THE STATE OF WYOMING
Wyoming was one of the last states to ratify an official state flag. In 1916 an open competition was held by Wyoming's DAR (Daugters of the American Revolution) for the design of an official Wyoming flag. Verna Keays won the $20 first-place prize (from amidst thirty-seven entries) with her design of a bison (Wyoming's state animal) with the state seal branded at its center. Her design was made official by legislature in 1917.
The Indian paintbrush was designated the state flower of Wyoming in 1917. Also called prairie fire, Indian paintbrush is a genus of about 200 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas from Alaska south to the Andes (as well as northeast Asia).
Wyoming designated the western meadowlark as official state bird in 1927. The western meadowlark is a familiar songbird of open country across the western two-thirds of the continent.
In the same family as blackbirds and orioles, adults are 8-11 inches long and have a black and white striped head; a long, pointed bill; yellow cheeks; bright yellow throat; and a distinctive black "V" on breast. The western meadowlark is often seen perched on fence-posts in grasslands and agricultural areas singing its distinct 7-10 note melody (their flute-like song usually ends with 3 descending notes).
Western meadowlarks forage on the ground and beneath the soil for insects, grain and weed seeds (it's estimated that at least 65-70% of their diet consists of beetles, cutworms, caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, sow bugs, and snails). They also nest on the ground - constructing a cup of dried grasses and bark woven into the surrounding vegetation. This nest may be open or have a partial or full grass roof, and sometimes a grass entry tunnel several feet long.
Wyoming designated the plains cottonwood as official state tree in 1947. The plains cottonwood is a large, fast-growing, short-lived tree of the Great Plains and eastern border of the Rocky Mountains. Members of the willow family, cottonwoods are named for the cotton-like mass of hairs surrounding their seeds. They are related to poplars and aspens.
THINGS TO DO
The history of the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration comes alive at the Cheyenne Frontier Days™ Old West Museum. A premier cultural and historical center, the Museum offers year-round education programs and rotating historic artifact exhibits that celebrate the heritage of the American West and the thrilling history of the world’s first extreme sport. The Museum features some of the most intriguing western artifacts in the region including one of the most extensive collections of carriages west of the Mississippi. Transport yourselves through the great adventure of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo and Celebration” with a visit to our brand new exhibit – Cheyenne Frontier Days: A Frontier Phoenix. The new exhibit captures the drama and the romance of the very first rodeo in 1897 unveiling how CFD has grown and changed over the years.
Jackson Hole is the premier destination for travelers seeking the ultimate winter vacation. Getting here is easy, with direct flights from 13 US cities and an airport located inside Grand Teton National Park, just minutes from the Town of Jackson. Embark on a guided snowmobile tour into Yellowstone and lead a dog sledding team to natural hot springs. Hit the slopes for world renowned skiing and explore our charming, western town. This winter, experience the best of the west!
Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It's also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope.