The winds died down late in the afternoon yesterday and I was able to take a walk before the sun set behind the mountains. It was warm and gorgeous. Felt like I was in the eye of this storm system we are experiencing. We had the Chinook winds the day before yesterday and today it is gray and blowing snow sideways at about 45 mph. So in honor of this bizarre behavior of mother nature, I’ve resigned myself to the sofa to watch a marathon of old Twilight Zone episodes on the Syfy channel. I’m a big fan of The Twilight Zone.
We are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. I hope you will join me for another year in this bizarre land we call, Wyoming.
Happy New Year my friends!
So, I’ve talked about windy Wyoming before but yesterday was for the record books.
We drove around the southeast on ranch business with the pedal to the floor at 100mph but ground speed was only about 60. On highway 30, dirt was being blown 20 to 30 ft in the air. Patrick and I had to yell just to hear one another because the road noise was so loud. The truck doors and windows rattled and I swear the windshield cracked a little more.
Once we were on the interstate heading home, we saw a wall of weather straight ahead and we weren’t sure what was in there. Snow or rain?
As we got closer, my palms got sweaty.
At least to my right, I saw blue sky. How bad could it be? (Excuse the dirty window. If I rolled it down to shoot, I would have been sucked out and blown across the prairie. And I wasn’t up for that risk.)
The digital highway signs we telling us that winds were 65+mph. I just knew we were going into a hurricane.
Turns out, we were experiencing a Chinook wind. But it was kind of a letdown, or a relief depending on how you look at it. Once we got into that weather wall of rain, sleet, and snow, the wind died down and it got eerily quiet. Not much really happened.
-After doing my research, I’ve learned that a Chinook wind is a Foehn wind. A rain shadow wind that has dropped it’s moisture and these turbulent winds have created warmer temperatures.
Thank you Wikipedia.
We got to the ranch where the wind had finally let up and it was peaceful until about midnight. All night and today the winds are back to howling and beating up the grass and trees. Any remaining snow has melted away.
In the high country of Colorado, there were wind speeds up to 102 mph. Can you believe that? We aren’t the only ones experiencing the high winds and we are thankful that the temperature remains in the 50’s. That’s good for the livestock.
We’re not sure what to expect for New Years Eve but snow is in the forecast. We’ve had several invites for various activities but we just might sit this one inside by the fire watching it on TV. Needless to say, we’re not too anxious to get back on the road after the slick pavement over Christmas and the wild winds of yesterday.
I risked life and limb this morning to bring you our sunrise. I hope you like it.
No, but really, the wind is howling at 50mph with 65mph gusts today. As you can see, the 8 inches of snow has blown off of the meadow and it has warmed up from the teens all the way to the 40’s.
We had a white Christmas though. We should have considered ourselves snowed in but we were stubborn. We busted through snow drifts and drove off-road to get out and visit family. It was worth it. We had a good time with family and friends.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are recovering from it all.
This family is my most recent client for a Christmas card portrait. Mom and Dad were great and looked at the camera the entire time. The two young ones finally looked at me on the last shot but the teenager at the far left just wouldn’t cooperate at all. There is always one in the bunch!
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. Many HUGS from us here at Uprooted Magnolia. Thank you again for being loyal viewers of our little blog. ♥
White, powdery snow is up to our knees out here! I had a heck of a time walking to explore yesterday morning, especially with cameras strapped to me. I made it to the horses and as soon got near, Pepper pulled his head up with a mouth full of grass and ran right up to the fence. His winter coat is covered in icicles and snow. He and Crazy Alice visited with me by the fence for a while until they dropped their heads back down to look for more grub. I went back to the house and put another log on the fire. Brrrrrr.
I jumped in the truck with Patrick later in the day to help with a few chores around the ranch. It was a beautiful evening with a light pink and blue glow in the sky. It was so still and quiet, all I could hear was the river running underneath the ice in the distance.
But this morning is a completely different story. The wind is blowing about 30 mph and the chill is about 10 below. Needless to say, getting firewood this morning was no fun. I’m not going out there with my camera so this is a shot from the window.
Hard to say if we’ll be snowed in for Christmas. The road out of the ranch could very well be drifted in and four-wheel drive can’t even get us out of that. But we are fortunate to have power, wood, and groceries. The sun us rising as I type this and the sky is clear and blue. It will be interesting to see how today plays out.
Happy Winter everyone. We are getting hammered with a beautiful snow storm this evening and I’m settled in with a hot cup of tea (I might sneak in a s’more after dinner, shush don’t tell anyone).
I’m looking forward to hearing the snow crunch under my boots on my walk tomorrow. I hope to bring you some images of winters kiss and in the meantime, please enjoy this image of our driveway.
We drove up into the hills to put out salt and mineral for the cows when Patrick spotted movement about a mile away with his hyper-vision. It was a herd of Bull Elk fighting on a flat.
Just look at this guy in the top right. He would circle the herd, run toward the hill and then turn back around to charge one of the others.
He’d go at it with one…
…and turn around to fight another.
I’m sure glad these guys made it through hunting season. Such an awesome sight to see in our backyard.
The sky tried to snow all day yesterday and it did a little but didn’t stick. I tried for a walk early this morning but the wind is just howling. I spotted this turkey feather blowing all around before sticking to the tall grass. It took off just after I captured this so all I came home with was one image and some dirt in my eyes.
‘S okay…it’s forecasted to be calm and maybe a little snowy tomorrow. Hope you’re having a more tranquil and productive Tuesday than me. 🙂
It is a gorgeous day on the ranch. I cannot believe it is December in Wyoming and the temps are in the upper 30’s. I’m even thinking about opening the windows!
This is the pasture where we will calve this year. Soon it will be covered in momma cows and brand new babies. The girls now are up in the hills you see in the background. They really love it up there and the best way to get them out is to let it get really cold and snowy, take a ride up in the tractor with a full bale of hay, and beep the horn. They will come running from all directions when they see and hear us. They won’t miss the opportunity of a free and easy meal. I’ll be sure to report on that when it happens.
Almost doesn’t seem right to have the falling snow option on the blog with an image like this. Looks like late summer….
There isn’t any snow on the ground but I did wake up to glitter covering the meadows.
The ranch sparkling in the early morning sun makes for a lovely walk after a warm cup of coffee.
It’s overcast today, the sky is solid white and the air is crisp and cool. But this in no way reflects my mood this Monday. Uprooted Magnolia was Freshly Pressed on Friday and I have been overwhelmed with the many comments and likes on the post “Ready for her Close-up“. I am so thankful to WordPress for featuring me and am enjoying your comments and have replied to many of them. I’m glad you have cruised through and viewed my many other posts and photos as well. I’ve made so many friends this weekend on WordPress and look forward to getting the time to view your beautiful blogs.
This Magpie took flight as I was stepping out of the front door this morning. Good thing I was ready.
I was working on a landscape shot when crazy Alice slowly worked her way into my lens. This was much better than what I had originally planned for…. and I think she knew that. Thanks Alice, you are a wonderful subject.
It’s always a treat to see the moon so vibrant in the late afternoon. I spotted her through the trees on my hike yesterday.
But it wasn’t all in my head. It really happened.
The lights came up and there stood the Apollon Musagete Quartet that consisted of 2 violins, a viola, and my favorite, the cello. Then the spotlight hit the side of the stage and she appeared in an emerald green frock with hair as red as a Wyoming sunset. A week ago yesterday, after 2 years of (im)patiently waiting since the last tour, I was finally at my ninth Tori Amos concert with my best friend sitting right beside me.
She opened with Shattering Sea, the first song off the new album, performing it flawlessly. She pounded on the Bosendorfer as the quartet played with just as much power, it sent chills all over my adrenalin rushed body. Her voice was smooth and her mastery over the piano while singing is astounding.
She covered Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and Joni Mitchell’s River. Even though we didn’t make it to a meet and greet before the show to make requests, Terri and I always like to say “oh she played this for you and that for me”. Highlights for Terri were River, Maybe California, Crucify, Cruel, and Precious Things. For me, Here in My Head, Fearlessness, Star Whisperer, Silent All These Years, Honey, and Siren were top on my list. And I’d like to think she payed A Sorta Fairytale for my mom. When mom would get home from grocery shopping, she’d call me up and tell me she heard that Tori song on Kroger radio. “How cool is that sweetheart?!”, she’d say.
The quartet would occasionally go off stage and she’d perform alone at the piano. Beulah Land solo was a southern favorite for sure.
We cheered louder when she’d flash us a smile which happened often. She seemed so excited to be touring in the states and was on TOP of each and every song.
She told us in a funny little improv about the “old woman”. Her Bosendorfer is about 80 years old and almost didn’t make it on this tour. Other pianos that she tried just didn’t have what it takes in the low end. But low and behold, she showed up in Atlanta just for us.
The rest of the setlist included Suede, Nautical Twilight, Girl Disappearing, Your Ghost, Hey Jupiter, Spark, Leather and Big Wheel. The quartet played one of their own compositions, A Multitude of Shades.
In all, we were graced with 25 songs for a night we will never forget. Not a bad way to end my month long stay in Georgia. I was pooped the next day traveling through airports to get back to the western sky, but it was all worth it.
So, thanks for letting me share this experience with you.
Tori Amos means a lot to me (as she does for so many fans out there) and has since I was an adolescent. Her songs of angst, heartbreak, love and loss have inspired me as a person and artist for many years. When I lost my mother to cancer in 2006, her album “The Beekeeper” was on repeat in my CD player and iPod. When I met her in 2007, I was able to tell her how much she has meant to me in all these years, especially through the pain of losing my Queen Bee. You can see that story on my website.
Terri and I were unable to get a press pass to this show for our concert blog the Concert Sutra so I shot these from our seats in the balcony. I did get a press pass for the 2009 concert at Chastain Park and I hope you will enjoy those images on my website as well.
It’s windy outside today but I hope to take a walk later and bring some Wyoming beauty to you in the next couple of days.
I had a wonderful time down south but it sure is good to be home. Even if the sunflowers are gone and the leaves have blown away. It’s been snowing off an on since I’ve been back and I’ve finally cooled off from the warm temps of the southeast. It’s 5 below zero out there this morning.
I still have some recaps of Georgia to share with you but never fear, I’ll get back to our regular program soon. In the meantime, click here for the before shot back in August of almost the same scene above.
So glad to be back. See you soon!