Monday, May 27, 2019

New Places, New Blessed Little Animal Faces!

I think I see more doves than any other bird in Wyoming, but I really haven't had a chance to get out of the house and look--it's been snowing since I moved in around the end of February! Photo by Darla Sue Dollman

I don't know how to say this anymore--it was a shocking, painful year. I lost family members, most of my animal pack (I still have all four bunnies) and was forced to sell my house and move after having to replace the roof three times due to freak hailstorms in Colorado. 

So, this blog has traveled from my house in Texas, to New Mexico, back to my home state of Colorado, and now I am in Cheyenne, Wyoming! 

Yep, I'm in Cheyenne! Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

There is plenty to see here, too. My yard is filled with squirrels--always popular on this blog--and doves, finches, there's a few hawks who have territories nearby (I keep my chihuahua, Emma, inside!) Canadian Geese, of course, and I'm just getting started here!

I photographed these two birds in my neighborhood. They gather in large flocks, but are a bit shy. I thought they were starlings, but now I'm not sure. If you know, please leave a comment! Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

One of the first things I noticed about Wyoming is the amount of Pronghorn Antelope. My neighbors are fond of saying, "There's more antelope in Wyoming than people!" That could be true. Wyoming is among the largest states in the country (I checked five different websites and they all gave different answers. Sigh. I know it's big country here, though!) However, it also has the fourth lowest population...and plenty of antelope. 

Pronghorn Antelope near the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
Photo by Darla Sue Dollman. 

The first trip I made with my truck full of boxes I was stopped on the road near my home by two baby antelope meandering in front of my truck. The vehicles behind me couldn't see the little critters, it was rush hour traffic, and people were getting angry. I didn't know what to do, so I called the local police. The dispatcher told me not to do anything, just sit in my truck and wait because, if I wave my arms or try to coax them out of the road they will run into traffic. It's apparently the law--you call the police and they take care of the animals roaming down the middle of the street. Fine with me! 

This may be a pregnant female, but I'm not an expert. I photographed this Pronghorn Antelope near the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne around February. Apparently, the Air Force base is a popular hangout for Pronghorn Antelope. Photograph by Darla Sue Dollman.

The moving process--buying, selling, packing, etc.--took over a year, which is another reason this blog has been a bit quiet, in addition to the grieving process. I chose Wyoming because it's so close to my home state of Colorado--Cheyenne is, I think, five minutes from the Colorado border. 

I've noticed this buffalo silhouette outside Cheyenne for years and thought it was a symbol of our Great American West. It's actually hiding cell phone towers, lol! Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

Not surprisingly, the weather here is nearly the same as what I encountered at my former home in Greeley, Colorado--wild and crazy! The first week I was here my furnace broke down. Thankfully, I was forced to stay with a friend in Colorado because there was one blizzard after another. I had already moved my house plants and lost all but a few of them. My four foot rosemary is now a bonsai. I finally had a new furnace installed and what happens? A Bombocyclone! That's right--a snow cyclone on land. That was an experience! 

The Bombocyclone was insane! I'll write more on this on my Wild West Weather blog. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

Just when we thought it was finally over, another storm hit. Ten inches of sloppy, heavy snow. It was so heavy that when I woke up at four in the morning to check on my trees I noticed one was bent over completely and touching the ground. I was certain it would snap in half before I could hit the snow off with a broom, and the snow kept coming. Like everyone else, I already had plants in the ground and covered them with clay pots when I heard about this last snow storm--five days ago--and surprisingly, all of the plants lived! 

Last week's snowstorm. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

So the snow started to slow down, the birds appeared, the trees were blooming, and I discovered I have a hummingbird living in a tree in my yard! I was prepared. I had a feeder. I filled it up and ran out to the covered porch, hung it on a hook, and she is a happy bird! 

Like squirrels, I seem to attract these little birds. This was our "house Hummingbird" when we lived at Carter Lake in Colorado. 
Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

The hummingbird feeder is still beneath the covered porch because now we are in hail/tornado season. 

I was shopping with my granddaughter in Greeley, Colorado, when we walked outside and realized the clouds were rotating madly! We made it to safety and I prepared to drive back to Cheyenne. I checked the weather, and it was fine in Cheyenne. It was NOT fine at the border between Wyoming and Colorado! Photo by Darla Sue Dollman. 

We've had tornadoes, funnel clouds, watches, warnings, and massive amounts of hail for the past week. I hope that the next time I check in I'll be able to share more photos of little critters because right now, everyone is taking cover! I was writing these past few lines and the house shook with thunder! It's back!!!

Another snowstorm? No, this is HAIL!! This is actually my back porch, and there's so much hail that when I walked to the garage to check on the rabbits I left footprints on the porch! Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.