We woke up on our last day in Ucross to a September snowstorm! On our way to the airport with Mike Latham, we came upon two battling male pronghorn antelope! Unfazed by our presence, they fought for dominance just a couple dozen feet from us. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!
Ambika and Charlie set up a number of mobile acoustic recording stations around the ranch during the last two weeks of September. Our five homemade units were distributed for sunrise to sunset recording in riparian and sagebrush habitats. Many bird calls to come!
Before the completion of Interstate 90, Wyoming State Routes 14 and 16 were the primary corridors for travel from the east coast for tourists heading to Yellowstone, and east-west truck commerce. As more and more cars hit the road in the mid 20th century, demand increased along these isolated state highways for amenities – gas Read more about Early days at Ucross[…]
Check out the Yellowstone traffic backed up at the intersection of 14 and 16 at Ucross in the 1950’s. This is what things were like in the summers before I-90!
We’ve been playing around with a number of methods for sharing our spatial data. Star has been working with CartoDB – an open-source, cloud-based, spatial database – for some of his urban planning work. Check out this map of pastures and watering holes at Ucross. The delineation of pastures and watering holes was one of Read more about Default title[…]
The sand hill crane is a common resident of Wyoming during summer breeding seasons. These elegant birds have distinct vocalizations that can be heard from miles away. Sand hill cranes nest in open grasslands, meadows, wetland, and riparian areas. We’ve seen a number of breeding pairs around the ranch, including many with small offspring! http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/sandhill_crane/lifehistory
History! In 1932, an Iowa land company decided to build a town at the junction of routes 14 and 16, the current location of Ucross. Despite obtaining permits and drafting detailed plans, development never occurred. Many years later, Mike (an employee of Ucross Foundation) and Lynn Latham discovered that their recently purchased, undeveloped, agricultural land Read more about Ucross historical map[…]
Mike Latham shared this gem with us! 100 years of family histories from Ucross and three adjacent towns. More historical posts to follow as Devin pores through this next week and Charlie works on some historic maps and photos.
A tour of the Ucross team’s Acoustic Monitoring Program — Phase 1 — with Charlie:
Setting up a permanent station for collecting audio recordings of birds requires more than just a knowledge of the birds themselves, it requires the know-how and expertise to put together the actual electronic / digital recording equipment. Though the bulk of our team’s future recording units will be independently powered (via rechargeable batteries), the two Read more about Testing acoustic recording units[…]
Clear Creek, the largest waterway on the ranch, has it’s origins in the southern reaches of the Bighorn Mountains in the Cloud Peak Wilderness. Last weekend, Charlie headed up into the mountains to the North Fork of Clear Creek (nearly 50 miles upstream of Ucross) to do some fishing and thinking – check out that Read more about Exploring the Bighorns[…]
The loggerhead shrike is a small, rather innocuous bird occupying the open areas of the high plains. Despite its demure appearance, the loggerhead shrike is a vicious killing machine! It uses anything spiky – barbed wire, thorns on plants, shrubs or trees, – to impale freshly killed insects, lizards, snakes, and even small mammals and Read more about Loggerhead shrike[…]
By far the most common ungulate — a technical term roughly meaning “hoofed animal”, though not all hoofed animals are ungulates — at the Ucross ranch is the white-tailed deer (Latin name: Odocoileus virginianus). There are actually a variety of white-tail subspecies populations that stretch from the eastern coasts of North America all the way Read more about Ugulates![…]
It’s true that scientific fieldwork includes a lot of time spent assessing particular pieces of land — using GPS units, taking transects, or undergoing another method of data collection. On a place that’s the size of the Ucross Ranch (≈22,000 acres), it’s also true that fieldwork includes a lot of time spent traveling to the Read more about Cruising the ranch[…]
Charlie and Devin were collecting data near the Stone House South pasture in the northern half of the ranch and in quick succession spotted a coyote and a badger den (see photo). This led to some speculating about carnivore competition and interaction, especially since we were near a number of prairie dog ‘towns’ at the Read more about Badgers and coyotes hunting together[…]