It's definitely winter in Wyoming, as this poor cottontail rabbit knows all too well. What's it doing? Foraging for food.
If you look closely, you'll see some dried grass in its mouth. I have to admit that I'm much happier when the cottontails eat the grass than when they snack on my newly sprouted crocuses. Still, it's fun to watch the little critters, even when they're being just a bit destructive.
Have you heard the term 'desert varnish'? That's what the dark staining on this cliff is called. According to the National Park Service, desert varnish is created when bacteria oxidize manganese and iron and deposit it on the rocks. I don't claim to understand how all that works, but I do know that it's beautiful.
Let me introduce you to one of my favorite statues in Cheyenne, the Iron Horse. As you might guess, it was named in honor of the railroad -- the original iron horse. The position right in front of the Union Pacific train depot is no accident.
What I particularly like is that this horse is made of pulleys, wheels and other pieces of metal that many of us would call junk. I call it the ultimate recycling.
Here's another bear from the same State Museum exhibit as last week's post. I continue to be amazed at the artists' creativity. Even though I make my living with words, I would never have thought to put lettered tiles on a bear. Would you?
What is it? It's not alive, that's for certain. If you use your imagination, you may see that it resembles a bear, albeit a very creatively designed one. This was part of an exhibit at the State Museum several years ago. Those of you who've been following this blog may recall a bear made out of pencil tips. This is another entry in the same exhibit.
If you look closely, you'll see an eagle perched on one of the bear's ears and a camper complete with tent inside its mouth. I don't think I'd feel too comfortable camping there, do you?
Swans in Yellowstone? I was surprised when I saw them. Somehow, I thought they migrated to warmer climates as most birds do, but there they were, apparently unconcerned by the ice drifting only a few feet from them. What beautiful birds!
Yellowstone has so many beautiful areas that it's difficult to choose a favorite, but if I had to, it would be the northwestern part of the park near Mammoth Hot Springs. I love the views of the mountains in the distance and the abundance of wildlife in the Lamar Valley. And, of course, there are the terraces at Mammoth itself. While not as dramatic as the geysers in the various basins, they're still a beautiful example of thermal features.