The shadow of a golden eagle passed directly over me and momentarily blotted out the bright morning sun, reminding me to look up. The eagle's shadow felt like a more auspicious start to my field season than last year. Last year on my first easement visit I stepped on - and was struck by - a rattlesnake. No harm done, it was a dry strike that hit my shoe when I jumped.
I can drive to most of my easements but this one requires hiking in. The easement borders the Nature Conservancy's Red Canyon Ranch but the two track has long since grown over so I followed an antelope trail which leads to an oasis of cottonwood trees - one of my favorite places in Wyoming.
We've had an unusually wet spring and the wildflowers covering the sagebrush grasslands were stunning. I was especially intrigued by the many colors of Indian paintbrush - from deep reds and oranges to pink to yellow and every hue in between.
Sego lily - in all her tidy perfection.
“One is wise to cultivate the tree that bears fruit in our soul.”
Henry David Thoreau