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Category Archives: Nature and Wildlife

Eruption

golden leaves
an eruption
molten lava
burns the eyes

orange searing,
so full, fulsome
can’t imagine more,
senses overflowing

perfect days
as ephemeral as
flowing rock
destined to cool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2021 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Fog over Sheep Mountain; First frost

cold tickles, first frost—
a fine sheen reflects stacked coins–
fog shrouds Sheep Mountain.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2021 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Tending camp on the North Elk River

Border collie supervising Bubba and Pepe

 

 

The ewes and lambs graze on the National Forests in the summer months. They move through a rotation so that they are not in any area for long. Part of the journey for Pepe’s sheep includes several weeks in high mountain pastures near the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. He stays in a tent and we pack in his groceries and dog food. When he drops into the north fork of the Elk River, we bring his camp to him. This involves a drive down a death-defying curvy road to a wonderful mountain meadow. Bubba came along, both to learn the way and to provide the muscle.

 

Pepe’s horse, pine-beetle killed tree

Pepe and Bubba: twins separated at birth?

 

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Doe and Fawn

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2021 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Greater Sage Grouse dance

Early morning Sage Grouse dance east of Muddy Mountain

Third grade teacher Cindy Cobb is famous for her field trips. The most famous field trip is to see the mating dance of the Greater Sage Grouse, which is amazing. The kids have to show up to the school at 5 a.m. or so to board the bus for the dancing grounds on our lambing grounds. Last year when my grandsons McCoy and Tiarnan were in third grade, they missed the cool field trips because the coronavirus had closed the school, This year, the fourth graders joined the third graders on the trek to see the lek where the male grouse dance and hoot in their attempt to attract the hens. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Biologist Phil Damm accompanied the students on the bus and explained what they were seeing. These kids know the ways of the birds and the bees!

McCoy looking our the bus window

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2021 in Events, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Winter

Tres amigas

guard dog puppies in waiting

peewee lambs with guard dog

elk wintering near Battle Mountain

Pat and Eamon in the Routt Forest

Hampshire ewes at Powder Flat

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2021 in Cattle, Dogs, Family, Nature and Wildlife, Sheep

 

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Happy New Year!

The New Year comes through fortune’s gate.
It gives us hope, and prayers of grace,
with power of time, we await

the future, blank–this unknown fate,
unknown journey to unknown place—
the New Year comes, through one-way gate.

Our dreads, our sins, night fears abate—
the past, the future, run apace
with power of time, next year awaits.

We cast our lot, the dice gyrate,
spin and clatter, hit chance’s space—
write next year’s tome on fortune’s slate.

Earth’s axis tips, while stars rotate.
The waxing moon unveils her face,
marks pass of time, while we await

Through time, through space, sped arrow-straight,
light races on its ceaseless chase.
Now New Year comes, through future’s gate—
through power of time, we await.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2020 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Solstice

Solstice sunrise

Solstice Sonnet

Season’s end draws, dims, slides down to the rest
of the year, where we await winter sleep,
Day’s end presents sundown, darkened nest
where quiet lures, lulls, to somnolent deep

and tempting dreams, where twilight dusk holds sway.
Dawn comes late, with sparking, shimmering freeze.
Solstice rays shoot beams, arrows into day–
Ancients rose, chanted, begged gods to be pleased

and halt sun’s chariot southering drift,
to change its course, to close its dogged lap.
Prayers intoned, begged for light’s return—strong, swift,
No more creeping darkness, to suck and sap

its sunlit balm. Now incline to summer–
swing past the solstice, past darkness’ slumber.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2020 in Events, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Sunrise blessing

 

Sunrise bleeds into
morning, day, season’s turning,
this blessing, a gift.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2020 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Red at Night

Fires in the forest
paint strokes of scarlet slashing
across the Mesa

photo credit. Meghan O’Toole Lally

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2020 in Farming, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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