(n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy or peace of mind during rainy days.
This is how I spent my morning…crawling along an irrigation ditch, camera in hand, trying to stalk a massive snapping turtle.
I spent an hour this morning watching this snapping turtle cruise down our irrigation ditch. It was amazing to see how he’d drift along, then raise his tail to use as a rudder. We see this turtle each spring. I’m guessing he’s pretty old because he is absolutely massive. His entire carapace is probably bigger than a foot and a half across. He lifted his head out of the water once, briefly, before submerging completely and I lost sight of him.
Turtles, frogs and other things that creep and crawl might not be as majestic as a grizzly bear or regal as the wolf, but they are still fascinating creatures. I for one am glad that our state is filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Makes life more interesting, don’t you think?
I’m participating in a 52 Week Photo Challenge. The topic this week is spring. What to shoot, what to shoot? Flowers, budding trees, frogs, newborn calves…all of these remind me of spring and the rebirth that the season brings.
But since I had to choose just one, it was this guy. Nothing is sweeter music to my tired winter ears than the song of the American Robin. I shot photos that were more artistic and colorful, but as a harbringer of springtime in Wyoming, the robin can’t be beat.
It’s spring break and Wyokiddo and I are out playing while Outdoor Guy tends to the birds. Today, she requested we go fishing, so mid-morning we loaded up her Mickey Mouse fishing pole and some worms and we headed out.
The fishing was slow, so Wyokiddo had time to ponder the esoteric.
“Mama, why are there only boys out here?”
I set down my rod and contemplated how to answer her question. Occasionally we’d see a woman fishing in a boat with her husband. But by and large, anytime we were out in the field, it was men, or boys with their dads. Very few little girls, and never just a mom and her daughter.
“Well, some girls haven’t ever had anyone take them fishing,” I tried to explain. “They might live in a city where there isn’t any place to fish, or no one has ever shown them how. And some girls don’t want to fish. They think it’s boring or dirty or gross, or that it’s something only boys should do. They don’t know how much fun it can be!”
Wyokiddo was quiet after that, dividing her attention between her bobber in the water and the ladybug crawling up her arm.
Several minutes later, she looked up at me and squinted against the late morning sun.
“Mama, let’s always be the kind of girls who fish.”
From her lips to God’s ears. No matter where life takes this beautiful little soul, may she always be one of the girls who fish.
Most mornings and evenings, we are treated to a show in the sky as giant flocks of geese fly over our house. Canada geese, snow geese and the occasional Ross goose or Greater white-fronted goose.
Sometimes it’s just a few dozen. Other nights, such as last night, the geese number in the thousands. Tonight, thousands of them landed in the neighbors field. I can hear them chattering back and forth, even now, at ten o’clock. It’s not exactly sonorous, but it’s beautiful music nonetheless.
This is the Western Sugar Factory here in Torrington, Wyoming.
I might not always like the way it smells, but it was an important part of the development of Torrington and this valley.
Built in 1926, this factory has been processing locally grown sugar beets, serving the agriculture industry and contributing to the local economy for almost 100 years. Today, the plant is leased by the Western Sugar Cooperative. Together, Western Sugars 5 facilities produce more than 10 million hundred weights of sugar, including white sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar. The plant is set to close its main production line at the end of this year.
So the next time you make a cake or spoon sugar into your coffee, cheers! It’s entirely possibly you’re enjoying some sweetness grown in the Rocky Mountain region and made right here in Torrington!
Meet Rocky. He’s Wyokiddo’s fish, bought to replace the gold fish she won at a 4-H carnival that died approximately 15 hours after we brought it home. Rocky is much more hearty, and photogenic. Thankfully.
Someday, we’ll tell Wyokiddo stories about her first pet. Stories like how for the first three weeks after his arrival, she’d wake up in the morning, run to his bowl and breathlessly exclaim “Oh thank goodness! Mama, Mama, Rocky didn’t die last night!”
Her enthusiasm for Rocky has waned a little bit with the arrival of Ziggy the puppy. But I will still catch Wyokiddo standing at Rocky’s bowl, her finger tracing a path for Rocky to follow. She chatters at him, telling the fish stories of her day, her friends and her life.
It warms my heart. Somewhere in the heavens, there’s a chestnut mare with spots and an attitude that has all my childhood secrets woven through her thin, black mane.
Now Rocky will have Wyokiddo’s secrets, and she’ll always have a photo of this beautiful little guy.
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.
Forget what Dr. Phil might tell you. The secret to a happy marriage? Homemade banana cream pie. Not love, not communication, not shared interests. Pie. Lots and lots of pie.
I was searching out some landscape shots for a weekly photo challenge, but a winter storm we had going on rendered everything flat and dull. I was trying to shoot a grain elevator when a little squall opened up started raining down these big, fat flakes for just a few minutes. The contrast of the buildings and asphalt with the white snow turned nothing into something. Ahhh, the magic of Wyoming. Main street in Yoder, population 128.