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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Medicine Wheel

     We finally got everything together and took a trip in our popup camper.  You can read more about the makeover and problems we had at my previous posts: The Road Trip that wasn't and Popup Camper Makeover. We camped at Sibley Lake which is an hour drive up into the Big Horn mountains from our house.

     We went up on a Sunday afternoon and came back on Wednesday. The weather was good other then Tuesday was cloudy with rain in the afternoon. The temps at home were in the nineties while on the mountain it was in the seventies.  So a good time to be there. We had a nice camping spot.

     It took us several hours to set up. Not so much the camper itself but rather the awning. We had not done the awning before so we fumbled around trying to figure it out. But we finally got everything in order. 

     It was a good idea to take a short local trip before we take a longer one.  It gave us a chance to work out some of the bugs. To see what works for us and what doesn't. Over all things went well.

Here's our dog Wally, keeping an eye on us while we eat dinner. You never know when a morsel might come your way.

     It was fun and peaceful hiking around the area and I took lots of photos.

     One of the places we visited while on the mountain is somewhere we hadn't been in over twenty years, and that is the Medicine Wheel. It was about a twenty-eight mile drive from our camp site. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is considered the most important of several medicine wheels in the American West. It is thought to be about 700 years old. It is a sacred place for Native Americans and is used by them for fasting and vision quests. 

     Native Americans continue to come here for prayer ceremonies and to leave offerings.

     There is a well marked sign where you turn off the highway on to a dirt road. You drive up to a parking area with a small ranger's station. From there it is about a mile and half walk up hill to the site which sits at almost 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). Because of the elevation the area is inaccessible much of the year because of snow pack. If you are unable to walk up hill that distance they do have limited parking at the top. But note it is a steep and narrow road.

     If you ever happen to be in Wyoming it is worth stopping to visit this sacred spot, it is interesting and you can definitely feel that it is a special place. If you are interested in learning more just Google Bighorn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming. 

A Rock chuck (Yellow-bellied marmont)

A thought to ponder: "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."                                   Chief Seattle

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blooming Marvelous

     Weather in Wyoming can be very unpredictable. This spring as been particularly good for my flowers.  The blooms have been in great profusion this year, more then usual. So how could I not share the bounty.

The tulips started things off with a nice display

The William Baffin roses are going crazy

These Clematis (Nelly Moser) blooms are 7 inches across

The crab apple tress were gorgeous. I wish their blooms lasted longer.

We have an abundance of peonies  

My creeping thyme was beautiful as usual.

The Ivory Silk lilac trees are busting out and the fragrance is wonderful.

     Even the wildflowers have been putting on a display, as you can see from the photo below. This photo was taken on one of our morning walks.

     Every day I am excited to see what new blooms have graced my garden.  That is one of the many things I enjoy about gardening. The wonder of discovery, from the first sprout of spring and on through the growing season.

A thought to ponder: "Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the                                          flower."                                          John Harrigan

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Building a Waterfall

     We've lived in our present house for almost 25 years. It's fun to look back at pictures and see the changes that have taken place in our garden. In this post I am going to share the evolution of our waterfall/pond. We started out with a concrete fountain that we bought at a local nursery in 1994.

     This worked well for several years. Our dog at the time enjoyed climbing into it with his ball or just to get a drink and splash around.

     Our Wyoming winters started to take their toll on the concrete, so we decided to replace the largest bowel with an in-ground pond. So the hubby with the help of our son dug a hole that we lined with pond liner. We used flagstone and other rocks to finish it off. 

     As you can see from the above shot we also expanded the area to make an Asian garden.

     The weather continued to take it's toll on the concrete even though we tried to protect it in the winter. So then we were down to two bowels.

The birds enjoyed our waterfall as much as we enjoyed watching them.

     But we also started to have problems with the ground shifting around the pond area. So we decided we needed to come up with another idea that would hold up better with our crazy weather. My husband was working at the time at a hotel/restaurant. He found that they were throwing out some large aluminum baking pans, so he asked if he could have them. Thus was born a new idea for a waterfall/pond. First we bought a sheep water trough to put in the existing pond and filled in around it, with a little help from the grandson. The rigid sides of the trough keep the dirt from shifting. 

     A friend knew how to weld aluminum so helped us build the waterfall from the baking pans. We cut off one end of the pans and then stacked them in a slight curve and welded them together. At the highest end a metal pipe was used to support it. I spray painted the pans with brown paint to make them blend in more with the rocks that we stacked around. We covered the bottom of the pans with river rock.

     This has held up really well since we built it in 2009. The blue color of the water is a non toxic coloring we bought at Home Depot. By making the water a darker color it helps slow down the growth of algae. 

     As you can see we made a few other changes to the area. It is lovely to sit on the patio and listen to the flow of the waterfall.

This bell was made for us by a friend, from a used oxygen tank.

    We had a turtle for awhile. Our son spotted him trying to cross the street and was afraid he might get run over.  He brought him to our house, he stayed for awhile then moved on.

We put this board and ramp to make it easier for birds to drink from the pond. It came in handy for the turtle. It is also helpful when we have the occasional frog stop by for a visit.

We added some larger frogs to the decor. These were given to me as a retirement gift.

We have also used the pond for an orphaned goose.  See my post A Goose without a Mother

     So as you can see the pond and waterfall has brought us more then just beauty and soothing sound but also the enjoyment of wildlife.  It diffidently has been a wonderful addition to our garden.

A thought to ponder: "Life is like a waterfall, it is always moving and there is                                        always an uneven flow to it."