7.000 x 5.000 inches
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Sheep Herder's Wagon From Snowy Range Life
Relief - Bronze
This is an individual relief from Snowy Range Life. It is available Unmounted, Mounted, or Mounted and Framed. For more information, please click the Contact button. SHEEP HERDERíS WAGON: In my extensive travels driving the long and remote highways of Wyoming, I have sometimes seen a sheep herder's wagon in the distance, as it rumbles across the prairie along with the bleating flock, or perches atop a knoll to catch the breeze, abandoned while the shepherd rides herd with the dogs. The sheep roam vast stretches of sagebrush steppe, and in high summer climb the mountain slopes to forage in the meadows.
Sometimes I have been lucky enough to listen in on the tales of the sheep herder, who when encountered on a rare trip to town, makes up for months of loneliness by talking for hours to anyone he can find willing to listen. The old sheep herder tells of his nights spent rifle in hand, ready for the coyote pack or the mountain lion. He squints his distrust of the eagle, but the rattlesnake he does not fear. "You leave them alone, they'll leave you alone." He moves from sheep ranch to sheep ranch through Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, looking for work.
I based this bronze relief plaque on sketches I made of sheep wagons and the striped bluffs of northern Wyoming, plus an old photograph I found in a museum. The photo surprised me, because the shepherd pictured was a young woman. I should not have been surprised, for in Wyoming women have always had to do work more often associated with men, and from childhood I myself learned to take care of livestock hauling feed, pitching hay and chopping ice/ split wood and tend the stove; and keep myself safe in remote and rugged country whether afoot or horseback.
July 1st, 2010
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