I blog about Wyoming because I think it is worth writing about. The life style of Wyoming is strange to many. In fact, it’s not unusual for Americans to not even know where Wyoming is located, or they ask, “Do you still ride horses in Wyoming?”

Be sure, the 21st century has found us, but in many regards, life in Wyoming is unique. All through history, the culture of the inhabitants of an area has been influenced by the climate, and that simple fact is very evident here. Our climate is harsh and full of extremes, and I think our population reflects that. With only a little over half a million people in the entire state, we have the lowest population density of the lower 48.

We have tall mountains, dry deserts, relentless wind, and endless skies. We have slow rivers, white-water rivers, and more Pronghorn antelope than any other state. We have big ranches, coal mines, oil fields, small towns and a live and let live attitude.

And yes, some of us still ride horses.

But Wyoming isn’t immune to change. We can see it all around us. Even though our wildlife enjoy vast amounts of unpopulated acres, they are still affected by increased human pressure. Even though our population is low, many folks come here and then try and change the way Wyomingites live, work and enjoy life. Our natural resources are wanted, needed and used mostly by people who don’t live here, so the struggle to maintain a way of life continues.

I write about native plants not so much from some ideology, but simply because I am intrigued by them. I have no goals to save the earth by planting native plants. I guess I’m too practical for that. I like propagating and using native plants in the landscape because they are beautiful and supremely suited to the environment. I see no reason to fight the soil and climatic constraints when there are plants happy to grow in our native soils and climate.

My love for native plants began when I was very young. Way before I knew what an ecological island was, I experienced them. I grew up in the corn and soybean farmlands of the Midwest. As a young girl I would walk through the remnant pieces of hardwood forest near my home and be amazed at the Trillium, May Apples, Trout Lilly and Anemone.

As appreciative as I was of the Midwestern native species, I was astounded at the delicate beauty of Wyoming’s native plants because they thrive in such harsh and extreme locales. Ever since I came to know their names, I have tried to bring them into my gardens. I see no reason to grow plants that struggle and require all kinds of fussiness because of our wind, our intense sun, our extremes in temperature and our low precipitation, when the native plants are adapted to all of it, and they are beautiful to boot.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Greggo says:

    hello. my name is Greg. I just came from casper a day ago. Visited pathfinder with my mother who stills lives there. I lived there as a child and moved away as a teenager. Even until recently I enjoyed my visits with some sense of respect. But I would never move back as I used to exclaim. But this visit I found a new amount of respect and love for the native plants and subtle beauty of the area. Alcova, pathfinder, and points between. The naives were dancing. I understand your love for the area. Pioneering I would say. I found you blog on google. I’m writing a post on my visit there and was trying to ID some plants I photographed. Any Idea where I should go? thanks , Greggo,

    1. wyominglife says:

      Hello Greggo! Sorry for my delayed response… summer time in Wyoming is short and I seem to find many thing to do other than check my email!

      Wyoming is funny that way. It seems to evoke a love or hate response, not much in between! Some people don’t like the wide open empty spaces. Some people don’t like the lack of trees (other than the riparian areas). But these are the very things I love – the way you can see 360 degree horizons out on the prairie always seems to soothe my soul. And you’re right, it IS a subtle kind of beauty with a reminder of our ‘smallness’ right behind it.

      For a layman’s Wyoming flower ID, I’d check out Wildflowers of Wyoming by Diantha and Jack States.

      Oh, and this blog, too! lol

  2. Hi Karen! Thanks for visiting our blog “Jackson Hole Tim”. So nice to see someone other than me likes to share what they love about Wyoming. I would love to link to your blog if that would be ok with you?? I love the pics of the wild flowers – very nice. Thanks again!

    1. wyominglife says:

      Hi Tim,

      Yes, linking to my blog is fine, I will add you to my blogroll also.

      I’m pretty new to the blogosphere, but I am interested in linking with other bloggers. I started this blog simply because I wanted to write about the things that interest me and because Wyoming is a special place worth writing about.

      I once read a book about the early times in Jackson… pretty close to heaven on earth. The Tetons are amazing. Looking forward to reading about what you see up there.

  3. It’s been a very long time–too long, as I’m reminded here!–since I was even in Wyoming. I’ll enjoy visiting vicariously through your blog until I’m able to get back in person. Thanks for stopping by my blog and introducing yours. I look forward to seeing what’s here!

  4. Lady Of Ag says:

    Hi – I had to check out your blog after your kind comment to one of my posts. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE wild flowers! I manage to keep a few going at our place, but I’m better at buying and killing annuals. Our family really enjoys visiting Casper – my husband has a lot of family there. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Gail Zimmerman family at all, but we love them all and don’t get to see them nearly often enough.
    I will definitely follow your blog, if for no other reason, the flowers! 🙂

    1. wyominglife says:

      Hi Lady of Ag! Small world -Ok, small town- I know a Zimmerman family in 4H, very involved in the sheep projects. Is it the same one?

      I prefer the native perennials for the long term benefits, but I am no stranger to buying (and killing) annuals myself. It’s just so hard to resist all that color after a long Wyoming winter.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. When I was a kid I lived in Butte, Montana until I was 15. (1974) At that time we moved to Tucson, Arizona. Your statement about being asked if people still ride horses in Wyoming reminded me about being asked, after moving to Tucson, if Indians still used Tomahawks. Yeah, I know. I have a smart mouth, so I said yes. Probably didn’t help Native Americans much but I just could not believe how stupid and ignorant.

    1. wyominglife says:

      HA! Four Blue Hills. I know what you mean. I guess it’s just an indicator of how big this country is, and how there really are cultures inside the American culture.

      I suppose I’d ask lots of silly questions if I was in downtown NYC.

  6. BigSkyKen says:

    Karen, not only do many people not know where Wyoming is, some think my homestate of Montana is a Canadian province! And some of us ride horses here, too! I spend a lot of time in your state, both working there and traveling through – it is a unique place, and if I ever get evicted from Montana, I may end up as your neighbor! I really like your topics and photos, and will be following your blog.

    1. wyominglife says:

      Hi Big Sky Ken, thanks for stopping by. I share the mutual state respect. I think I’d feel right at home in Montana. It’s a beautiful place.

      I just got my first digital SLR, so hopefully my photography skills will improve over the future years. It’s quite a learning curve.

  7. I have nominated your blog for The Reader Appreciation Award. You deserve this award. To read about your nomination, just click on the link….http://workthedream.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-reader-appreciation-award/. Enjoy and congratulations.

    1. wyominglife says:

      Thank you so much for the nomination! I’m not familiar with the program, so I’ll check it out.

  8. A few minutes after I read your About, I walked to an adjacent room and picked up the July 2012 issue of Outdoor Photographer, in which I’d earlier started reading an article called “How to Be a Conservation Photographer.” My eyes were drawn to the group of captions for the article’s photos (most of which appeared on the previous double-page spread), and here’s what I saw: “Wild evening primrose blooms in the clay-like soil of Wyoming’s Red Desert, arguable the largest unfenced land left in the Lower 48.” How’s that for a coincidence?

    Steve Schwartzman

    1. wyominglife says:

      Hi Steve- especially since Wyoming is not often seen in any media of any kind! My husband wants to explore the Red Desert more. That comment about it being “arguably the largest unfenced land left in the Lower 48” pretty much explains why.

      Ok, so I gotta post my Evening Primrose photos now. It is- again- one of those surprises of the inhospitable high desert. It has papery thin, delicate petals that defy its habitat. It is just past prime bloom in a place I walk weekly and I was just marveling at it a few weeks ago.

      I like that idea of Conservation Photography. Some vistas are slipping away, and we may never see them quite the same again.

  9. Barb Gorges says:

    Thanks for finding and following me at http://www.CheyenneBirdBanter.wordpress.com. Glad to see there are other Wyomingites blogging about Wyoming’s outdoors.
    I’m also archiving my garden columns at http://www.CheyenneGardenGossip.wordpress.com. There’s only one a month of those.
    Enjoy the rest of our summer–in the garden and on the trail!

    1. wyominglife says:

      Hi Barb. Thanks for visiting. HOPEFULLY the fall will become a time when I can keep this blog more updated. Both blogs you mention are great resources for Wyoming and the region. I think I stumbled onto Cheyenne Bird Banter looking for beginner friendly bird information. I’m no birder- I have trouble remembering color patterns long enough to look a bird up in a field guide, but since I’ve been outdoors so much this past year I’ve been fortunate to see some wonderful bird behavior that has renewed my interest in learning my local bird species…. Adding the Cheyenne Blogs to my Wyoming Blogger List.

  10. ramonabean says:

    I have visited Wyoming only twice now, once in 2016 and recently this past July where I visited an old friend who is a native of Buffalo, Wyo and he showed me and my friend around the Bighorns and Crazy Woman Canyon….I’m a native Floridian and I freely admit that I’ve fallen in love with Wyoming, soul over heels. I’m already preparing my husband that I will be that snowbird nomad, seeking to live a blessed amount of time in Wyoming during part of the year when able. Thanks for blogging and writing on Wyoming, it helps sustain folks like me who are in awe and have full respect for your state. -RVSB

    1. wyominglife says:

      RSVB, thanks for visiting my blog. Crazy Woman Canyon is a beautiful place. Wyoming seems to be one of those places: you either love it, or hate it. Glad you love it!

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