jenny C
    June 29th, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    Emphasis on “Sir” now – look how that boy has grown!

    Did he recognize and come to you?

    Breathtaking scenes of pristine land.

  6. Eileen
    June 29th, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    Just breathtaking. Thanks for this bright spot in my day.

  7. Leisa
    June 29th, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    It looks and sounds like paradise.

  8. I Hermit
    June 29th, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    Pictures like these and the good farmily, you remember why leaving SF and NYC was a good idea. Why I left Chicago for Maine. The real country, may we all experience it!

    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    Stepping out your back door and looking up at a black sky with millions of bright stars . . this is your privilege in Wyoming, and mine in the Sonoran desert. An awful lot of people see nothing but concrete every single day. We are the lucky ones.

  10. Nathalie
    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    Yes Leisel. 2000 raw, unpeopled, uncultivated acres without concrete. I’m in lust.

  11. bekka
    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    yes the pics are gorgous, i cant wait to fund my dream land excape, just a few more years. and shreve it sounds dumb creek and well creek (crik) but im told it shows where you’re from. city or country…same as coyote..or coyote(ky-o-t),

  12. Janet in Cambridge
    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of invasive plants and weeds taking hold in the western states and crowding out native species. Every state is dealing with it. Sorry to harsh your mellow, but that’s the way it is…

  13. Robin
    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    geez Janet unfortunatley you see the glass half empty…..

  14. Dana
    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    Love the creek/crik comment. I was born and raised in PA, outside of Pittsburgh and transplanted to GA. I get comments often about my accent and way of speaking.

  15. Bruce
    June 29th, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    GO SB!

  16. shreve
    June 29th, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Eija ~ That sounds like heaven!

    Marg ~ HA!

    Jenny ~ Yah! I called out “BABYYY” and he was momentarily distracted from his girl. Then a SECOND cow came over and, well, he did what any guy would do in that situation.

    Janet ~ You’re making blanket statements about a tract of land you’ve never seen? Okaaay, then.

  17. Colleen G
    June 29th, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Those pictures make go “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” and hate my cubicle job all the more! I say creek too but most of my native friends say crik. Sir Baby is quite the handsome bull so it’s only natural that he has babes surrounding him. xo to the farmily!

  18. Theresa Szpila
    June 29th, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    Thanks, Shreve, for the mini-vacation. Did my heart a world of good – and I’ll bet my blood pressure dropped a few notches, too! Oh, I wish I could be “there,” or somewhere like it.

    Loved the “crik” spelling story.

    Loved seeing Sir Baby with his girl.

    Life is good!

  19. Mikey
    June 29th, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Lol, I still say crik. My honey laughs at me every time. I live in AZ now, but I picked it up in MT and can’t seem to lose it.
    Love Sir Baby. I got kisses this morning from my favorite bull :)
    Beautiful country, bet that’s heaven for those cows.

  20. kay
    June 29th, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Aaargh – your lovely posts about the gorgeous land and animals and life you’re experiencing is really wreaking havoc with my decision to move to the city to be near my sister!

    Love the post and the appreciation of the good things in life you so often share.

  21. Marlene
    June 29th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    what a beautiful world we live in..!

    Marlene from Cambria

  22. hello haha narf
    June 29th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    i’m here in pittsburgh, pa and tend to say both crik and creek. mostly it depends on the specific body of water i am referring to. chartiers crik is definitely a crik, but i might go down to the creek. sigh.

    ANYhow, i love that you share these special places and animals with us. while i can’t imagine ever being blessed enough to experience such a pristine location myself, somehow i don’t feel quite as sad about that fact since you capture it so perfectly for me with your words and pictures. guess i am trying to say thank you!

  23. Evan
    June 29th, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    That area is beautiful. I am going to be traveling in that area in the fall, are there public hiking trails or BLM to see that kind of scenery?

  24. pam
    June 29th, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    once again,,,, need I say more? You have made me grin from ear to ear and wish i were there! I’m tired of complimenting your pictures and stories. :-) You’re simply the BEST, Shreve!!!!!!

  25. Ingrid
    June 29th, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    Is it fenced? My mind is boggling at the idea of how one finds a herd of cows in 2,000 acres when it’s time to uh, get them. I can’t even find my 2 cats in my own backyard sometimes!

  26. mlaiuppa
    June 29th, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Is she blowing in his ear?

    Giving him smoochies?

    He is a handsome devil.

    How close did you get? Did he recognize you? Does he come when you call?

  27. wright1
    June 29th, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing; glad to see that SB is doing well. The photos remind me of the Ca. Sierra high country, where my sister and I spent our summers backpacking… My nephew will be taking his first back-country trip there in a month or so.

  28. shreve
    June 29th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    Evan ~ yes, there is lots of gorgeous public land, you can get a map from the BLM offices. But you MUST be sure you know how to read it properly and know where you are at all times. Trespassing is not tolerated around here, especially in the fall with hunting season starting!

    The Nature Conservancy owns a ton of land here, too – I don’t know their policy for day hikes but maybe? The land they control is stunning.

  29. Lynn
    June 29th, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    The photos are incredible. The life you lead is extraordinary. It wonderful to know how much you appreciate it. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Patr
    June 29th, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    He is so handsome – and the scenery makes me want to come back as one of yours or Mike’s cows in my next life.

  31. Donna
    June 29th, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    Loved the cow kiss at the end:)

  32. Karen
    June 29th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    It’s such a joy to see youn’uns you’ve nurtured grow into their own, isn’t it? Back in summer of ’03 my dad took in a tiny, lost or (more probably) abandoned, starving kitten. It was such a joy to watch him grow into a fat, sassy, happy cat who rules the household absolutely. Dad is gone now, but Rocky reminds me of him everyday when he trills (some cats meow, Rocky trills) for his meals.

  33. Claire
    June 29th, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    Beautiful pics you posted of WY. I live in AZ and WY is my second favorite state. A few years ago my adult daughters and I visited the state for 10 days. Drove all through it because I felt they needed to really see this country. They both loved it.
    Baby is so handsome. He looks like a rock star. Loved the “how do you spell crik?”

  34. TT in MD
    June 29th, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    awww, what a cute picture of Baby and his new friend!

    I have trouble with that “crik” and creek thing as well – we call it creek where I’m from in AR, but a friend of mine from Ohio – it’s a crik – there in Ohio, at least, it’s based on size – I seem to recall it becoming a creek and then a river as it got bigger – I’m sure I’m remembering that all wrong ’cause it just doesn’t make sense…. :)

    as to the pristine land there – wow – looks like something I need for building a place to live – have lots of trouble with chemicals so new construction, renovated homes, pesticide use, etc. all rule a house out for me…. looks so healthy and refreshing!

  35. Lizzie L
    June 29th, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    aww, that last picture gave me such a big smile!!

    Does Sir Baby come up to you and recognize you?

  36. Jenn
    June 30th, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    Love the bit about the “crik” LOL

    It’s adorable Sir Baby has a lady friend. So cute!


  37. V
    June 30th, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    It’s funny, because the “crik” thing confuses me. I’ve actually just moved to TN, and my boyfriend, who was originally from PA, told me he wanted to pick up some “crik shoes” for a canoe trip we plan on taking. I had no idea what he was talking about. He kept saying “crik shoes” and after a few minutes I realized he meant “CREEK shoes”, as in, shoes you don’t mind getting wet in the creek or river. Go figure!

  38. Deanna
    June 30th, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    I have to watch the use of creek and crick. Around my dad I say creek (CO) and around my husband I say crick (MI). My father-in-law in Michigan actually calls it Battle Crick! Of course I invariably pick the the wrong one, or is that peek the wrong one?

  39. Deanna
    June 30th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Sorry, I know that was a groaner.

  40. Pat D.
    June 30th, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    I grew up in California and heard both “creek” and “crick”– I always liked “crick”, it sounds so Western!

  41. Sherri
    June 30th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    LOL, I chocked on my water at the “crik” versus “creek”. It brought back a long ago memory of traveling through Montana and Wyoming. I hadn’t thought of it for years…..Thanks for resurrecting the memory of a wonderful trip.

  42. Sherryl Simonsen
    June 30th, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Well, I feel really behind times, but I just finished “The Daily Coyote” and absolutely loved it. I was in a bookstore a few days ago and just happened to see it on a table. I’d never heard of Shreve or Charlie. I was so taken in, Shreve. You are a beautiful writer, not afraid to express your real emotions. Thank you for such a wonderful read!


  43. Cindy
    June 30th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    More about “crick.” There are other things to know. For instance, if you say crick, you probably also have a grodge instead of a garage. And if you’re going to go there, you’re going outen th’ grodge.

  44. Jenny C
    June 30th, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    That was a fun read, Cindy! :)

    Lived down South for 1 year, and I’d giggle every time I’d hear someone say, “Billy Bob is g’on to carry me on over t’ the Piggly Wiggly.”
    All the men were Jimmy John, Bobby Joe, etc., and the women were Elizabeth Margaret, Caroline Elaine, Geraldine Maude, etc. Culture shock for this Colorado rube.

    …But I digress. It makes my heart sing to see those happy, healthy animals in such a delightful setting. Sir Baby is GORGEOUS!

  45. Janet in NYC
    June 30th, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    I wish I could visit Sir Baby and friends in their exquisite pastureland. This is truly heaven on Earth.

  46. Janet H.
    June 30th, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    Wonderful photos, as usual. Sir Baby looks like he is having a great time and that cow is obviously whispering sweet nothings in his ear!
    I’m from Indiana originally and there the creek-crik decision seemed to depend on whether you were from rural parts or the city.

  47. Hibryd
    June 30th, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    I’m not sure if you’re ever going to cover what happens to Mike’s cows in the end. I’m guessing not much beef is raised like this in the country any more, and I hope free-range grass-fed humanely-raised cattle command a premium price.

  48. taffy
    June 30th, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    Oh yes! The crik v.s. creek thang! Well where i grew up in Spokane, Wa. it was always a crik when you were walking in it or viewing it, crossing it or playing in it, but if you called it by its name it was a Creek as in Little Bear Creek or Tilly Creek. So here in the Seattle area, i get the eye when i say, “Let’s go up the crik.” or “Look at that pretty crik”. So glad to know it is not just me!
    And what a magic land those cows get to live in…also what a gentleman Sir Baby is!

  49. Eija
    July 1st, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    Having been surrounded by various accents (NYC) and dialects (Finland and Italy) for most of my life I find it fascinating that this subtle variation in pronunciation of ‘creek’ is causing such a stir!
    What would you ‘heartlanders’ say about this greeting (as per a popular Italian joke): “Piss’ be with you”?
    In course of this language related discussion what do you think of the grammatical error in my previous message: ‘freshly digged potatoes’ should be ‘fresly dug potatoes’? By the most weird coincidence I realized the error while looking at the restaurant menu at the very same night.
    I just love the English language!

  50. angie
    July 3rd, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!

  51. Jenn
    July 4th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    Gorgeous pictures, thanks for posting.

  52. Evan
    July 4th, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    Shreve, thanks for the info. I will check out the BLM and Nature Conservancy sites before I head out that way. Have a wonderful adventure this summer!

  53. Kira
    July 24th, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    I loved the photos. I also have a crik/creek story, but the comments above seem to say that there really isn’t any specific region that the people say “crik”. I grew up in Northern Indiana and moved to Southwest Michigan, and I never heard “crik” until I met my stepdad, who grew up in Vassar, Michigan (near Saginaw, or the thumb). However, the people in the Upper Peninsula don’t say it, nor the people of the Detroit area (though they do say “pin” for pen unlike southwestern Michigan).. I thought it might just be a rural thing, but who knows.. it almost seems like pop and soda, but not quite..Sorry to ramble so, it’s just kinda interesting..

  54. Melissa
    June 30th, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    I’m originally from Pittsburgh, and we say “crick,” too. For linguistic geeks it’s known as the /i/~/ɪ/ merger.

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