Friday, March 24, 2017

Better than television


 Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.

Aldo Leopold


Monday, March 20, 2017

It's springtime on Yellow Wolf Way

Only a trace of snow left on the land where the Silver Moonbeam rests.
Our nice neighbor came over to sit with us on the rocks and he told us stories about what this winter was like in the village of Red Feather Lakes.
He said that a hurricane force wind blew through a few weeks ago. At a hundred mph it was capable of blowing our canoe, which normally is kept secure under the ponderosa pines, down the hill and onto "the porch" of the trailer.
I remind myself that Red Feather is surrounded by wilderness. We are right in the middle of Roosevelt National Forest, 8,500 feet high in the Rawah Wilderness Area, so naturally the winters can be a little mean.
As always, I could not count how many Ravens came by to welcome us back home.
We were also told that the bobcats are still climbing the boulders in our "front yard."
I'm certain this is their den.
Complete with scat.
And evidence of the "resident rabbit" kill.
(I loved that rabbit.)
Deer stopped by.
Happily, the moose did too.
It looks like another trip to the Buddhist Shambhala Mountain Retreat (right down the road) is in order to replace my tattered prayer flags.
A google earth image of the Silver Moonbeam. ;)
I promise myself that I will spend more time there this summer. I want to spruce things up. A little Tin Can gypsy decor.
That is, if I can tear myself away from the wild horses.


Friday, March 10, 2017

They flow across the prairie

Where I live there are more pronghorn than there are people. 

I am just as thrilled to see antelope running on the prairie as I am to see the wild horses. I often imagine a great herd of Buffalo moving across the Divide Basin, along with the pronghorn, like it used to be.

The antelope survived.

An extension of the University of Wyoming, Casper College sits just below the mountains on the edge of town. In spring I can park right next to the Fine arts building, sit in my car and watch groups of pronghorn dig their noses for new sprouts under what little snow is left.

While out scouting bands of Mustangs throughout Wyoming, I've been lucky enough to see large antelope herds, as they gather together in the winter time. I've seen them race across the Basin at top speed and it is one of the most astonishing sights to behold.

When I read his book RAISING WILD, Michael P. Branch points out something about antelope that completely amazes me;

"The pronghorn winter herd displays the skill of being synchronized to a degree of precision. When the herd moves across the land, it exhibits a 97 percent synchrony of gait, which means that whether there are twenty pronghorn or two hundred, 97 percent of them will put their four hooves on the ground in exactly the same sequence and at exactly the same time. Pronghorn have at least four gaits, or running patterns, but even when they shift from one to another at high speed, there remains better than 90 percent synchrony in the herd. Even in the exact instant they change their hoof sequence and timing while running at forty or fifty miles per hour, 93 percent of them will do so at precisely the same time--and the rest will correct at a fraction of a second."

He goes on to say, "Although I have witnessed the full winter herd only once, there is no possibility that I will ever forget it. These animals don't appear to run at all but instead seem to flow across the land."

I find this phenomenal, don't you?


Monday, February 20, 2017

And then this happened

 I found out that the sunshine could do almost anything with one:

Make one well if one felt ill, or change a dark mood and lighten it.

It entered into one's deepest places and melted the thick, slow densities.

It made one feel good. That is, alive.

~Mabel Dodge Luhan