Have you heard of the “January Thaw?” You may get it where you live too, but it’s a fairly regular and welcome visitor in Wyoming. Two weeks ago we had the “chinooks,” warm high-velocity winds, that howled around the houses and broke trees in the forest. In fact, this year’s chinook set a record for the highest wind our part of Wyoming has seen since records began sometime back in the 1880sâ€”128 miles per hour! The Chinook scoured the roads clear after two days, then as they stopped the snow began, a light snow with only about two inches. THAT was followed by temperatures in the 50s and today it could be in the 70s. Animals that had been laying low for weeks are out, like us basking into the sunshine. Herds of a hundred elk or deer, moved from the aspen groves and into the meadows to graze in the warmth while they can. We know it can’t last, that February and March will be our heaviest snow months, but for now we’re hiking and cross country skiing in short sleeves.