Saturday, February 22, 2014

Some days there's beauty everywhere

Cattails on right, dogtail on left.
Why did I take photos this morning?  Because I could.  There was no wind beyond a slight breeze, and it was possible to photograph inanimate objects and even plants.  It was wonderful, it was exhilarating, it was paradise -- compared with the previous five days when it was impossible even to stand still.

Here in Laramie we are a resolute people, as Garrison Keillor might say.  We know there are many advantages to living here (but we don’t tell what they are as we want our town to remain small and friendly).  We know they far outweigh the disadvantages, which we stoically endure.  But there are days.  There are days for example when it's dangerous to get out of the car if it's parked into the wind.  My parking spot at home points west, and yesterday it was all I could do to open the car door and get my groceries out and not be crushed as it slammed shut.  The average wind speed at that time was 45 mph.

So you can imagine my joy when I awoke this morning at a normal hour, instead of at 3 am due to the roar of wind (wind roars when its steady speed is greater than about 35 mph).  You can understand why I did not mind that the day was gray with a light snow falling, and can sympathize with my decision to forego laundry for a photo excursion.  But of course I’m making assumptions.  If you’re a person who disapproves of impetuous behavior, then read no further.

I abandoned the laundry and went for a walk.  I kept my camera on the entire time and photographed whatever I found, for it all seemed beautiful to me.
The sun shone dimly through thin clouds and light snow.
We crossed the shortgrass prairie - light industrial ecotone on the west edge of town ...
Tumbleweed hanging out with railroad tie (prickly Russian thistle, Salsola tragus).
... and reached the Laramie River.
This is the tree I'm following, a cottonwood.
Another tumbleweed taking the day off, resting on river ice (kochiaweed, Kochia scoparia).  
Cattail still-life (Typha latifolia).
This one is waiting for the wind to return, so it can send more offspring out into the world.
Just west of the wetland is Interstate 80, one of the main arteries of the USA.  Crossing the Laramie Basin isn't so bad, but the mountain passes on either side can be terrifying in winter.  But we need our stuff!
Rich's bench ...
... and Rich's Four Noble Truths (click on image for a better view).
By the time we returned to home and laundry, the sun was out but the wind was back. Clearly we had made the right choice in seizing the day.


  1. I live in a flat country that is in no way as challenging as yours. In fact it's gentle. But it's also rather ugly at times, but as you say, beauty can be found anywhere. Nice work!

    1. thank you, Garry, I'm flattered. You certainly do find beauty everywhere, I've always appreciated that!