Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Tumbleweeds That Make The Winds

 For the past couple of weeks I have been both wondering what to rename my blog and lacking in imagination as to an appropriate name...........
 My Mountain Boy, my Jamie dog and I drove out to the small rental house this afternoon.
I was determined to organize some things and make some room in the house from front to back, before I opened even one more box or plastic storage container.
We needed some room to move.
At the same time my dog was getting antsy to walk, and so was I, and as we drove out to the house I decided that I would walk and wander with my girl on the quiet gravel country road before I got down to business.
As we drove into the yard I looked to the side of the driveway and on the ground saw a green fleece sweater that I recognized as being mine.
My first thought was that the wayward fleece had gotten separated from our belongings in the chaos of the move.
But as we drove further into the driveway I found my answer.
As I have been unpacking containers I have been stacking them on the front porch - a temporary stop before they found their more-or-less-for-now-permanent home in a shed.
One of the containers had blown off the porch in the strong winds, emptied its contents into the dusty dirt and the green fleece had gotten caught up in the wind. 
After grabbing everything laying on the ground, shaking off the dust, securing the container and then more safely storing it under the front porch I realized that James and I would not be going for a walk today.
It was far too windy.
Many parts of Wyoming, including this part, are well known for high winds and even stronger gusts.
30-40 mile per hour sustained winds are not uncommon.  Neither are 50-60 mile per hour gusts.
And today was one of those days.
Very very very windy.
I have heard amazing stories of even stronger winds in Clark, located not far from here.
Roofs torn off.  Poles broken. 
Is it even possible for wind to roll up a paved road?  I do not know but that is the story I have heard........
Regardless Clark is notorious locally for having extremely strong winds.
This is high plains country, and there is a lot of wide open country.
Views that go on forever, and often nothing to slow the wind........  

 We have had some windy days since arriving in Cody.
Actually, each day seems to change frequently - moving from still to windy, from sunny to cloudy very quickly.
From windy during the day to inevitable calm every single evening.
Today was the most windy day we have experienced since arriving in Cody now a whole two and a half weeks ago.
While working in the house today I wondered how the wind would affect the house, how noisy it would be, and whether such strong weather would bother James.
We did not walk today, but after wandering around the house for a few minutes Jamie very quickly found a comfortable corner of the couch, walked in circles on the cushion for a few moments, plopped down, curled up and fell asleep.
OK - no worries there.......
The wind shook the windows ever so slightly.
But they also......sang to us.
Quietly - the noise of the strong winds buffered by the walls of the house............
 Stolen from a message board poster by the screen name of RockyMtnr..........
Not too many folks understand that the entire West is windy - with some exception given to the coast ... which may or may not be windy but which is dependent on different circumstances.
In the Intermountain areas - i.e., those parts of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado ... some of New Mexico and Arizona ... the wind patterns are tied directly to the migration habits of the Tumbleweed. While this event is more visible in Nevada than in any of the other states, when the Tumbleweeds make their twice-yearly march, you can see them lined up by the hundreds and even thousands ... all attacking the hopping of fencelines together - acting as stairs and ladders for each other and even tossing each other over the fencelines to continue their journey(s). The cloud that often appears over the largest of the migration herds is enough to trigger "shadow-winds" which are derived from cloud patterns and whose signal triggers the release of more winds over long periods of time in the Intermountain area.
In the old days, the government used to hire "Tumbleweed-Boys" to ride those ranges and help herd the Tumbleweeds into travelling patterns that were more agreeable with shadowwind-mathematics - but the sheer "renegade" manner practiced by many clans of Tumbleweeds caused excessively long days and nights trying to keep the herds contained and so, the project had to be abandoned. Not that the practice ever really made a definitive dent in the winds - in fact - some differences were truly negligible but today, those Tumbleweeds continue to roam, unchecked - much like the wild horses of the region although even the horses are now cultivated and thinned while the "weeds" continue to bandy together for meetings and shows.
On a dark, camped-out night ... take care during your moonlight excursions that you do not come across the "Sergeant-of-Arms" of the herds - the "Tumbleweeds Enforcers" - it is not always a clearly understood confrontation.
So, there you have it - it's the Tumbleweeds that make the wind - and the wind, in turn makes it easier for the Tumbleweeds to travel, which makes more wind ... and the circle continues.
Ah, the West!
 You cannot see it in this picture I took today but the wind blows so strongly and so consistently that many times the trees bend and grow with the wind.........
 These pictures were taken in a western inspired gift shop adjacent to a gun shop.
We have visited every gun shop in town and LC is liking what he is seeing.
A lot of guns, good prices, adequate amounts of ammunition, friendly and welcoming and conservative people who smile and mean it, and who speak without the need for interpretation of motives.
The adjoining shop was gorgeous - many beautiful western gifts...........
 Pictures taken outside a gun and pawn shop downtown and close to the Irma Hotel..........
 On the way back into town this afternoon, and only a few minutes from the house we are renting, we came across this horse wandering along the road.
When we first saw him he was grazing alongside the road before taking off in a trot..........
 A minute later he stopped to turn and look at us, and stayed there until his owner drove up to corral and help him find his way home again...........

For the second night in a row we have seen deer in the yard at the cottage we are renting in town.
Last night we saw one.
And just a few minutes ago we saw two together - siblings - grooming each others neck, walking around the yard, aware of LC and I standing by the door watching them but not alarmed by our presence.
They are beautiful to watch, and having so many of them traveling day and night unemcumbered in town is a charming and wonderful thing...........

LC came up with the new name for my blog.
It works and is appropriate for the new place we are now living.
Wyoming Wind Songs............


  1. In the picture preceding the quote, there is an eye in the sky watching over your family..

  2. I have never heard that expression before but I like it. Thank you........