Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 15, 2017

Last week we saw an officer's quarters at Fort Caspar. Today you'll see how different life was in the enlisted men's barracks.

One large room served as sleeping, eating, and recreational space for many men. And, if you're thinking that the beds look reasonably sized, it's because each of them was designed to sleep two.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 8, 2017

Officers who were stationed at Fort Caspar had relatively comfortable lives, including private rooms with large fireplaces (a definite necessity in the cold Wyoming winters), writing desks, and warm rugs.

What surprised me was that they stored their saddles in their rooms.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 1, 2017

Welcome to Fort Caspar! Located near Casper, Wyoming (yes, it's spelled differently), this fort celebrates military life in the mid-nineteenth century.

The actual fort was dismantled and its buildings used in the construction of Fort Fetterman, but the site was of enough importance that the buildings were reconstructed as a WPA project during the Depression.

Although the WPA used historically accurate building techniques, one decidedly non-historic element has been added: an electric meter.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- October 25, 2017

Doesn't this look like a fun place for a child to explore? It's part of the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne and is one of the reasons the library was voted one of the best in the country.

The whole second floor is devoted to children and young adults and has become a popular place for everything from story time to chess games, proving that libraries are gathering places as well as repositories for books.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- October 18, 2017

Last week I showed you the entrance to the Old West Museum.  What I didn't tell you is that its exhibits include one of the country's largest collections of historic carriages and wagons, including this stagecoach. 

I know from my research that traveling by stagecoach wasn't particularly comfortable, but I'd still like to travel a few miles that way to see just how much passengers were jolted and bounced.

What do you think?  Should we do it?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- October 11, 2017

Where would you expect to see benches made from wagon wheels and a fountain with a cowboy pouring water from his boot?  If your answer included something about the old west, you were right.  You'll find this scene outside the Old West Museum in Cheyenne.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- October 4, 2017

Perhaps this week's post ought to be titled "The Sunflower Saga," because everything in it revolves around one of the wild sunflower plants in my backyard. While the plants themselves aren't especially beautiful, the flowers are cheerful and -- best of all -- they attract beautiful birds.

Here's an American Goldfinch, his beak open as he reaches for a seed.

If you look carefully, you can see the seed in his beak.

One seed isn't anywhere close to enough, so he goes back for another and another and another.

I'm always amazed by how persistent the birds are. They'll stay on a single plant for up to an hour, devouring the seeds. It's particularly fun to watch them when they turn upside down to pluck a seed from the flower.

Here's what the plant looks like when they're finally finished. Not much left for the next bird.

I won't tell you how many hours I've spent watching goldfinches and other birds feasting, but each time I see them, I'm grateful for the volunteer sunflower that decided to grow so close to my house.