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This week, I went home to Missouri to visit my family. Can I just say – the whole state is b-e-a-utiful right now? Here’s a quick tour of scenic photos from my trip.

Macon, MissouriDSCN7499

Stover, MissouriDSCN7513

Union Covered Bridge, Monroe County, MissouriDSCN7599

Audrain County, MissouriDSCN7546

Monroe County, MissouriDSCN7501

Missouri River, near McBaine, Missouri DSCN7640

Missouri River Bottoms farmland, near McBaine, Missouri DSCN7646

All of Missouri was just so beautiful! In addition to pretty trees (which we lack in SD), the cattle in Missouri are also looking great during this time of year. The grass is still green and the tress make an excellent backdrop for cattle photos. Most people don’t realize this, but Missouri has more cattle than almost every state in the US. Depending on the year, Missouri is generally ranked as the #2 or #3 state for “most cows.”

Because of the milder weather in Missouri, some people choose to have their cows calve in the fall. This means there were lots of cute baby calves around home, here is one of my Dad’s calves. (My Dad says we should never call an animal cute or it instantly loses $50, sorry Dad, this little guy is cute!)DSCN7728

Calves that are born in the fall will nurse their moms throughout the winter and be weaned in the spring. In South Dakota, the winters are too tough for a cow to keep her own body weight up and nurse a calf. So, in South Dakota ranchers calve in the early spring and wean at the end of summer.

These white cattle are a breed named Charolais. These calves were also born early this fall.DSCN7543 In addition to her five girls, these Charolais cows have been my mother’s life work. It takes years and years to build a cow herd – slowly breeding for qualities that are profitable, productive and appealing.

When she graduated from college, her goal was to have 100 cows, 100 sows and 5 kids. She met her goal on two out of three counts, she doesn’t have 100 sows (pigs). However, my sisters do have a couple show pigs for the county fair. Close ’nuff!

Cows are pregnant for nine months before they have a calf. The Charolais cows need to be bred in the middle of November in order to start calving nine months later in mid-August of 2014. On Tuesday, while I was home we “worked” the cows in order to prepare for next week when they will be bred or, to use the technical term, artificially inseminated.

Artificial insemination allows producers, like my mother, to purchase high-quality genetics (semen) from some of the best herds in the US without having to personally own the bull. AIing takes quite a bit of labor and facilities, so less than 15% of US producers AI their cows. AIing isn’t feasible or practical for every herd, but has definitely worked for her herd. DSCN7657We arrived at the farm a little before 7 am and finished at 12:30 pm – it rained on us the ENTIRE time! With damp feet, I found myself wishing I was back in South Dakota where the ground freezes and it snows. Instead, it was warm, raining, and muddy in Missouri. After several hours in the rain, I forgot about my recent joy in Missouri’s colorful fall tress. Even the cows looked annoyed. DSCN7670After each cow went through the chute, Mom yelled her ear tag number, which serves to identify one white cow from the next, to me.DSCN7655Bruce was tuckered out. I’m not sure why. He didn’t do much that day except sleep :) DSCN7656It was absolutely wonderful to go to Missouri and visit my family. I made it back to South Dakota on Thursday night. I was greeted by snow and 30 degree I suppose that is what I was wishing for when it was 50 degrees, raining, and muddy in Missouri on Tuesday!



  1. Caitlin @ The Siren's Tale

    Love these Farmin Friday photos! The leaves look gigantic out there. Just another reason to love the country :)

  2. Meredith

    Love this! You certainly pick the best week to see the trees. Glad you had a good visit and a safe return. It was GREAT to see you!

    • Sierra Shea

      It was so good to see you too! I can’t wait to start my Christmas Tree Skirt :)

  3. Laurel Wilson

    Is Bruce yours?

    • Sierra Shea

      I wish! He’s a cutie, but he belongs to my Mom and sisters. They just got him a few weeks ago!

      • Laurel Wilson

        He is a cutie–kind of like Kiah when she was asleep at that age. She is almost two now and getting civilized.

  4. Melissa Shepherd

    Maybe the cows weren’t necessarily annoyed by the rain….but by the fact that you were taking their picture. And that little puppy is the cutest thing I’ve seen, I’m sure he was completely worn out from all of the work that he watched you do. One last thing, as for loosin’ $50 bucks off the top for callin’ the calves cute…..ur daddy’s gonna just have to suck that up, because they are adorable! Oh, btw…you can keep that snow! Love the stories.

    • Sierra Shea

      True! The cows probably were annoyed. I had to take pictures of the cattle because all of the people were soaking wet & WOULD NOT have been interested in having their rainy-day hair posted on the blog :)

      Bruce is so cute! I miss him already!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!