Southern Rockies Nature Blog
Tuesday February 17th, 2015 at 02:45 PMCheck that store-bought hex nut.At The Firearms Blog, Nathaniel F. reviews a Mongolian snaplock carbine owned by friend-of-this-blog Steve Bodio. In Central Asian villages, even blacksmiths are uncommon, which means field-expedient repairs are common, and many percussion weapons get converted to the easier-to-maintain flintlock ignition. Purpose-built guns like these would be purchased by shops on rare trips to larger towns. The quality of the weapons would typically be fairly uneven, so... Sunday February 8th, 2015 at 01:37 PMBears biting backpackers. Mountain lions munching mountain bikers. Every time that some carnivorous critter bites or kills a human, there will be voices proclaiming, "They were here first. We live on their territory." That is true in a long historical view and it is also true that human populations have lived alongside big carnivores throughout history but Wyoming writer Cat Urbigkit's new book, When Man Becomes Prey: Fatal Encounters with America's Most Feared Predators, adds some nuance... Saturday February 7th, 2015 at 01:24 PMSeven or eight of the volunteer firefighters are engaged in hauling brush that a resident cut back around his barn part of a grant-funded wildland fire mitigation project. When it's loaded, the chief gives directions to the ranch where the brush will be dumped into gullies for erosion control: "Go down J_________ Hill and turn left by the corral where they found the body." And I have now lived here long enough that I knew where he meant. Friday February 6th, 2015 at 09:01 AMClick to embiggen.Put this snowpack map together with this news release (PDF) from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service: "Snowpack Percentages Decline throughout Abnormally Dry January," and you will see why we are hoping that the predictions for a wetter spring come true. January is an important month for mountain precipitation over the course of the average year.The month of Apriltypically provides the most mountain precipitation at 3.6 inches, followed by March at 3.4 inches,... Monday February 2nd, 2015 at 01:28 PMPart of the Mason Gulch burn, ten years after.M. and I were both feeling housebound yesterday, so we went for a walk up on the Mason Gulch Burn ( from the July 2005 fire related blog posts here). I wanted to see if there was a noticeable game trail in a certain area, and I found it, but it was faint and intermittent. Still, it gave me a new clue as to how elk in particular might move through that country worth remembering and revisiting. The woods were quiet. No one down on the road. Some... Thursday January 29th, 2015 at 10:39 AMBased on Timothy Egan's excellent book The Big Burn, an upcoming episode of PBS' The American Experience, "The Fire That Changed Everything" is devoted to the largest forest fire in the history of the United States, which rampaged through northern Idaho and western Montana in 1910. In the summer of 1910, hundreds of wildfires raged across the Northern Rockies. By the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least 78 firefighters were dead. It was the largest fire... Saturday January 24th, 2015 at 10:55 AMThe attribution for this photo was stripped off in the process that brought it to me, but I understand that it was taken in Beulah, Colorado (western Pueblo Country), located in the foothills of the Wet Mountains, which have a healthy population of black bears. Bears will walk along a shallow stream flipping over rocks to see if anything edible is underneath these two probably found nothing in the artificial pond and stream, but being bears, they had fun anyway.
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