People of the Past

I wasn’t looking for artifacts, I was just hiking along an old Wyoming two-track. Finding flakes and flake tools was not a surprise: artifacts are scattered all across the high plains of Wyoming, sometimes in surprising density, and sometimes, like this time, a single deposit. Medicine Lodge, a site in northern Wyoming, has been inhabited…

A Few Grey Hairs

Yes, he has a few grey hairs on his muzzle, but his eyes are just as keen as ever. He’s chased cattle and gathered sheep and has been my constant companion of late. He can’t speak, but he can talk. He talks with his eyes, or with his ears, and he’s been known to tap…

Uitwaaien

Uitwaaiend. The dutch word for “going out in the wind to clear your head.” Plenty of opportunity for that today in central Wyoming. Over the years I have developed a practice when those windy days start to get on my nerves. When I notice I am walking with my head down, sort of hunched over…

Curious Pronghorn

During the Pronghorn’s brief mating season in September,  they are a little less wary and getting a decent photo is a bit more likely.  Even so, they are usually heading over the hill by the time I get my camera out. A quick little whistle can often make them stop and look back.

Falling Yellow

As summer winds down and fall approaches, the majority of wildflowers are shades of yellow.

Day in the High Country

The mountain treeline is my favorite place to be on a hot summer day. Temperatures are at least 15 degrees cooler up  there and any reprieve from the high nineties is welcome. I had plans to hike a trail to a destination, but once I got there I just wanted to wander across the open…

Shades of Yellow

We have had one of the wettest springs I can remember in a long time. Nice little rains keep coming- almost daily. It’s always interesting to see how the spring weather pattern determines which plants will dominate the landscape. This year it seems to be the annual mustards (members of the Brassicaceae family) and Yellow…

Pronghorn: Icon of Wyoming

Perfectly adapted to the sage brush steppe, Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana, is an iconic wildlife species of Wyoming. Visitors are often surprised when they see pronghorn, saying they “look like something from Africa.” Pronghorn are the second fastest land mammal on the planet, able to reach speeds exceeding 50 mph. Sagebrush is a staple of their…

Water is Life

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Wyoming is a headwater state. Straddling the continental divide, Wyoming feeds four major river basins: the Missouri-Mississippi, Green-Colorado, Snake-Columbia, and Great Salt Lake.1 Given the low rainfall in Wyoming’s lower elevations, we all keep a close eye on the mountain snowpack. The mountain snowpack will, for the most part,…

Early Risers

We are having a nice slow warm up here in my part of Wyoming. Even so, the speed with which the wildflowers begin to bloom always catches me by surprise. Many of our early spring native wildflowers only need a few days above the mid fifties Fahrenheit to start their green up, and then a…