December Cold Colors

Before the preparation for the holidays took hold, I ran outside on a cold December morning this month and snapped this sunrise with my iPhone. Admittedly it is getting more difficult to motivate myself to step outside on some of our frigid mornings lately.

With fiery colors like these, I liked looking at the rest of the sky and land in this frame. The eye inevitably is tugged back to the brightest point of the shot, but it’s an interesting look to instead follow where the gravel road travels and consider the rock formations on the hills too. In a way, it leads one to wonder what else lies to the right of the focus points here (hint – more rocky hills).

Photos like these remind me that so much more is to come next year in the spring and summer when we can see these sunrises when things are green and growing again – so much to look forward to!

Morning Gratitude

There are not many daily experiences as visceral as a beautiful sunrise here on the high plans in southeastern Wyoming. This property we just moved into is in a location where I am pulled outside, even in the cold, to take photos like these before I miss the changes in the light.

Home sweet home early in the morning.

We have a LOT of projects with more coming for next spring. Interior and exterior updates are on the books too. But we are so close to winter that we are focusing on making things sturdy and sound first.

Our new ranch house has views on all sides. But for being in an elevated location to have those sights, it receives serious wind on a daily basis. The mornings are usually quiet and calm with the winds building into the afternoons. We see everything from strong gales to storm force winds (on rare occasion up into low hurricane speeds). And this little house takes it all.

This is what makes the mornings so special, though. It’s generally at this magic hour of sunrise where we don’t have those winds and it is as if anything negative from the day before has been magically erased and the new day awaits like a clean canvas.

On mornings like this one where there are no clouds or weather, the dark blue curtain begins to lift as the earth turns into the first golden light and boom – there it is: A humbling new start to feel grateful for. It is as if the universe dropped a note on your front porch to say “Here is your free pass to have a do-over today and oh, by the way, anything is possible.”

Morning sunrise overlooking part of our property facing southeast across state land.

It is usually when I’ve padded into the kitchen and started to make a cup of tea or coffee when I spy a really amazing sunrise coming up. I will grab my phone and quietly head outside to see how long I can tolerate the cold morning temperatures to snag a few shots and then dart back inside where a very impatient and hungry cat is usually waiting. It is sometimes a toss up as to how accurately cameras can reflect the true colors of the sun in a photograph, but the above and below photos were close.

Panoramic view of our front yard sunrise and the state land and ranch land to the east, south and west.

There is a lot that can sometimes be overwhelming about facing the day. Whether you are working on a fixer upper, have a big day at work, or are surviving a really crummy week. But we should take heart from what sunrises give us: The world is really beautiful, today is a new day no matter what happened yesterday and there is always something to be grateful for when the sun comes around again.

Reflections on First Snowfall of the Season

View of Table Mountain from our back deck

These are the mornings where I am going about my early-morning routine and pause to look outside, reveling in the feeling we made the right choice to move here. I do this usually while traversing between cardboard boxes and objects not located where they should be organized weeks later, still. Today was extra appreciative as we saw our first snowfall of the winter season.

A lot about this move was unusual, unplanned and did not go with the way we thought it would. But so far, the privacy and simplicity of our new home location has proven a sanctuary long awaited and worth the unusual path we took. We have connectivity via internet wireless radio transfers and it is every bit as fast as standard broadband and cable. That said, we choose to not have television for now. We don’t miss it and frankly we have been far too busy for it.

There is still so much more to do, but we are excited to be on this journey and are pacing ourselves while not forgetting to enjoy the views (literal and proverbial) as we go.

Sweeping Sunrises

There have been some gorgeous sunrises out here now that we are moved in. Some mornings they are blazing oranges, golds and auburns. Others they are horizons of bands of evolving colors with not a single cloud to break up the skyline. This one really took my breath away with its subtle hues of watercolor calm and soft gradients. Standing on our front porch, I pondered: Will there be sunrises in Heaven? I sincerely hope so. In my imagination they would look much like this one.

In the Space of Just Minutes

Few things in this life can soothe the soul like a sunset. There is something about seeing the sun disappear that tells our anxieties to calm.

We are fortunate here on our little hill to have beautiful skies in the evenings. I have not been venturing out much to see them, being averse to the cold and wind. The colors soon began reflecting into our living room through the glass in our front door though, I stepped out to see the show.

And what a show it was…

In the space of just minutes, the cloudscape began to glow, then smolder and finally it became miles of embers. The colors a reverie for everything to begin to rest.

The thing about a really great sunset is that is that it is just so bigger than we can really grasp; it is more wondrous than our minds can fully understand. When you think in terms of how wide the sky really is, how big and far away the sun exists and the spectrum of colors that our cameras cannot entirely replicate: It’s just more than we can grasp, and so we watch in awe.

As the last light slipped away I was still and soothed.

Standing in the grass of a cold night, I had not remembered the temperature, the dark nor the fact that the entire sunset occurred in mere minutes. Withdrawing from the moment I walked back to the electricity, sound and goings on of our home. And frankly it was a bit disappointing to lose the mesmerizing feeling.

Still holding on to the last lingering calm, I resolve to myself that here is enough overload in life right now. It is important to watch the sunsets when we can. I hope you can catch one where you live too.

Clouds On Fire


This was a photo from last year, just before the pandemic hit. It’s a gorgeous photo with the only editing being to sharpen some detail of the outline of the trees and distant details. The hues of color and fire are entirely from Mother Nature. Who knew the world would change so much just weeks later. But for that evening, it was just another Wyoming feast for the eyes.

A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth


For our second anniversary we re-visited a favorite location in the Vedauwoo Recreation Area near where we live in Wyoming. My husband found this beautiful “crow’s nest” on top of a rocky hill and knew of it before he took me up there to camp one night. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve been yet in my life and it’s our favorite spot to be.


The camp site is like a bowl, surrounded by boulders and rock formations on all sides. At night, the wind can absolutely howl at this height. But we were there to watch the sun set and it was perfect, with just a slight movement of air (not even a wind) now and then. Sunset and sunrise here are magical hours.


Everywhere you look, it’s a scene to be photographed. It’s important though, to put the camera down now and then and just take it in as God intended. On hiking up to the top this day, I took all the photos I wanted and then did just that. Put my camera away and sat with my husband taking in the views and roasting marshmallows.


I find the trees and dead wood make their own composition just as strikingly as the far away views of mountains and plains. There is something interesting to see at every turn.


My husband is a tireless worker and is always busy. His happy place is being outdoors and I love to see him relax when we venture here. It’s different when you’re somewhere that has quiet like this place. Even I feel it when I arrive. You are compelled to not talk so much, to sense everything around you differently and you just are different. It’s the re-set that happens when you’re in nature. It’s how we should be, but how we forget to be.


On the way up the trail to get to the crow’s nest, we stumbled right into this pair of bull moose. They were happy to be left alone and continue to munch around the underbrush. (They seemed to realize we didn’t pose any threat but they kept a wary eye on us and never got too close).


Once we had made it up to the crow’s nest, we caught sight of them again; this time much farther away but still on the move on a neighboring hilltop.


There is abundant birding up here as well. We just had to sit still and watch around us and birds were everywhere, flitting this way and that, making final runs for food and what not before the sun set.


This one seemed to set a reverie of evening light and stillness as it perched calmly in this tree. It was as if it knew the day was ending and it wanted to take it all in before retiring.


It’s our little piece of heaven on earth. No better way to spend a special day 🙂

Sunset Over Cheyenne

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My husband and I pulled over on the side of a road overlooking the city of Cheyenne, WY on our way home from errands as the sun was setting.

We are blessed with many beautiful sunrises and sunsets here on the high plains, but every once in a while, we get a really spectacular one. Tonight was a really lovely display with the city lights stretched below us and the Rockies in the far horizon, backlit by the sun’s final rays.