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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter has arrived!

January 9, 2011
It's snowing again. We have about 2 inches. The temperature is dropping also. Subzero temps are predicted. I am feeding birds and watching other wild life in the yard. Check out the wildlife section!

December 15, 2010
We finally got around 6 inches of snow. Casper is still 10 inches behind in snowfall for the month of December. It also is much colder--single digits at night and upper teens so far today. Feels more like winter is supposed to.

I have a couple of pictures of the snow:

Will update more in a few days.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gone but not forgotten!

It looks like much of the US is sharing in the wind phenomena we experience much of the time. Last Sunday, the skeleton of a new bank building was blown over by high winds. Gusts were well over 50 mph. I didn't see any reports of semis blowing off the road, but that is common also.

We had our first snow yesterday. It has been a very mild fall--I just gave up on the garden last Friday. I'm looking forward to actual winter.

I see it has been a long time since I updated this page. Things have been busy with gardening, hunting, going to the cabin, etc. And with a craft fair coming up, I am behinder than usual! Garden is pretty much done and hunting season has only 2 days left. We ended up with 3 deer and 2 antelope so far. I have one deer tag left.

Life has been pretty quiet here. We made it out to the ranch about three times. We went on opening day for antelope season and were not happy with the hunters. We had two driving across our land (one shot and antelope, gutted it and then drove off over more of our land) and one we told they were not to drive on our land. Later, a neighbor called and had a bullet hole in his shop from careless hunters. At times I think Game and Fish has lost control of hunting here--hunters were driving all over private land, camping and parking on the roads, etc. Hunter Management areas were supposed to help, but I think it just made things worse because the hunters that see antelope near the management area feel free to drive over any land between them and the antelope or deer. It's very frustrating.

It has been cooling off a bit--only in the 50's today. I am so hoping for winter soon!

I am waiting for animal control to come get their trap with a skunk in it. We had it to catch a stray cat, but caught a skunk instead. The trap is within 20 feet of the front door and the skunk can see anyone who walks up the sidewalk. He was asleep most of the day, but it's clouding over and cooling off and he is waking up every so often. If they don't come soon, I will have to cover him with a tarp or something so he doesn't know whether people are around or not. We trapped 2 or 3 others earlier this year.

That's it for now. Maybe I can add more later and some pictures!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Catching up

August 6th
Summer continues to be HOT! There are also afternoon thundershowers, but it remains fairly dry. There was some phenomenal wind a couple of days ago with dust blowing 20 feet in the air! The warning sirens went off--but people did not understand that the sirens go off for both tornados and severe thunderstorm warnings. We just had "brief, heavy rain" and "strong, gusty wind". It's tapering off now.

We have not made it to the ranch lately--too much home repair. We went and helped Dorothy move her stuff to her new storage shed and on one trip discovered the wind had tried to blow over the outhouse, which is tied down. Not good. Now we are trying to pull the cargo trailer down and have no luck getting it hooked up. We pulled it before....

I'm putting in a couple of photos and that's it for now.

Dust before storm

July 17th
Summer arrived and the cool is all over! The past week, we exceeded 90 degrees and it's for cast to be that warm most of next week. The wind has varied dramatically, kicking up in the afternoon and occasionally accompanied by light rain.

We've been catching up with house repairs so have had little time for road trips. Now that it is hot, I have time to catch up on inside stuff, including cleaning and sorting. I am at that "too much stuff" stage--time to reduce inventory. I don't want to end up buried by my stuff!

After the shower install (which included building a stub wall, replumbing, reusing and modifying shower doors), the entry door gave out and we replaced that, then fixed the closet door so it closes for the first time in years. Life in the fast lane!!

July 7
It remains cool. Yesterday, I had a quilted flannel shirt on while weeding the garden. The high reached a shopping 57 degrees! A slow warmup is on the way, but we re not sure for how long.

Pathfinder Dam went over the spillway this year. It's really a sight to see. This hasn't happened in over 20 years!

July 4
Woke up to peas sized hail and 46 degree temps this morning. Once source mentions the possibility of snow above 9000 feet. Such a nifty thing!

It's kind of like summer here, at least the last few days. It has hit the nineties for msot of the week, but a cool down to more normal temps (low 80's) is said to be on the way.

June 17
There have been some warmer days after a very cold weekend. In typical Wyoming style, the furnace was running on the 15th in the morning and in the afternoon, I turned on the swamp cooler.

This is the busy time of the year. Since it is still raining, the mowing is more frequent (but still only once a week or less). Since I mow over an acre with a gas push mower, it takes a lot of time to mow--1 or 2 hours a day at times. It's good exercise.

June 10, 2010
It's quite cool here now--64 degrees. It is predicted to be even colder this weekend. I am looking at ways to warm the garden for the corn and bean rows. The corn is starting to come up, but with the weather so cold, it won't grow much. Beans have still not sprouted.

I am putting some black plastic down to see if that helps with warming. I have had trouble keeping weeds down. Weeds grow even when it's cold. If the weather dries out (we have had rain nearly every day for a week ) I will return to weeding and adding the plastic. It was on sale and I just bought a little to test how well it works.

I laid out the garden in "plots" marked off by string. Then I made a chart so I wll know what came up. So far, much of what I planted has come up except for beans, as noted above. I added three protable cold frames made from plastic (clear) and 1 by 2's. Maybe that will work.
grasshopper invasion

Hail on July 4th
Pathfinder Dam above the spillway
Pathfinder Dam looking like a waterfall!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Warming up and getting wet

It is now the middle of May and things are finally warming up.  I even had the A/C on yesterday!  I am updating wildlife and gardening, plus a short note on the conservation page.  Most of what is going on now involves wildlife and gardening!  I sprayed my wildbreak with deer repellant.  While I really enjoy the deer, they have ripped apart my trees enough for one year.  They can start again in the fall!

We haven't yet gotten out to our land.  It's very wet and rainy in the Basin.  They are also saying it may rain each afternoon for the rest of the week.  That would be okay--I have part of the garden done and I could use a break for a couple of afternoons!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's cold again today and I have a lot of stuff to catch up on.  I will try to update this over the weekend.  I have some cute deer photos to add and a bit of commentary.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring on hold in the West

Casper is currently at 36 degrees with clouds and an occasional flurry.
There was a brief period of snow yesterday, and snow reported
elsewhere, especially in the northern part of the state.  Typical
weather for this time of the year.  I had to give up on putting my
plants to harden off. 

I am going to head to town and get some perennials on sale at Home Depot (I hope).  I bought an annual at Walmart that is really pretty.  I
love purple flowers!

Deer come around a lot now.  They look really bad this time of year.  Fur falls out in clumps!  More pics
on the wildlife blog!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roller coaster weather

Today started out bright and mostly sunny, getting up to 57 degrees.  Then a cold front came through, dropping the temperature 22 degrees.  There was pea-sized hail and then snow flurries.  The front passed through and the temp made it back up to about 51 degrees. 
Even more odd, it was 39 degrees in Casper and 78 degrees in Torrington, 144 miles away!  It's not often there's such a spread in temperature across the state. 
It's cloudy again and 45 degrees.  I am guessing I will not be working outdoors for a while.

About a week ago, we had northerly winds at 40 mph most of the day.   We lost 8 shingles in a single day!  The neighbors had two trailers pushed around by the wind.  My garden space had the fence torn up--and the deer got in overnight.  They did not do much damage, fortunately. 

Winter was not as windy as usual, but spring is looking to make up for it!

Wet and rainy for a while

It's cool and rainy today.  My putting my plants outside for air and light no longer happens. 

I need to put up eave troughs on the north side of the house, but it's just too wet right now.  I have no desire to be climbing on a ladder when lightening develops.  The north side never had eave troughs.  However, I dug up irises and relocated many of them, leaving exposed soil.  Then we had the trailer releveled and the skirting is further up out of the ground.  Between those two changes, when it rains, the drip line creates pathways to under the trailer.  Wetness under the trailer is never good.

I put down some plastic and gravel to help with the drainage until we can get eave troughs up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's spring (sort of)

The temps are now up in the sixties, so it seems more spring-like. The snow could easily return, but for now it's sunny. The wind is often and on--today we have a somewhat brisk wind.
The birds have finally decided to eat out of my "bathroom sink" feeder, which is an old bathroom sink! I put popcorn and old bread out for them in the sink. For a long time, none of the birds would eat out of it. Then, a couple of days ago, I found sparrows hopping in and out of the feeder. So I put out more popcorn and bread. I'll try to get a picture.
The deer are mostly just passing through now. I find tracks most days, but only see them early morning or at dusk.
The land is turning green again! We don't get many months of green in Wyoming. Many years, the prairies turn purple in June from cheat grass, then brown in July as the prairie grass dies. So green is exciting!
Most of the activity right now is with birds. I am always checking out the bedroom window for birds at the "pond". They are enjoying the corn-on-the-cob I have left for them (birds are very good for eating the bread and other things you don't get around to eating in time!).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring or Winter?

 In typical Wyoming fashion, the weather for the past week has fluctuated between 60 degrees and sunny then cold and snowy then high wind warnings.  Today started out with snow then turned sunny, but still windy and very cold.  Easter egg hunting outdoors will require a coat and maybe mittens.  Which may be why Easter egg hunts tend to be held indoors.

This was the view on 4/2/2010 and this morning also.  The snow melted very quickly on the 2nd and today.  Now the yard is a bit muddy. 

Going to town yesterday, we saw a most unual method for hauling two cars in for salvage:

I have no idea how they got the top car stacked on, but I would love to have watched the process!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wind returns

We are experiencing a warming trend with the usual 30mph winds.  I haven't counted the lost shingles yet.  Weather bureau says the wind will continue for another day, followed by a cold front.  We will be going from 60 degrees to 28 degrees if the forecast comes true.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Deer have moved back in!

Seems the mule deer have moved back into the yard.  I am using one photo of the herd of about 25 for wallpaper on my computer right now!

In the picture on the left, the deer are watching a person walking up the road with their dog.  On the right, with the excitement over, they are taking a break from feeding and wandering.

This deer is a buck that has shed his antlers. 
Only the pedicles are visible at this time. 

Yesterday, the deer were big into grooming.  Right now they look very scuzzy--they are losing their winter fur and getting the summer coat.  The summer coat is more brown color.  I can't say if this is any indication of spring coming--some seem to think so.  I've never really noticed the correlation. There is a bird sitting on the yearling's back.  I think they are starlings (I didn't get the binoculars out to check.) and if you watch them for a while, it appears that the birds are landing on the deer to try and make the deer leave so the birds can feed on the seeds on the ground.  Mostly, the deer just try to ignore the birds and keep feeding.

These deer are trying to get water out of the "pond".  I think there is some in there but it's quite a ways down.  Usually, they drink out of the neighbor's horse water tank.  I'm not sure why they are so interested in this half-empty plastic pond....I'll put some more water in when I go out to dump the vegetables peels and stuff into the compost.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Spring" returns and so do I!

I have been sidetracked from this blog for a few days, but things have slowed down now. 

Yesterday, it snowed for most of the day.  It was a heavy, wet snow that melted quickly.  However, the snow lasted all day and made for a gloomy day.  Casper Mountain got 14 inches of snow!

Wind returned over the weekend, making life much colder outside.  Casper has a "Home and Garden Show" each spring with all kinds of vendors of flooring, doors, decor, etc.  Saturday, the wind made it feel very wintery out, taking away from the spring atmosphere of the Home Show.  The "Garden" aspect was totally lost on visitors!  Of course, we don't expect true spring for two and a half months.  Last "frost" date for Casper is around May 21. 

Casper escaped the heavy snow seen in Colorado now, but the down side is the snow pack in Wyoming is below normal (average).  This is due in part to lack of snow and also the warm weather early on.  This will mean a lower supply of irrigation water and lower reservior levels.  We just came out of eight years of drought.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring snow

We had a spring snow over the past two days.  The sun is out this afternoon, but it was snowing a couple of hours ago.  The great horned owl has been in our windbreak for most of the last week.  He's fun to watch.  He didn't seem fond of the snow yesterday--he kept moving around trying to find a better position on a branch.

Most of the snow melted.  The temperature got much warmer than was predicted.  I've put in some photos.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Road trip

We went on a road trip to Douglas, Sybille Canyon (wildlife study area), Laramie, up to the Snowy Mountains, then to Arlington and Medicine Bow and home.  It's about a 10 hour drive.  There was much more snow north of Laramie than we expected.  We saw elk and bison in Sybille Canyon, then checked out the Snowy Mountains.  For more photos, see the pages in this blog.
The photo on the bottom left is snow behind a snow fence.  On the right, beetle killed trees in the Snowy Mtns.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Still learning here!

I am trying to learn how to post properly and where to go with this! If I am slow in getting my posts up, please be patient. I will get back to the blog and comments!

The Beginning!

When I started my conservation website, I never intended to write a blog. Of course, I never intended to be come a photographer, a conservationist or what some would (annoyingly) call a "geek". Yet here I am, taking pictures of critters and scenery, fighting wind turbines and making blogs! It's probably a good thing I wasn't a goal oriented person, or I probably would find this depressing!

I hope to let people know what is happening in Wyoming--the good and the not-so-good. The would be the wildlife, open spaces, etc. The not-so-good is the wind industry.

I have a web page on this subject:

This blog will allow suggestions and comments and keep people more up-to-date on nature and challenges to life in Wyoming.