Secluded and affordable stream side vacation cabins in beautiful Star Valley Wyoming

Preston Ranch Cabins

Willow

Yarrow


        Look out for this plant that grows along the creek beds, because it earned it's name for a good reason. While it's been used for hundreds of years for things like joint pain and as a diarrhetic among other things, it's still no fun to run into with shorts

We are lucky to have a family of moose that have adopted our community and a young bull often frequents the area around the cabins. Moose are territorial, and live in family units that can span several generations, but while they are naturally pretty peaceful, it's important never to get between a cow and her calf.


        This area is home to both White-tailed and Mule deer, and one common question is how to tell them apart. Here are a few of the things that tell them apart:
-Mule deer are thus named because of the size of their ears, which are consistently larger than their white-tailed counterparts.
-While both have white on their tails, White-tailed deer tend to have dark on the top, so the white on their tail mostly shows when their tail is sticking up, as opposed to Mule deer which have a white patch that covers their whole tail save only the tip.
-Both shed their antlers in the spring and grow them back, but on bucks, the antlers are another way of telling them apart.  While White-tailed antlers will grow their points stemming from one main beam, Mule deer antlers are bifurcated, meaning they fork in two different directions as they grow, both the vertical and horizontal beams growing their own tines.

  You're most likely to see these guys at night, and while they are capable of hunting prey even larger than they are, mostly they are known in this area to hunt mice in the local fields.  Their call is identifiable as having four or five short hoots

Moose

Black Henbane

        These majestic birds of prey are a rancher's best friend because they mostly hunt the mice and voles which destroy the crops. There are several nests in the tall trees which border the grand canal, and if you think watching them hunt is fascinating, you should see the fledglings learn to fly. Their exuberance and clumsiness next to their parents' grace is quite possibly the best entertainment available in the Rocky Mountains


        While this plant can be highly poisonous to ingest, it was much sought after during wartime medication shortages because it functions as a topical anesthetic.  Rubbing the leaves at springtime on one's skin can leave the area feeling slightly numb for a while, very handy when similar drugs were in short supply. That being said, note that in rare cases some may react to it poorly and experience lightheadedness from touching it.

Bridger-Teton National Forest is world renowned for its elk population, and there are several herds that have made the surrounding area of Bedford their home.  Usually herds consist of mostly of cows, calves and young bulls (spikes), while most older bulls remain solitary, or in small groups until breeding season

        Also known as the Yellow Bellied Marmot, these animal gather most of their nourishment by eating the alfalfa surrounding the rock piles in which they make their home.  As ranchers, we're not big fans, but as animal lovers we adore these cute little guys, which is why the ones along this road are among the most brazen in the Valley

Elk

Serviceberry

Preston Ranches was granted the  "Landowner of the Year" award from the Wyoming department of Game and Fish a few years back for making over 1000 of its acres walk-in accessible to the community.  This means that neighbors are welcome to hike, fish and hunt on a big portion of our property.  One area we kept private, though, was the area surrounding the cabins, which has made it a fantastic sanctuary for local fauna. In the spirit of sharing the love and knowledge of nature, we'd like to provide a little information about a few of the plants and animals you may see during your stay.

Great Horned Owl

White-tailed vs. Mule Deer

Red Tailed Hawk

        Most common to the creek beds, the willow is traditionally known for its pain relieving properties, because its bark contains salicin, which is similar to aspirin. Though I wouldn't recommend chewing on the bitter bark too much, the long bendy branches do make great hot dog and marshmallow sticks

Stinging Nettle

        While this plant has many medicinal uses, it's Latin name Achillea Millefolium comes from the tale that Achilles saved hundreds of men in his troops by using it as a styptic (to stop bleeding) during the Trojan war

Rock Chuck

        Also known as Juneberries, their bushes produce delicious berries mostly during the months of August and September. They have beautiful blossoms in the spring and the berries turn a deep purple when ripe for eating.

        Known locally as "Quakies" for the way the leaves quake as the wind rustles their leaves, these beautiful trees are unique in our area because whole groves can share a root system. A grove of Aspen trees holds the world record for the largest living organism on the planet, and another grove in Minnesota holds the age record at over 8,000 years old

Local Plants and Animals

Aspen