An Inspiring Wilderness Respite

This week I am back from vacation after a week spent backcountry hiking and wildlife watching in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This was my 4th time visiting Yellowstone, and this time I was lucky enough to spot wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, bison (including a mother and newborn calf – just 2 hours old – right in front of Old Faithful), pronghorn, big horn sheep elk, mule deer, sage grouse, sandhill cranes, marmots, colonies of ground squirrels, eagles, and two nesting osprey. I also saw a moose in the aptly named town of Moose in Grand Teton on our final day.

It was definitely a great year to have my brand new spotting scope along with me! Through it I saw a wolf attempt to steal a bison calf from the herd, only to be chased away by an angry mob of mother bison; a grizzly bear sow with two cubs charge away a male who was stalking them… twice!… until he got the hint and left; and a large bison bull charge a black bear who decided that meant it was time to flee the area.

Below are some photos from my trip of the wildlife that was within range of my 300mm lens.

migrating bison herd

bison cow and newborn calf in front of Old Faithful

black wolf in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

bighorn sheep in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

black bear in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

moose in Grand Teton National Park - spring 2011

bison calf in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

Primitive Cat Dolls

I have been working on a new series of primitive cat dolls this spring.  Here is the herd, so far.

primitive cat doll

primitive cat doll

primitive cat doll

I am having a lot of fun with these cat dolls, so there will be more to come throughout the year – including Halloween cats and Christmas cats.

My Childhood Home: The Barns

As a follow-up to my post about the 1771 farmhouse I grew up in, I now present to you the outbuildings.

1771 farmhouse barn

This was “the big barn,” with its saltbox style roof. An old man in the neighborhood remembered that this barn used to house a cider press that everyone would bring their apples to by wagon. Once the apples had been pressed into cider, he would deliver it back to the customers.

1771 farmhouse barn

This was “the little barn.” (That’s me collecting Easter eggs in front of it, many years ago!) The closest door led to a storage area where we kept shovels, rakes, gardening tools and such. There was also a giant wood pile inside. The second door led to a former blacksmith shop. Inside, there was still a work table, shelving, and a blacksmith’s forge with an old bicycle wheel that turned the fan.

I couldn’t find any closeups of our outhouse¬† (… except for one where it was in use at the time… ) so you’ll have to look for it in the far right of this photo of my Dad, a snowman that he and my Mom built, and our dog.¬† The outhouse was a 4-seater, with two adult sized seats and two child sized seats.

the outhouse behind my 1771 farmhouse

Coming up in my next post in this series: pictures of the interior of our house.