Saturday, November 3, 2012

Election photo (funny) from Missoula, MT

My friend Heather's photo, posted on facebook took me a minute to see what was funny

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Posted on facebook with the following message/info:
Awareness and Understanding can save the life of a bear. . This page is non profit and for educational use. Allowing people the opportunity to "Understand Bears"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hungry Horse

Because of the hills, you can't see the buildings in this picture that make up the businesses of Hungry Horse.  But they are all pretty much contained within the section of road you see here.....this photo stretches from one end of town to the other.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My boots!

I'm ridiculously excited about this ebay purchase.  I've been looking for these shoes for years.  I bought my first pair of these sometime around 1997 and with one re-sole they lasted until the toes got heat damaged about ten years later.  I've not really found a suitable replacement yet.  My current boots make my toes numb when I'm not walking, and just Thursday, as I was gearing up at work at a trailhead, I was lamenting my inability to find another pair of these.

My friend Christine in college also bought a pair.  I greased mine to waterproof them.  She wisely did not.  They were already waterproof, and treating mine ruined the awesome nubuk-ish finish they came with.  Still, they were my hiking and work boots (whenever I didn't need my whites) for over ten years.

Now I need to finally start listing stuff on ebay so I can pay for them.  They were a good deal, so maybe if I can sell three or four things I can cover it?  My feet have changed a lot since 1997, but this was worth the risk.

What I loved most about these boots was that they were stiff soled without being heavy and without being overly stiff at the ball of the foot.  I'm not proficient at describing gear, and maybe there are terms for what I'm trying to describe, but I proficient enough with the gear I've used to know what doesn't work for me (and I rely on my gear enough for my livelihood for it to matter).  The internet's current plethora of gear opinions might have saved me many hard lessons in my twenties, especially where my feet are concerned.  Many a first-year wildland firefighter might have been saved a lot of pain and blood back then.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Holy cow! Glacier Park Magazine

This is quite worth diverting yourself with.  I've liked this author's photos and writing over time (and I'm not just saying that because the author/photographer put my daughter in the paper, nor because he wrote a great article about Westana, nor because I liked his article on our bear ranger program a few years ago--although I was out of town for the story with my daughter in it, so I'd have otherwise only seen my husband's photo text of her school event).  In this case, its his photography.  There are certainly photos in this gallery I'd want on my wall.

Monday, July 30, 2012

July Loon Day ~ Stanton Lake with Katie

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goddess River Trip (photos)

This post is overdue.  This is an annual river trip with an awesome group of women (mostly moms).  These are only a few of the pictures, cross posted on facebook and Turtle Medicine.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Heather vs. Cougar (Mom vs. Mt. Lion)

This is Heather and her kids in a photo in the Missoulian with a well written article about her encounter.

Below is a link to Heather on the news.

The other news link is here, but without video.

She was on the phone with me a few times during all of this and it was incredibly chilling (being three or four hours away) not be able to reach through the phone and help.  I called my friend Chris Hammond, a state biologist, to find out who the right people were for the Missoula area, and he started making calls and I texted him info and updates.

The campers in a neighboring site called 911, so I was interested to know later how the 911 response differed from the Fish Wildlife and Parks response through Chris's phone calls.  But there's nothing to compare because there was no response from 911 aside from a follow up call (hopefully they'll know to call the proper FWP personnel in the future).  I find that pretty freightening, given the situation that occured and then continued and progressed.

But Chris called Jay Kolbe who pulled over on his way home from work and awaited more info.  Then he or Chris called Bob Weisner who brought his hound and a trap and met Jay at the campground.  They handled the situation, but they also helped Heather feel safe, and for that I am so grateful.

From the end of the article in the second link:

"General tips for an encounter with a lion call for not running from or approaching the lion. Give the lion room to leave the area, and immediately pick up small children. Face the lion, talk in a calm voice, enlarge your image as much as possible and remain standing. If a lion attacks, fight back."

Photo by Hether's cousin, Jay Garza

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Montana Grizzly Bear Conservation ~ Local news links

Automated Bear trap by Alter Enterprise
These links are worth reading if you are interested in grizzly policy and/or in cooperative grizzly bear conservation efforts (of the more community/grass roots but still agency-involved variety).  Obviously both ends of this picture are necessary for successful conservation of any species, especially the species with a lot of 'charisma'.

Side note: If you are involved in wildlife biology or spend time around people who are, you are likely familiar with the term "charismatic megafauna".  If not, take a side trip to this link for more on the topic....and a look at one of at least a few reasons why you may hear this term used in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek-manner.

Back on point---why would charisma make conservation harder?  In many cases it may not; especially with non-predators.  But there are many species whose controversies help to keep them in the contemporary limelight (though most of these species, such as the grizzly bear, wouldn't ever be fully out of our sight or interest with or without controversy). And those controversies (usually due to fear for personal safety or livelihood, both which in any given situation may be unfounded, bu tare very likely to have merit in many cases).

Conservation efforts without local buy off and support often waste time and money, no matter how well-founded, and across the globe have historically even harmed the species they sought to protect.

Grizzly bear conservation in Montana over the past few decades is a darn good example of a lot of the pitfalls of conservation itself.  It's a great case study of ups and downs, but also of the challenges that befall even the soundest of approaches.  There are many things that have been done right in this great state and many twists and turns over the years that have really kept the saga....lively.  It'd take several articles to even attempt to do justice to this evolution.  I plan to give it a shot if and when time permits, but with the disclaimer that I am just a spectator, with a side-ward glimpse of just a snapshot of all of this.  But there's so much to be learned, and so many pivotal crossroads currently being approached, it's certainly worth a try.

As a starter, take a look at the following current articles for a current 'snapshot'.  Later, more history of whatever sort I can find to link to.

Hanna hosts Grizzly Bear Rendezvous to support grizzly management

Jack Hanna hosts 5th or 6th grizzly bear rendezvous, Bigfork Eagle article

What’s Next for Grizzly Bears?

State and federal agencies are working on a new management plan, Flathead Beacon article

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Christopherisms: "Don't do it Mr. Bean, Don't do it!"

I know I can't remember all of today's funnies from Christopher (age six) and I wasn't even with him all day.

But here are a few.

In our canoe on a lake today (the kids were helping me with something loon related for work), heading back to a landmark we were headed to, my daughter asked where it was because we couldn't see it yet.  Christopher says, "don't worry, we can google it"

Throughout the canoe ride (3 hours in the rain), he was in charge of the bug spray, and kept offering it around by asking, "anybody want a peanut?"

Then, as we approached shore, he says:

"Now everyone stop rhyming. Anybody want a peanut?"  (For anyone who hasn't seen princess bride, follow this link to see why this was funny.)

Then tonight, eating home made pizza (courtesy of Greg who wasn't with us on the lake and beat us home and started cooking), watching Mr. Bean, he says, "Is this a reality show, or.....?"

Followed later by "Don't do it Mr. Bean, don't do it!" and something funnier I can't remember

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

No species abandons their young due to human smell

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mountain Lions Feeding on Wolves (article link)

Mountain Lions Have Killed 2 Wolves Since January

(KECI photo from article)

An encounter between a mountain lion and a radio collared wolf left the wolf dead and its carcass mostly consumed. Since January of this year, mountain lions have killed two radio collared wolves. The most recent kill was just discovered just last week."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Article Link: Massive Bighorn Sheep Found on Wildhorse Island

Link to Flathead Beacon Article: Massive Bighorn Sheep Found on Wildhorse Island

The fourth-largest bighorn sheep skull on record in Montana will be put on display next fall at the Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 office in Kalispell. - Justin Franz/Flathead Beacon

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day ~ Spring Loon Census ("Loon Day") with my kids

I was busy at our local Family Forestry Expo this past Saturday, which fell on the same day as Loon Day (an annual census of breeding lakes in western Montana, coordinated by the Montana Common Loon Working Group, supported by the Montana Loon Society).  So I had to get to some of my lakes on Mother's Day, instead; it was a long but fun and sunny work day for me and the kids.

We (the area coordinators from multiple state and federal agencies) monitor or coordinate monitoring of our respective lakes throughout the breeding/chick rearing season (roughly May to September).  On Spring and Summer census days, we try to see every lake on one day (or at least within a couple of days) to see which lakes are occupied and which pairs are nesting.

We cover some of our lakes on these censuses through 'citizen science' (use of local volunteers) but also usually still have lakes to cover ourselves and/or through our "loon rangers" (hence our Mother's Day work day).

Here are a few of our Mother's Day/Loon day photos.  These lakes are way up the North Fork of the Flathead River, just across the river from Glacier National Park.  We didn't take any Polebridge photos, where we stopped for cookies, but there are a few pictures of that beautiful spot in another post.

One of two loons on a private-access remote lake

Long-toed salamander eggs, Tepee Lake

Loon nesting on platform

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Momisms song ~ Anita Renfroe on Youtube

Take three minutes and watch this, whether you are a mom or not.  This is one of the funniest songs ever.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trick bikes, meditation, and health

Christopher (six years old) sounds out words as he walks around the house these days, and today he was up first.  I was still in bed while he ate cereal.  He'd asked me to help him swap the wheels out on the 3-inch-long die cast trick bike we bought yesterday at the dollar store (it comes with tiny tools and interchangeable parts....I've wanted one since they came out....can't really explain why).

At about the right time for him to have finished his cereal, I heard the following as he rounded the corner into my room.

"Nec-e-s-ary.....necessary, it necessary to be in bed?  We need to work on this."

Then he started to show me how to ride the bike with his fingers.  I tried to show him different things I'd seen trick riders do, but I didn't think he had a good frame of reference.  So we found this video on you-tube (which we then had to watch on the dvr that gets youtube, it was so good).

He said, "Mom, I know why you picked this one.  It's got nature AND the tricks you wanted me to see."

Friday, April 13, 2012

‘A Community To Which We Belong’ ~ Aldo Leopold Blog

‘A Community To Which We Belong’ | Wisdom Voices

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter 2012 Video

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Westana Winter Camp 2011 Video

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Save Westana Day 7

First off, if you were looking for up to date Save Westana information, go to our facebook page and our blog (Save Westana Girlscout Camp) you will only find my own blogging.

But, if you are here on purpose...holy cow, what a week!  A week ago tonight, we were sitting around a table at a leader meeting talking about what we could do to save Westana.  We were thinking initially about ways to get the word out to troops and parents to send letter to council in answer to their letter to members soliciting feedback due to a  notice that our lease would be increasing from $5,000 a year to $25,000 a year.  If you read my last blog here, you saw that I was starting up a facebook page and a blog devoted to the cause (on behalf of our group of leaders' unofficial efforts to get things going).

By the weekend our numbers were growing, and we were getting responses from very interested people.  By Sunday, I sat down for 4 hours with a very knowledgeable local GS dad who's daughter and family had put hundreds of hours into Westana in recent years.

By Monday night, while trying to spruce things up, I saw the first newspaper article on line......I was in the newspaper (just not as me), as was one of my pictures.  The paper didn't contact us, but they did quote our sites correctly, and the information from the DNRC and from the other organization who's lease rate increased was very helpful at getting us on the right track.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Save Westana, Day 1

Winter campout Feb 2011, many more photos
to come of our Westana adventures
Grassroots effort begins.....we, the leaders of the troops of Columbia Falls want to figure out what it will take to save our camp, then make it happen!

Our facebook page is bare bones so far, but it's never to early to "like" it and check back and share it as it grows.

Also, here is a link, so far, to the letter/notice of the increase in the lease that is spurring this urgent need for a plan!  We want to have well-formulated solutions to propose to council in time to make a difference!


Thanks for looking, more to come!

Also under construction.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Miles per hour youtube videos

A few brief notes on the original video, but there's no reason to get too serious about it, in my opinion:
  1. Aside from her conceptual blind spot, she is clearly not unintelligent given that her alternate methods of calculation came to within 2 minutes of the answer
  2. She seems like a sweetheart
  3. Her husband seems like overall a nice guy who cares about her
  4. I would be SO PISSED at him for the way that he taped it and for posting it!!!!
  5. This is a funny video

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Montana/Northern Rockies Wildlife pages to "like" on facebook

Facebook is a great tool for generating awareness and support for non-profit organization and for wildlife issues, in addition to fostering more general support and 'good will'.  Consider taking a minute to add a 'like' to these pages and sharing them around.
 Montana Loon Society

"Montana has the largest population of common loons in the northwest continental U.S. with only about 200 birds. The Montana Loon Society has worked hard to conserve these beautiful birds for over 20 years." 
    ~ Help generate activity for this page to support the Montana Loon Society....they work closely with biologists and DIRECTLY HELP FUND conservation on the ground....this support helps fund educational efforts, the Common Loon Working Group (an inter-agency group of biologists), and the Loon Ranger program (college interns, seasonal loon rangers, and citizen volunteers monitoring breeding and success).  These efforts have been responsible for continued population data crucial in assessing the success or failure of management strategies, conservation efforts, and impacts of long standing and new threats to breeding loons.  You can support them by visiting their site and learning about loons, buying a specialized license plate, making donations, or buying merchandise.

 Like Animals (Community page) 


Welcome to our "Like Animals" community page! We created this page for anyone that likes animals to share their photos, video, news, updates, and stories with other people that like animals... both wildlife and domestic animals!
If you like animals, then you will enjoy our "Like Animals" page and being a part of our "Like Animals" community! Feel free to post your photos, video, news, and stories about all kinds of animals... both wild and domestic! If you have friends and family that also like animals, be sure to share this page with them so they can join our "Like Animals" community too!"

Automated Bear Trap

The Automated Bear Trap (ABT) is a remarkable step forward in technology and bear safety. It allows wildlife management personnel to make real time active decisions to reduce bear captivity time and increase bear/human saftey.

Features: Remote Wireless Door Control -On site or via the Web Preset Safety alerts with email/text capabilities Password Protected – Strict Administrative Access Solar Powered Satellite Uplink Easy to use on-line interface Camera inside the trap Exterior Cameras and Monitoring Stills and/or streaming video IR and Visible light inside the ABT Temperature monitoring inside and outside the trap Reduce captivity time for Non-Target Bears

~ This patented system is used with great success in Montana and elsewhere

The Wolverine Foundation 

"The Wolverine Foundation was formed in 1996 to promote scientific and public interest in one of most fascinating and least understood creatures on Earth "

Montana Wildlife Federation works everyday to ensure that Montana's wildlife and wildlife habitat remain open to the public, and to ensure that wildlife are managed in a scientific, and responsible manner.
Montana Wildlife Federation is an organization of conservation minded people who share a mission to protect and enhance Montana's public wildlife, lands, waters, and fair chase hunting and fishing heritage.
Company Overview
Founded in 1936 by conservationists, landowners, hunters and anglers, the Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of our natural resources and the public's ability to enjoy these resources, fish and wildlife sustainability, and public hunting and fishing opportunities. We are not affiliated with any state agency, but rather we are a membership contribution organization composed of everyday citizens and our work is dedicated to the interests of everyday citizens. We are united in a common appreciation for wildlife and for all that wildlife contributes to our lives and culture."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beyond Montana ~ Sharkfinning (PLEASE watch and share these clips)

These are the links from blimp:

Dan Rather documentary clip: Sharkfinning part 1

Dan Rather documentary clip: Sharkfinning part 2

Dan Rather documentary clip: Sharkfinning part 3

There are various clips on Youtube as well.  While I feel that in some instances "shock-footage" can inspire distortion of issues and acceptance of sound bites as fact (in place of data or at least comprehensive evaluation of credible information), I also feel that there are some things you just can't grasp without seeing.  I don't know where the film makers get their numbers, so there's a risk of my having accepted less than credible sound bites so far, but the images of the fins are pretty compelling.

Penninsula Hotels stopped serving shark fin soup

Alternative Shark Finning Bill (Guam fishermen backing prohibition on finning but also trying to preserve traditions)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fish in the sea...better sustainability through 'universal' catch limits?

From the Washington Post article:

"Mark Spalding, president of the Ocean Foundation, said that people on both sides of the debate need to acknowledge that the United States is facing the sort of transformational moment in fishing that it did a half-century ago in forestry. Until the mid-1960s, the government allowed loggers unfettered access to public lands, he said."

Washington post article: 2012 Catch limits for all species

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ideas to make life easier...from an email message (good tips)

So far I've tried the popcorn and the egg carton.  I saw the egg carton on a shopping channel while flipping channels the other day and already have a bunch of ornaments stored that way that I didn't previously have a solution for.  The popcorn I just had to try when I saw the email, so I grabbed a couple of small handfuls for 2 minutes and it turned out perfect.

Hull strawberries easily using a straw.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cooke City, an avalanche, and an amanzing little survivor-dog

Missing dog found four days after Montana avalanche

Cooke City is such a beautiful place, with some amazing people and big hearts, but a sad place, too.

Two years ago campers were killed in a nearby campground by a grizzly bear that had previously recieved a food reward.

When I lived there, a long time resident, a restaurant cook and 'town protector' of sorts, told me where he wanted his ashes spread before my friend Jenny and I went back to school.  And shortly thereafter he died.