Wyoming Grasslands Are A Patchwork Quilt Of Colors
Have a look at the grass in the photo above.
How many different colored grasses do you see?
Recently, while driving across Wyoming with a friend of mine, he commented that the grasslands are finally getting brown.
It's been an unusual year. Our grasslands have stayed green throughout the summer right into early fall.
I pointed out that the grass is actually still green. It's just that the tops of some of those grasses get brown heads on them that look a little like wheat. But the grass is still green.
The next morning I went for an early walk at first light. There, at the edge of the gravel road, the many true colors of our Wyoming grasslands began to reveal themselves. I had just never noticed them before.
There were brown stemmed grasses with green shoots. That's what I first noticed.
But then my eyes opened up to many other colors.
Red grasses. Green Grasses. Yellow Grasses. Blue Grasses.
Many were multi-colored from the moment they poked out of the soil to the top.
I studied this as I walked then finally looked up across the grasslands with my new perspective.
We tend to think of grass as green, like our front lawn.
But the grasslands here out west are actually a patchwork of colors.
There are about 250 or more different kinds of grasses here out west.
Looking off into the distance, and up the sides of the hills and buttes, I began to see a patchwork quilt of grasses.
It's just a matter of knowing what is out there and getting the brain to focus on it.
There are different kinds of grasses that bloom in each season.
Think of it as warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses.
Each season something different is blooming.
That's why some folks experience allergies at different times of the year.
There are many species that are not native to Wyoming.
Sagebrush is one. That stuff actually came from Russia, and, frankly, it would be great if we could get rid of it.
As you walk, or drive around the region, focus your eyes on the many colors that are out there and how that patchwork quilt changes color throughout the year.
Below is a quick guide I captured from just Googling "Wyoming Native Grasses."
There is far more than just these few out there.
But it will get you started as you reset your eyes to see what has been right in front of you this entire time.
I bet after thinking about this for a little while you'll never be able to see Wyoming the same way again.
Here again is the photo from the beginning of this article.
Have another look.
Does it look different now?
How many different colors of grass do you see?