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Southern Rockies Nature Blog

  • Thoughts Post-Pioneers Day Parade

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Saturday September 20th, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Square_140_band_kidsThe band kids practice their "hurry up and wait."The Pioneer Days king and queen, in a buggy drawn by a matched pair of white horses, clatter up alongside the fire engine. Were supposed to follow you, says the queen, who has the reins. Youre not going to be siren-ing, are you? No siren, I say, Just lights. She is relieved. The horses have been nervously watching the high school marching band, practicing nearby. Ford 550 brush trucks dont bother them they know trucks but forty kids in shakos...
  • A Quick Journey to Fungal Paradise

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Wednesday September 17th, 2014 at 01:17 PM

    Square_140_kenai_lake-smThe Anchorage-Seward train running past Kenai LakeSemi-free range mycophiles Just back from Anchorage, a trip that was part work and part pleasure. Alaska is outside the remit of this blog, but I wanted to record a few images none the less. The train photo is from the Coastal Classic train, almost purely a tourist train, where the engineer slows way down when the onboard guide announces a moose or bear sighting. The water is Kenai Lake. My hosts are extraordinary urban foragers, and their...
  • Forest Divination

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Sunday September 14th, 2014 at 08:53 PM

    Square_140_bear_alert_Kincaid Park, AnchorageThe Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department is so good that they know what the bears will be doing next year.
  • Transhumance Today

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Tuesday September 9th, 2014 at 07:00 AM

    From northwestern Wyoming, Cat Urbigkit posts a brief video of her family's sheep coming down from summer range. The dogs, of course, are at the end. She writes, This video demonstrates transhumance the season movement of livestock and people, something that occurs throughout the American West. Most range flocks include about 1,000 ewes, accompanied by their lambs. This Wyoming flock is owned by a family ranch, one of 600 range outfits in the West. Last week was the 50th anniversary of the...
  • It Felt like Something Stepped on the House

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Monday September 8th, 2014 at 09:25 AM

    Square_140_lightning-struck_trees Lightning struck near the house yesterday afternoon, and the shock wave felt like a big foot coming down, while the windows rattled and buzzed. The incident reminded me of this cell phone snapshot from last month, taken up on the 2012 burn one of two recently lightning-struck tree trunks close together. Both were already dead, of course. Keeping me eye out for anther blasted tree like this one, closer to home.
  • Dodging Anatoly and Other Mushroom Thoughts

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Wednesday August 27th, 2014 at 08:17 PM

    Square_140_emerging_boleteEmerging king bolete. "Anatoly" Baskets were stacked in the pickup's bed big, flat-bottomed baskets with integral handles serious mushroom-collecting baskets. I had just parked M's Jeep at the edge of a little clear-cut, a spot close to but not too close to the place we call "the mushroom store." We were standing behind it, her looking sort of woods-ninja, all in black with binocular slung, me in the red shirt I wore so that she could keep track of me. No packs, no baskets, no bags. That...
  • Would You Eat Amanita if David Arora Cooked It?

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Saturday August 23rd, 2014 at 08:35 AM

    Square_140_amanita_trio David Arora's book All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms is one of our favorites, right after Vera Evenson's Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains. (His magnum opus is Mushrooms Demystified.) So with that expertise, would you sit down to a steaming plate of Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) if he cooked them? Wild-food blogger Langdon Cook did and got an education. More than any other species, though, Arora is known for serving his guests...
  • Lassie Makes a Comeback

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Tuesday August 19th, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Pal, the proto-Lassie, in 1942 (Wikipedia)Entertainment-industry dog news is outside the remit of this blog, except that I recently mentioned Lassie's stint with some fictive version of the U.S. Forest Service "She," played by another descent of the legendary collie dog Pal, retains an 83 percent 'brand awareness' among Americans; words like 'loyal,' 'hero' and 'heartwarming' were most often associated with the character," reports the New York Times. With brand loyalty like that, Lassie can...
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