country life, photography, Uncategorized, Wyoming

The Theatre, The Theatre


…what’s happened to the theatre?”

I can’t speak for Danny Kaye, but this Goshen County photographer thinks our movie theater here is pretty alright.  Every time I drive by this grand old building at night, I am struck by it’s beauty.  Last night, I finally stopped to capture that beauty in a photograph.  The Wyoming Theater in Torrington, Wyoming.


country life, photography, Uncategorized, Wyoming

The Blue Beast


I went out to shoot geese and wound up shooting this beautiful beast instead.  This old guy hangs out just off main street in our small town.  I’ve driven by him a dozen times, but he’s never looked as magnificent as he did this day, blanketed in snow.

country life, photography, Uncategorized, Wyoming

Sorensen Family – Southeast Wyoming Family Photography


These handsome little cowboys, their smiley sister and awesome parents live just down the road from us.  We’re happy to be neighbors and friends with this beautiful family, as I was flattered when she asked me to take their family photos.

I love watching these boys in action.  Big Brother is quiet, methodical and kind.  He has an old soul.  He is so patient and sweet with Wyokiddo.  He even helps out here on the bird farm occasionally, putting men four times his age to shame with his work ethic and natural abilities around livestock.

Maddog, as little brother is affectionately known, is trouble in cowboy boots.  He’s adventurous, bold and the right blend of orneriness and sweetness that will have girls eating out of his hand here in another ten years or so.  He’s always up for a good time, and will tell anyone who will listen how brave and strong his dad is or how nice his mom is.  Wyokiddo is in awe of him and is always coming home from preschool telling me Maddog stories.  It’s no surprise, really, because that’s how I remember his dad from my days showing pigs in 4-H and FFA…as the ornery little brother who didn’t take anyone’s grief.

Little Sister is always all smiles and light.  She’s not walking yet, but given time, I have no doubt she’ll do everything her big brothers can do, just maybe in pink and pigtails.  And have daddy wrapped around her finger in the process.

Together, these kids will no doubt keep their parents on their toes.  But if anyone is up for the job of wrangling these three into respectful, hard-working and down-to-earth, it’s their parents.  I can’t wait to watch these kids grow up and get to know this awesome family better.


*This great storyboard is the work of the Rita at  It’s a great resource for photographers just learning the power of Photoshop.   Check it out!

country life, family, photography, Uncategorized


Ziggy at 11 Weeks.jpgAbout three weeks ago, we expanded our family to include this little dude.  Meet Ziggy, the newest member of the Downar Bird Farm Management Team.  Ziggy is an 11-month old border collie, and was bred to be a lean, mean, herding machine.

He’s got some growing to do before he’ll be ready to hit the bird pens.  In the meantime, he is quite the snuggler and is entertaining himself finding little bits of food, paper and other detritus to eat on the floor.  I’m choosing not to take that as a condemnation of my housekeeping.

Look out roosters, there’s a new sheriff in town.  He’ll come after you just as soon as he’s caught his own tail.


country life, humor, Uncategorized, Wyoming

What’s in the Box?

pheasant-foot“What’s in box?” Brad Pitt asks Morgan Freeman’s character toward the end of the movie Se7en.

I sort of feel like that opening our freezer.  I never know what I’ll find.  I’ve never found a severed head ala Brad Pitt.  But my wildlife biologist/fish culturist/hunter/angler husband has been known to store the odd critter in the frigid depths.

Today it was a pheasant wrapped in newspaper that he plans to have mounted.  I’ve also stumbled across chicks, mice, big game capes, random fish parts and internal organs of various flavors.

I bet wives of accountants never have these problems. 🙂


country life, Uncategorized, writing

Soul Food

Life can be so complicated, so crazy, that we often get caught up in the elaborate.  But there is joy in the simple things.

Tonight, our family opted for a simple dinner of ham-and-cheese omelettes, potatoes from our garden, peppers and peaches with cream.  While I prepared the omelettes, Outdoor Guy joined me in the kitchen to slice and fry the potatoes.  I could hear Wyokiddo happily playing in the living room as we worked and chatted.  We couldn’t help but run into each other in the tiny kitchen, and each time, Outdoor Guy would take the opportunity to steal a kiss.

I enjoy the challenge of  cooking a complex meal, or dinner on the town with my handsome husband on my arm.  But nothing beats the quiet camaraderie of my beautiful family, homegrown food and a Wyoming sunset.  The preperation and the meal were both food for my soul.


country life, family, photography, Uncategorized

Chickens are the New Chihuahuas

Emily and Chicken-5

This week in micro-fashion…

Looking for the latest in back-to-school accessories for your preschooler? Might I suggest a pocket chicken! Boas are out, bantys are in! Pink, turquoise, t-shirts, leggings, they really do go with any outfit…

Meet Erica the Bantam rooster.  Erica-the-girl named Erica-the-rooster before anyone knew he was a she (the rooster, not the girl). The rooster belongs to Wyokiddo’s papa.  The erstwhile clucker-turned-crower quickly fell under the spell of the curly-haired dynamo.  Wyokiddo would pick up Erica and pack him around under her arm while she helped her papa do chores.  If she put him down, it wasn’t long before he was back at her feet, lobbying for loves and meal worms.

My daughter, the chicken-whisperer.



country life, nature, Uncategorized, writing

The Science Behind the Stink

SkunkWhat do you call a skunk that flies?
A smell-i-copter!

I’m a science nerd.  So after our little white dog (I say little, she’s actually 60 pounds, ha!) tangled with a skunk and lost, I became interested in the chemistry behind skunk spray and the miracle deskunking mixture in which we bathed the smelly culprit.

Did you know a skunk’s spray contains the same compounds found in garlic and onions and even your own hair?  They are called thiols.  And the reason they are so stinky is that they are one hydrodgen atom attached to one sulfur atom.  Sulfur is notably stinky.  Think rotten eggs kind of stinky.

To make matters worse, the spray is oily, not just watery.  So it “sticks” to everything, namely one white lab mix that answers to the name “Roxy.”  When I touched my dog where she’d been sprayed, the oily liquid stuck to me and my hands.  It doesn’t simply wash off like other smells.  It’s like when you get garlic or onion on your hands when cooking – the smell just won’t come off.  That’s those pesky thiols at work again.

The old wisdom of washing a skunky dog in tomato juice or even feminine hygiene products was an act of futility because these remedies did nothing to alter the chemistry of skunk spray.  Instead, it relied on olfactory fatigue to trick the bather into submission.  After smelling the skunk spray at high doses, the human nose gets tired and becomes temporarily unable to smell the smell.  So the tired nose would smell the only the tomato juice and believe the skunk odor to be gone.  But someone with a fresh nose could easily determine that was in fact, horribly, horribly false.

But in 1993, a chemist named Paul Krebaum developed the skunk odor removal recipe we used the other night.  (If I had Paul’s address, I’d send him a thank you note and a box of Krispy Kremes.)

Krebaum’s recipe is effective because it tackles the smell at the molecular level.  His recipe oxidizes the thiols into sulfonic acids, which are odorless.  So instead of covering up the smell or washing the smell away, the recipe literally neutralizes the odor into something much more benign.  Genius!

Different skunks actually have different chemical make ups to their spray.  So a spotted skunk will have a slightly different spray than a striped skunk.  And skunk spray is highly flammable.  So never, ever, leave your Bic out where a skunk can get it.

As smelly as the Roxy dog was, it could have been much worse.  Scientists say that over the course of human evolutionary development, our noses have been shrinking.  There was a time when the nose made up 45% of the total mass of our heads.  Think about that the next time you catch a whiff of something particularly odoriferous.

So there you have it.  A joke, a science lesson and a paleoanthropology lesson all wrapped up in one  Friday morning post.

You’re welcome. 🙂