The seasons are quickly changing in Lander, WY. It seems like yesterday I was in the hot summer sun IDing grasses and collecting production data in between gulps of water in a not-so-fruitful attempt to stay hydrated. The wildflowers that bloomed in the plains when I arrived in late spring have long seeded, and the lush grasses the cows desire have since dried out.
In early August, I went backpacking in the Alaska Basin (named for glaciers and grizzlies!) in the Tetons with friends. It was a spectacular trip! If you get to take a trip there, I highly recommend it. We came upon colorful meadows filled with wildflowers long after those in town had dulled.
Then, at first slowly, fall came to Wyoming. Being from upstate New York, fall is one of my favorite seasons. On the first slightly chilly morning in Lander, I decided I needed to make banana bread, squash soup and tomato sauce. I went on another backpacking trip to the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range. Fall had definitely come to the Cirque! We got the first rain I’d seen in months, with a little hail mixed in. Despite the weather, it was a beautiful hike, impressive landscape and had great company. As a bonus, I saw my first aspens starting to turn to a bright yellow!
This week it seems fall is really coming. Though we started with some 80 degree days, our nights are getting colder as will the days. Driving to my monitoring sights yesterday I saw splotches of turning aspens, willows, and gooseberries intermixed with various coniferous trees. The monitoring work I have been doing will soon change with the weather. Hopefully, I’ll begin other types of monitoring that revolve less around livestock movement, and keep my office time to a minimum. I sure have gotten used to, and love, spending my days outdoors.
I’m hoping to continue hiking despite the weather getting colder. I’m planning to hike Wind River peak this weekend, though the forecast at 13,000 feet is predicting snow… Spring and summer have been great in Wyoming and I’m excited to see what the fall and early winter will bring!