Water Travels Uphill in the Wind River Canyon

Many locals know a trip up the Wind River Canyon has a surprising twist. While the scenery itself is spectacular, a mixture of optical and sensory illusion often causes the traveler to think that water is traveling uphill.

Glowing Golden Chrysothamnus

I know I’ve said it before, but when the Rabbitbrush is in full bloom, its rich golden color seems to glow.  Maybe it’s the way the depth of the flowers in those terminal cymes let the light bounce around and intensify. Click on the photo for a closer view.

Early Harvest

My neighbor shared some of her harvest with me. Her little orchard is irrigated, so the high temps and drought conditions didn’t affect her apple and plum trees. If you are interested in the history of small orchards on the high plains, I recommend a book entitled High Plains Horticulture: A History In the early 1900’s…

Natives Can Take the Heat

I’m sure you’ve heard the US has experienced the hottest July on record, and over half of the country is in drought. Corn farmers are plowing their crops under as they shrivel in the dry soil and intense sun. Food prices are expected to rise. I was not comforted as I hiked through our horse…

The Original Western Ranch Decor

I  like to look at the old log cabins, barns, and outbuildings built by early pioneers and ranchers. Wyoming has a lot of them, and our arid climate means they can be in pretty good shape half a century or so after they were last inhabited. The use of local materials is noteworthy to me….

Wyoming Summer Branding

Most ranchers try to get all their calves branded in the spring when the weather isn’t too warm and the calves aren’t too big. But there are always a few that slip through and you have to catch them when they’re bigger. Heading and heeling is the preferred method around here for handling those big…

Wild Fires Across Wyoming

As of today, July 5, according to the Fire Incident Information System website, there are four major, active fires in Wyoming. Here in Casper, we were greeted this morning with a nice little rain. Apparently the firefighters down in Fox Park and Sheep Mountain west of Laramie also experienced some light rain and cooler temperatures…

Wyoming. Land of Extremes

Last year the Wyoming headlines read: “North Platte River reaches record high at Saratoga” “Platte River floods still threaten; half of record snow pack has yet to melt” “North Platte River Flooding 2011” “Planning, weather help Casper avoid flooding” “River keeps rising” “Casper preparing for high water levels” And this year, in the recent headlines…

Horton Hears a Who

I count three kinds of insects doing their job in this Mariposa Lily, or Calochortus nuttallii. A small, beautiful world. Click on a photo to see it at higher resolution.

Penstemons I Have Known

In my last post I documented a few Penstemons I have successfully grown in my home landscape. As I hike the local area I have come across some other Penstemon species native to Central Wyoming and the Bighorn Mountains. I’d like to share a few photos. The Penstemon genus is quite varied, but the tubular…

Penstemons I Have Grown

The world of Wyoming Penstemons is a whirlwind of pinks, purples, and blues. They intrigue me because they grow and blossom in some of the most inhospitable soils Wyoming can dish out; sand, rock, clay, windswept hillsides, fully exposed southern faces. Their ability to beautify the extremely inhospitable is always a wonderful surprise, and they…

April Showers in Wyoming

At 5000 plus feet, April showers often come in heavy white crystalline form. This may be our last snow of the season, so I took a quick dash out to get a shot of the mountain as the clouds were lifting. Spring snows are very important to the ecology of Wyoming. The snows of Feb-April…