Wednesday, July 23, 2008


In the Spring of 2006, my sister told me of a nonprofit organization that makes blankets for kids in need. The organization, Project Linus, ( has a simple, yet important mission:

1) provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers”
2) provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.

Through a series of fortunate events, the co-chair of the Sacramento Chapter is a shirt-tail relative (my brother-in-law’s nephew’s wife) and I knew her. Since that fateful day, I’ve crocheted 88 afghans for Project Linus. I love what I do. Every blanket I make goes with a message that one person cares! I believe we all need to give back, and this is just one little way I can give back for all the good that has come to me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Walking the Naked Lady Trail

Long before we moved to the Star Valley, there were shepherds and sheep here. In fact you can still find sheep on the Idaho side of the Star Valley, but alas, there are few on the Wyoming side. I’ve heard tell that the life of a shepherd is lonely and that might explain why the grove of trees near our home is the start of the “Naked Lady Trail.”

At first, it is said, the shepherds notched the aspens in order to find their way through the forest. Later, one (or maybe more) of the shepherds discovered that aspens were a fine medium for carving and thus was born the Naked Lady Trail. There was a trail of Naked Lady Aspens leading from Muddy String to Prater Canyon. I’ve only seen one of the Naked Lady trees over the years as they are mighty old, and aspens are not known for their longevity. I wonder how many there were in the "old days?"

As more people moved into the area, the trees have been cut down, fallen, died, or marred somehow by the passage of time. If you look carefully, you can see places where a lonely shepherd, to wile away the sweet summer days in the Rocky Mountains, might have carved Naked Ladies.

Nowadays, that same shepherd is greeted with a “more civilized” landscape with homes dotting the countryside, large expanses of alfalfa and hay, herds of dairy cattle, a few longhorns, a few bison (pretty tame) and of course a vast expanse of aspen forest with wildflowers littering the floor.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Flowers

The summer wildflowers bloom in a very predictable order. Today I saw the first aster.

This is important. Asters, in the mountain west, are called "the last flower of summer." Its mid-July and the last flower of summer is starting to bloom. Last year, the aster started blooming at the end of June, so it's better this year than last.

If things follow Mother Nature's predictable plan, we'll have about six more weeks of summer. I hope mama is wrong.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Walk in the Park

In case you are wondering, the Park, is Grand Teton National Park, one of my favorite places in the world! Yesterday, we had a wonderful day enjoying the Park.

As usual, Mt. Moran is the highlight, but yesterday, there were a couple of others.

Air Force 2 was sitting in the General Aviation portion of Jackson Airport. Since Vice President Dick Cheney lives in Wilson (outside of Jackson) it's not a surprise to see the jet there, but it is a treat as not many people see Air Force 1 or 2.

The other treat were the fields of wildflowers. As you might have guessed, wildflowers are a passion of mine and yesterday, I was in wildflower heaven. A drive through the Park was a feast for the eyes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wild Flowers


The wild flowers are starting bloom in western Wyoming. The first flowers to come out are the yellow blooms of arrowleaf balsamroot. Unfortunately, we do not have any on our property. Then come the dandelions. Now we are getting the more colorful blooms.

Yellow Salsify or Goat's Beard

On Sunday the lupines started followed by the Paintbrush.


Wild Rose

Last night we saw the first wild rose and today the garden is filled with yellow salsify and flax with a few dots of yarrow. We have a few wild geraniums (Bicknell's) and of course the lush green of the grasses and bushes.



And once in awhile, you get to see a butterfly!

It's a colorful time to be in the mountain west.