Saturday, May 31, 2008

Catching Up

I spent the last few days in Green River, Wyoming, judging their annual quilt show. It was a wonderful experience with lots of great quilts to see and an outstanding group of people to work with. I had never been to Green River so wasn't sure what to expect of the town. I was pleasantly surprised to find a community that included many pieces of sculpture along the main streets and an amazing park that stretched for miles beside the river and made my morning run a treat. It was a long drive - 6 1/2 hours each way - but the recent rain meant that the scenery was incredible and the miles passed quickly. I have never seen Wyoming so green!

One of the most amazing sights I saw on my trip occurred before I got to the end of my driveway. As I came over the small rise just before the last cattle guard I suddenly realized there were a couple of female pronghorn by the side of the lane. I had a second to wonder why they didn't bolt (pronghorn are incredibly intolerant of human presence) before I took in the fact that one of them was licking a newborn baby. My only option was to try to get by as quickly as possible so they weren't completely panic stricken by the vehicle. Even so, mother and baby took off across the field and so I stopped to get a shot once I went through the gate and they were at a distance where they wouldn't feel immediately threatened. Pronghorn babies are born able to run as soon as they hit the ground. Elk and deer tend to hide their newborns in the sagebrush and rely on a lack of scent and noise to keep them safe from predators in the first few days but American antelope have the ability to flee from the second their feet hit the ground. I expected to see a lot of baby pronghorn on my drive but that was the only sighting, despite the fact that I saw hundreds of adult animals.
While I was judging the show on Thursday, the vendors were setting up in preparation for the next day's opening. As we stopped to take a break for lunch, one of the vendors that I have known for a number of years came over to talk to me. She said she was delighted to see me there because she had just picked up a new embellishment for this show and she had thought of me immediately! Now, how fun is this?! I have to say, I don't do a lot of "western" stuff but she hit it right on by thinking I would get excited over this trim. She let me buy 7 yards even though she wasn't set up to sell at that point. I have at least three projects in mind to use it and I am already thinking I should have bought more from her. I have two friends that are going to be so jealous of my purchase!
I went for a walk today to try out some new hiking boots. I took the camera with me because the wildflowers are in full bloom. I tried to stay high and in the open because the elk are calving right now and I didn't want a repeat of last year's incident when we startled a cow mid-birth. I was on full alert, expecting to see a rattle snake because it is just that kind of day. Even so I was surprised when I came down off a rock and saw this guy on a ledge beside me. He is pretty big for a local rattler; two feet at least with 7 or more "rattles". I hate it when they don't make any noise at all. You can see how well he blends in and without that warning sound it is easy to step right on top of them. After looking at this guy for a minute it became pretty obvious why he was so sluggish. Look at that belly! He should be about as round as the last three or four inches of his tail. Instead he is so stuffed he is almost flat! I don't know what he ate but it must have been almost as big as him. He will be digesting that meal for the rest of the day!

No comments: