This winter has been an odd one for me. We’ve had a bit more snow than last year, but now the weather is warming up more than normal. I haven’t been working, due to Baby Gecko, so I haven’t seen as much wildlife.
We are still awaiting the arrival of Baby Gecko. Between getting baby supplies and getting the house ready so that we can fit those supplies, I haven’t been spending much time taking pictures. I’ve done crafty things, but none that I can post yet. But I did make it out on the National Elk Refuge last week to take some pictures.Every winter, bighorn sheep move down from the higher elevations in the area, and many of them come onto the Refuge to spend the cold months. This ram came right down the hill towards me, then crossed the road to see some lady rams. He was not successful. I heard headbutting, but didn’t see any. These two were just hanging out.
I’ve been working on getting the house ready for Baby Gecko. In between eating and napping, that is. I haven’t gotten nearly all of the projects done that I wanted to have done by this point, but that’s ok. We have clothing, diapers, and a place for him to sleep; everything else will get done when it gets done.
I have yarn for three more hats, two blankets, and a jacket. They’ll get done eventually. I also have lots of other yarn, some with projects in mind and some without, but those are now further down the list…
The first knitted project that I made for Baby Gecko was the hat below. It’s from this Swirl Hat pattern on Ravelry. The pattern was pretty easy to follow. I used the yarn in the photo above, and then went out and bought a set of Addi Turbo circular knitting needles. Turns out, I don’t like working with double pointed knitting needles. I managed to use them to finish the hat, but I’m going to try and avoid them until I’m more confident with regular knitting.
I accidentally switched directions while working on this project, but fortunately, it happened when I was about halfway through, so it looks intentional. It wasn’t, but by the time I figured out what had happened, I decided it was easier to just go with it rather than figure out how to pull out multiple rows of tiny stitches. He won’t care, anyway.
Things have really quieted down in our area. Most Yellowstone roads are closed, and there’s not enough snow for winter sports. The wildlife is pretty abundant, though. We’ve been seeing a pine marten in the neighborhood this year, and the foxes are back. We’ve gotten a little more snow, but nothing too extreme yet. Overall, it’s been a good start to the winter.
I took advantage of the start of the off season in between winter skiing tourists and summer park-visiting tourists to drive out on the National Elk Refuge and look for bighorn sheep. With our weather alternating between spring and snow, it was a bit chilly, but still nice. Apologies for the picture-heaviness of this post.I found sheep pretty quickly. These guys were playing on the rocks. It made me wish I had a longer lens for my camera. And also some of their energy.I zoomed in on this one on my computer.Sorry for the quality, but look how that sheep is straddling the rocks. These two are pretty young.Then they started playing on the slope. Just for reference, Mr. Gecko calls this a “steep incline”. They seemed to like it, though.Most of the sheep I saw were ewes and last year’s babies, but I did see this guy hanging out around the next bend in the road.The sheep were not concerned with traffic. The delivery truck, though, had things to do. (I blurred out the logo.) The driver went around the tourists from Wisconsin (the license plate has been blurred, too), returned to the right side of the road, and drove slowly by after the sheep had moved.The sheep were not bothered enough to get all the way off the road, though.As a side note, stopping on the road to take pictures is not allowed on this road. There are regular pullouts for stopping. This made me chuckle, though, especially since I could hear the passenger making kissy noises to get the ewe’s attention.This population of bighorn is being monitored using radio collars on some of the sheep. Because of the geography and development in their range, there is concern that the population is isolated and not genetically diverse.Both ewes and rams have horns, but the ewes’ horns are short and skinny. This thick coat will shed out soon.
After returning from town (and blogging) last week, Mr. Gecko and I brought our lunch to the lakeside to eat. There weren’t many people around, but we did have visitors. This red fox pair live in the area. The male is the one I posted an early morning picture of last week, with negative comments directed at the people who feed wildlife in the park. He’s also the dominant one in this photo.
This time of year, there are not many people around, so these two tend to show up whenever someone seems to be eating.
We did not feed them, but they did stick around and pose for a bit. It was a good way to end out weekend.