In case anyone was wondering when winter started... it was yesterday. Wyoming got hammered over the weekend with some nice, heavy, wet snow. A foot or more in places, six inches or so in my neck of the woods. Heavy enough to break limbs off my poor trees. Compare this to last Sunday, when I went hiking at a friend's place near Devils Tower.
Blue skies, temp about in the mid-sixties, a nice breeze blowing...
Well, blowing is an understatement. The breeze came howling down the canyon with enough force to make my sitting-on-top-of-the-canyon-wall meditation a bit nerve-wracking. There were enough downed and precariously perched trees from a fire a few years back that the creaking grew rather ominous. I retreated to the relative safety of a spot further up the canyon, out of the direct line of the wind.
See that tree leaning to the left in the left half of the picture? That was my perch until the wind threatened to rip my ears off my head. Lots of little birds flitting about, bluebirds, a chickadee that serenaded me with a three note rendition of "Stupid Human Tricks". So I gave up on the meditation, and went exploring. I found live deer, a fawn skull and bones, and more evidence of things passed -
Apparently a coyote snacked on a turkey, and left only the bones, feet and feathers. I picked up a few feathers, but declined bringing home gnarly turkey feet for posterity.
I also passed on the snake skeleton. Not sure what it was, bullsnake or rattler, but no rattles I could find, and no head. Better a dead snake than a live one. (And there was a live rattlesnake sighting about an hour before I got there.) The wind picked up yet again, and this time, it was pushing a thunderstorm before it. Rain, a welcome change from the dry. So here we are, a week later, and I have all the anti-dry I could wish for.
Some of us don't seem to mind, however...