Did you notice anything unusual about this tree? How about the bandanna at the top? You've probably guessed that this is a western tree, designed for the room in the Historic Governors' Mansion with western decor.
As you can see, some of the ornaments were boots. But the most unusual part is the tree topper.
I have to admit that this is the first time I've seen a cowboy angel. Dare I say that this is an "only in Wyoming" tree?
You may notice that this tree is much simpler in appearance than the one I featured last week. It's smaller and lacks the brightly colored ornaments of earlier times. As a reaction to what some considered the excesses of the Victorian era, trees in the early twentieth century were often decorated with nothing but white ornaments. That doesn't mean that the ornaments were any less elaborate. As you'll see below, they were not. But they were white. Mostly ...
Welcome to Wyoming's Historic Governors' Mansion, located in downtown Cheyenne. For the rest of the month, I want to share some special Christmas trees with you. These were all part of the Mansion's 2013 "Tinsel Through Time" exhibit.
The first tree I'm going to share with you is one you might have seen in any well-to-do house in the early twentieth century. Notice the candles (a fire hazard by modern standards). If you look closely, you'll also see the Barnum's Animal Cracker boxes used as ornaments. Although animal crackers had been produced before then, it was 1902 when the National Biscuit Company, later known as Nabisco, introduced the boxes with string handles that could turn them into ornaments.
Please meet Wounded Ear. If you look at the cottontail's left ear, you'll see why I gave it that nickname. Any guesses about what caused the notch in that ea? A fox? A dog? A feral cat? Something else?
When I think of painted ladies, I envision the beautiful Victorian houses in San Francisco. That's why I was surprised to learn that this butterfly, supposedly the most widespread butterfly worldwide, is called a Painted Lady. Have you seen them near you?
Wyoming is noted for its cattle production, but would you expect to see a longhorn just outside the city limits of Cheyenne? A small herd spends part of each summer and fall grazing there. Another herd (minus the long horns) grazes across the road right behind Walmart. Only in Wyoming? Probably not, but the cattle definitely caught my eye.
One of the pleasures of living in Wyoming is the presence of hummingbirds. This one, which my Audubon Rocky Mountain Field Guide tells me is a rufous hummingbird, is particularly attracted to red flowers ... and red brick houses.