Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Sense Of Place

Sometimes I wonder if I'm where I should be. If this is a place that sustains me, brings me joy, and if it is, then I have to ask myself why.
Is it the land, majestic and mountainous, prairie grass and sage as far as the eye can see with trout laden rivers winding through it all? Are the wild animals the reason why I'm here? Is it the birds that sing and greet me in the morning? The squirrels that dance around the trees? I think about our wild animals and their welfare every day because Wyoming is full of endangered creatures that desperately need our protection. Do I like it here because it's sunny almost every day, even in winter? Am I attracted to the fact that this is an "empty" state, where there are more antelope than people. Maybe I like it here because of all those reasons. The truth is, I've never felt more alive than I do here.
I suppose those are the reasons why I stay here, but the other day I was driving down Main Street and the car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read: TREE HUGGERS SUCK. I thought, Whaaat? Why???
This state is not known for its environmentalists, thats a fact. My husband shared with me his latest bumper sticker shocker. He was behind a truck bearing this slogan: EARTH FIRST! WE'LL DRILL THE OTHER PLANETS LATER.
No matter where a person lives, there will always be something that disappoints, disturbs or is just plain puzzling. This is a quirky town, but it's my quirky town and we've got a network of friends who share our views and ideas on life and why we're all here. We stick together and fight for what we believe in, for the children, for the animals, for the environment, for the future! We gather together at parties and share meals and stories and music and laughter.
So, do I still wonder if I'm where I should be? I'll probably always ask myself that question, only because I'm constantly searching and questioning and wondering.
One thing I'm sure of is this. All of my friends are TREE HUGGERS.





Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Family Of Bighorn Sheep

We had hoped to do some snowshoeing over Thanksgiving break.
But, there was no snow.
So instead, we took a drive through the mountains, in between the Medicine Bows and The Never Summer Range.
And look what we saw.
More than two dozen Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep...
... and the sun going down on the Crags.




Sunday, November 18, 2012

Skye And Sherpa Shenanigans

Up high, in between a basket and a ukulele. One of Skye's favorite hang outs.
Skye is a very sweet, relaxed and trusting little creature. And the smartest cat I've ever known.
Sherpa thinks she's getting away with something in the chiminea.
Hair ties in the food dish. Ever since Skye was a baby, she has had a thing for my hair ties. When she finds one, after playing with it for awhile, she will put it in her food. She likes to dunk them in her water bowl, then bring one to me, like a gift. C and I are forever flinging them to her from afar, watching as she runs after it, sliding along the hardwood floors. She then retrieves it and promptly brings it back to us. We've got a name for her beloved hair tie. "Snakey". She loves that word and the whole routine of playing fetch with them. There are approximately three hundred snakey's in our house.


Cat on the back burner. It's warm here!

Love bugs on the cozy bed in winter.

Hey, that's not a cat!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Black Capped Chickadee Block Print

This looks like one of those popular DIY posts we see so often now.

Carving linoleum blocks is one of my favorite art projects to do. I've got a thing for the black capped chickadee, so I eagerly printed off six of these. As I paint them, the colors keep getting more bright and their little black caps more blue!

My next block will be of a wild mustang. (Surprise surprise).

It's the weekend! Yay!

Go outside and have some fun, you chickadees and galloping wild thangs.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Squirrels Allowed

I love birds. Who doesn't? But lately, my bird feeder has been bombarded with mourning doves. I mean, I go through a fifty pound bag of bird seed in a week, because apparently I'm feeding all the doves in the state. I enjoy the sound of a dove. A year ago, we only had three sitting on the wire, and I enjoyed hearing them in the morning. We live in a neighborhood abundant with trees. And lots of birds. For a few years, our bird feeder attracted all kinds of species of birds. Once a week I could be surprised at yet another new bird pecking at the mixed variety of seed dangling from our tree.

But not any more. The doves have taken over. No longer do I get to spy on and admire the finches, sparrows, jays and wrens. What I have on my hands is a mess of seed flying through the air, piles of it on the ground and ninety nine doves sitting on the fence and swinging from the feeder like trapeze artists.

I decided to switch to a bird feeder that attracts only birds that can cling. I discovered a suet feeder that holds four cakes of suet feed, which is meat protein and peanuts and berries packed into these square cakes, that fit nicely inside a wire cage.

I took down the old feeder, replaced it with my new one and waited. And waited. For five days I had no birds in my courtyard tree. I've not seen a dove around either. I kept waiting for my clinging birds! Finally, there was some action at the feeder. Squirrels! (There are ninety nine of them as well). I like my squirrels but they have their own secret stash of peanuts that I provide them with. I won't have them hopping and hanging on for dear life on my new suet feeder! So, I've been running out there when they attempt to get their grubby little hands inside the cage. It appears to be working. I've not had any trouble with them for a few days now.

And yes, finally, my fine feathered friends showed up. First to appear is my favorite, the black capped chickadee, along with sparrows and a finch. It's fantastic! I watch them cling and twirl and peck to their hearts desire. The only fellas that haven't discovered this new cage filled with goodies is the flicker woodpecker. They are often spotted near our house, and you can hear their beaks tapping on trunks, echoing through the trees, but I've not had the pleasure of seeing one at the feeder. Yet. I just have to be patient, observant and...w a i t . Like the others, eventually, the flicker will fly by and take notice of what I've left him. What kinds of birds do you see in your neck of the woods?



Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Honor Of A Cat Named Thai

This morning, the sky looks as though it's honoring the sweet soul of Umber Dove's beloved cat, Thailand.

Also known as Thai. Also known as Fuzzy Love For You.

Many, many of you know so well, what it's like to be owned by a furry feline. How your life is richer and full because of it. Their knowing eyes, their sensitivity to your moods, whether good or bad, and acknowledging how you're feeling and then comforting you through it. The Cat knows. The Cat will always be there for you.

I'm pretty sure Thai and Umber had many laughs together. I will bet he sat on her table and watched her paint pictures of birds and trees and owls. I bet he nudged her paintbrush in her hand while she was carefully putting the finishing touches on a calendar piece.

I imagine Thailand being the quiet one in that household. The observer, the purrer, the patient one. The one with the cute furry ears. He was held and stroked eight million times, and made The Dove smile eight million smiles.

I hope her pain will subside and her broken heart will mend.

Have a peaceful day everyone.