Well, it’s been an interesting January here. Last week the weather service informed us that Wyoming was colder than Mars. We hit a crisp -40 F, while Mars only hit -30 below. Our wind chill factor hung around -50 F.
Have we ever told you the story of Wyatt?
It’s apt because Children of the Dawnland is being re-released this month.
Several years ago, Mike was in Texas helping his parents, while Kathy stayed home to watch the ranch and work on Children of the Dawnland. It was March, and March brings some of the worst weather to Wyoming, but that week proved Wyoming’s reputation. The ranch got about three feet of snow in two days, and the wind blew at a steady 20-30 MPH, piling drifts eight feet deep and closing the road in or out of the ranch.
Kathy was riding the snowmobile out to feed the buffalo, when she noticed a buffalo calf struggling through the snow. The little bull was alone and clearly an orphan. It’s unusual for a calf to be born in March. April-May is generally calving season. The calf’s name would become Wyatt—after Wyatt Earp. As it would turn out, he was one tough little guy.
Kathy knew she had to catch Wyatt and start bottle-feeding him or he was going to be dead, either killed by mountain lions or wolves, or just freeze to death. It took three days to catch him. The first day, she tracked Wyatt through the snow for ten hours, but Wyatt was determined not to let her catch him. He may only have been two days old, but he knew a predator when he saw it.