Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

Wink Ranch, May 2018


“All that is wild is winged—life, mind, and language…”

Jay Griffiths, Wild: An Elemental Journey

“It’s wild to be surrounded by wildlife and hear the birds all the time,” Luke said. I took the video above our first morning on the ranch. (Turn up the volume for birdsong.)

At last, I share our beautiful time on the ranch in May. Wyatt and Luke arrived the week before to prepare for branding. Long gone the days of strapping kids into carseats, listening to endless books-on-CD, and tossing goldfish over my shoulder while driving, hoping come might land close enough for somebody to catch. Noé, Wynn, and I rolled into the lane that evening, 14 hours after leaving Santa Fe.

Dad, Mom, Wyatt, and Luke waved from the front patio.


My heart…

Luke on south porch. I can’t even imagine how many books he’s read on the ranch through the years.

Dad prepares for branding.


Grandma Grace’s lilacs.


Beautiful Josie.

Bird-lined branches.

Photo on the fridge. This was Wynn’s ranch wear for years. Tutu, Wranglers, pixie haircut and pink cowgirl boots – yes, yes, and YES.

Cheyenne River breaks.


Feeding baby calves – 20 years of photos of the kids doing this.


My branding braids by Wynn.

Mom wears her branding shirt, “Does this saddle make me look fat?”

Bringing in the herd.

Wynn at the dam.


Cousins! Cuzzin Missy, Mom, Cuzzie Jessie. Mom and Cuzzin Jessie grew up here together.

Our incredible Cuzzin Missy.

I learned how to castrate this year. I’ll just leave that right there…

With dear Josie before we left.

Our time on the ranch was far too brief, which increased the poignancy and power.

There is something about multiple generations coming together on a ranch of deep roots, many chapters, and the creation of deep love that goes straight to one’s heart. It is an experience of beauty.





Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

34 thoughts on “Wink Ranch, May 2018

  1. Pingback: Mustangs and Music—The Wild Mustangs of San Luis Valley | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Your pictures are so beautiful! Looks like an amazing place

  3. It’s called the return,
    to the ranch,
    to the family,
    to the river,
    to the bank,
    to the home,
    to the shore,
    to the mountain,
    to the wide open view,
    with a slew,
    of before,
    from that shore,
    of the comfortable knit
    of family who fit,
    firm, soft and smoothly together,
    like well worn leather.

    And it leaves you to yearn,
    for the pull,
    for the tug,
    for the fit,
    for the grit,
    for the languishing burn,
    of return,
    to that place,
    of belonging and grace.

    Ever I am thankful Dawn for your most beautiful weavings of family and place, constructions and art, fabric of your lives in the warp and weft of the Winks, as timeless as the land itself and arcing always with such allure, like the rolling hills, for next time, always there will be that next time.

    May summer’s monsoon thunderheads dash and crash down to you all the water of life and wash the needed seasonings for the long months of the in between, until you all return.

    I remind you Dawn that your words and art nourish the soul, and I give thanks, Tanja

    • Dearest Tanja,

      The tapestry of poetry, words, image, and love that you create never cease to leave me in awe…just absorbing the world you create through the magic of your vision and spirit.

      I copied this into my journal, to join the others that you’re written and gifted me. Please know how much I treasure your poetry, the lens through which you experience all, and your beauty-filled way of walking through the world. You never cease to inspire me.

      With deepest gratitude,

  4. What great pictures! Love to all, Pete and Delight

    Sent from Outlook


  5. I loved this! The endless sky, the grasslands, scenes of Ranch life. Visiting our daughter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, right now. I love this too, but I long for the open sky and sweeping vistas.
    Judy Litsey
    Boulder, Colorado

  6. Greetings from Guatemala. Awesome family!

  7. Dawn…what a fairytale ranch. You are all very blessed to have such rich experiences that I see here. I just love the photos, such grace, love, and joy. Beautiful picture of Wynn by the water. Looks like maybe Luke has a girlfriend in the lovely picture of her in “my heart.” Alan says that is you but looks to me like a lovely woman Luke’s age. Inquiring minds want to know. Sending lots of love from Cascabel. xo

    • Annie, I’m so glad you wrote! I love that you can visualize both ranches – Cascabel and in South Dakota. The ranch is so green this year due to so much spring moisture. I love that photo of Wynn, as well. Well, Alan is right about who is next to Luke. That’s me and you absolutely made my day! I really look forward to coming to visit you in Cascabel sometime. I love when you share photos of your beautiful space and place. What a haven you’ve created in our beloved Cascabel. Sending much love from Santa Fe. xo

  8. gorgeous and touching…………

  9. Thank you for again showing the beauty of your folk’s ranch. I alway love these posts! Hope you got rest and relaxation. And castrating…well done!

    • Carmen – so wonderful to hear from you! I LOVE all of your photos of your own land, family, and horses. They always make my heart smile. I’m so glad you enjoyed these. Miss you and sending you great thoughts. Your writing seems to be flowing and those grandkids and horses are too lovely! Please keep sharing!

  10. Such a beautiful post. The sweet picture of Josie’s face made me cry, and I set it as my desktop background. Might not be such a good idea. I’ll probably cry every time I open my computer. Anyway, thank you for sharing.

    • Bev, oh, I’m so glad you love that photo of Josie as much as I do. I feel the same way. And her personality is just as lovely. So glad she’ll be on your computer, even if there are a few tears involved. Thanks so much for writing to connect.

  11. What beautiful pictures Dawn! It looks like a simple, happy life but it probably didn’t get that way until now. Years and years of hard work and devotion. Feeding the calves was a favorite job for me as a kid. I remember as the calf grew, so did the demand and many times, he would knock me over wanting more milk…. The home on the range is quite breathe taking. Good to hear from you again.

    • Annette, so lovely to hear from you! Thanks so much for connecting. I love knowing that feeding the calves was your favorite job as a kid — including the wanting to knock you over as they grew, a universal hungry calf habit! Thanks so much for connecting. I hope this finds you well.

  12. Thanks for sharing. Does the heart good to see the land so green. The Lord does provide. Look forward to your posts. Howard

    • Howard, we just keep staring at how green all is, as well. It’s been years and years. Such wonderful moisture this spring and summer. Thanks so much for connecting. Gratitude, Dawn

  13. Pingback: News Bits and Links – CowboyPoetry.com

  14. Serenity and smiles – something we all need for sanity!

  15. Had to read this all twice. It was so full of beauty and love. How lucky your children are to have grown up with these experiences. So rooted in a place no matter where life takes them! I’m jealous ❤️

    • Judi, oh, thanks ever so much for taking the time to connect. Here’s to roots and wings. I adore your Black Madonna Honey that hangs in our living room. Brings joy to every day!

  16. That tutu on a much younger Wynn, and your mom’s tee-shirt! Best. But really, seeing you all together, and knowing how much love and laughter flowed around that table, over the landscape, and between you and every being out there… Such a joy!

    • Querida Susan, I completely agree on Wynn’s tutu and Mom’s t-shirt! It really was a wonderful, powerful, poignant time. Over too soon, so savored every second of our time together. Speaking of which, so happy we’ll get to see you soon! Much love, Dawn

  17. Thanks for sharing your visit and family Dawn. It is always so good to see you all and I loved hearing all the birds in the video, so alive!!

    • Dear Rachel, thanks so much for writing to connect. I think of you daily – every time I see the beautiful “Work that is real” piece that you made and on the patio right outside the window in my writing room. Isn’t that birdsong just gorgeous? Yes, alive! Love and hugs, Dawn

  18. Dear Dawn, I’ve missed you and Dewdrops so much, good to see you back! The ranch looks green and beautiful. How wonderful to have such close knit family and there is so much bonding through hard work. Mom’s T-Shirt is priceless. Much love and big hugs, Dan

    • Dear Dan, so wonderful to hear from you. I’ve missed you and our Dewdrops community, as well! Doesn’t the ranch look amazing? They had so much moisture this spring and summer. Incredible. Yes, isn’t Mom’s shirt fabulous? 🙂 Much love and big hugs to you, Dawn

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