Tales from the new West



It is now the end of August and time for an update! The weather has been hot much of the time, 
but the forecast is for cooling over Labor Day, with rain. Rain would be nice--it's quite dry here now. 
We still need to head out to the ranch and fetch our camper back, since all signs say winter will 
come early this year. When I first moved to Wyoming 26 years ago, there was always snow by 
mid-September. It was only recently that the weather stayed warm into October. 
The garden is not going well--too short a season, I guess.  The corn is sort of tasseling, but the green beans and cauliflower, eggplant, etc are far enough behind that unless the weather does stay warm, or unless we can cover the plants through any frosts, there won't be any vegetables from these plants.  The root crops are doing well, and the tomatoes in the green house are not doing badly.  They may produce fruit yet.  
We went to the ranch several times.  Now is a good time for wildlife viewing.  On the way in, we have seen  rough-legged hawks,and some hera buckmoths were still out flying.  (I will be featuring them in a species of the month section soon.)  Also, we saw swift foxes, turkey vultures, the usual vespers sparrows and jackrabbits.  The turkey vultures were feeding on a dead fox on the road.  They were kind of working out which vulture actually could lay claim to the fox.  This meant that the birds were not in a hurry to leave the area, either.  We watched them until one of the vultures dragged the fox carcass off the road, then flew away with the rest of the vultures.
On the way out, we saw several badgers and took some photos.  (Badgers are my "Species of the MOnth" for September.)  These are fascinating animals to watch.  They seem almost shy.  That said, I do not walk up close to badgers unless exercising great caution.  I respect the "wild"  in wild animals.  Watching from a distance is just fine with me. 
The northern shrikes have returned and were scolding me for being in the windbreak yesterday.  There are also a large number of western kingbirds this year, and these birds are also into scolding people and hovering above persons in order, presumably, to intimidate or frighten them.  It's not really scary, mostly annoying.

































Rough-legged hawk


Numerous turkey vultures and a roadkill fox

Hera Buckmoth



Northern Shrike

Cat-faced spider
Soon, we will be winterizing, as there has been snow in the higher altitudes. It's shaping up
up to be a long winter. More on winter and other fun in Wyoming, check back in month or so!




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