The snow was falling at the rate of inches per hour.  We put chains on the tires.  We drove up a hillside to the barn.  Then we spent the next several hours milking cows.  I was in my late teens.  A friend was working on a farm.  He had twisted a knee.  He asked if I could help him with some of the chores.  When we came outside we looked at the lights across the valley below.  Twinkling from the thick white carpet.

I can’t say I enjoy driving in snow.  Or much at all about winter as I age.  Yet, I still recognize how pretty it can be to look at from a window or in pictures.  Beef Daily is featuring a series of award winning scenes from farm and ranch.  These capture the beauty of working with animals during harsh times.  It’s a reward for the often back-breaking work the lifestyle requires.  Click here to see the slideshow.  

When we came outside we looked at the lights across the valley below.  Twinkling from the thick white carpet.

I’ve driven a lot of farm and ranchlands from one end of the country to another.  Once, I got off a highway in Montana with a goal of photographing a town sharing my mother’s maiden name.  In the far distance I saw barns but no roads.  Proof of an old saying, “You can’t get there from here!”

There is a commonality in what I’ve viewed.  You get a vibe of family history.  It’s not quite the same in other businesses and industries.  There are echoes across the land and on a cold day my hearing always seems more acute.  When there’s a blanket of snow you’re suddenly aware of the quietest of sounds.  For years as a boy I walked past the same gas station going back and forth to school.  I never realized the sign near the pumps rocked in the wind and made a creaking sound until one night the street was empty after a major snowstorm.  The farm is like that.  You’re isolated year round.  Then one snowy evening you can stop and listen and for a moment find yourself closer to God’s creation.

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