Archive for June, 2006

Fisher In the High Sierras

June 21, 2006

I talked to my niece Amber. She is surveying Fisher, a long-tailed, boreal member of the weasle family about the size of a large racoon with a long tail. Fishers are dark brown. They occur, rarely, in the High Sierra.

I used to see them in Northwest Montana, a  transplanted population that ate a lot of Porcupines. They were in the Bunker Creek area of the South Fork of the Flathead River. Like the Wolverine, they are agile and fast and suprizingly large.

I hope Amber is able to locate Fishers in California. She has her work cut out for her!

Matt

Bluegrass Music

June 20, 2006

We listened to bluegrass music as we drove in Georgia to prepare our storage for the move to the north and to get some camping gear. It was green, 95 degrees, and I was very much appreciating the AC even though that has a downside.

All of the soul music and, what my son calls ancient rock, was put aside…for the day.

in spite of a wilting Georgia drought it seemed to be green around here;at least so it seemed!

Matt

Drive to Georgia

June 17, 2006

Nothing in terms of a naturalist trip to report here; except when we got to Jen's mom's house. There the garden is organic.

We saw the Carolina Chickadee and the Tufted Titmouse. We also saw the Morning Doves and heard the Downy Woodpecker.They were seen  in the heat of the day.

The roadside (Interstate) was covered with Cudsou, an exotic plant from Asia, that grows all over Georgia. It is choking out many of the native plants. We also saw a lot of Multi-flora Rose inside of the woods south of Atlanta, I am sure it is in the woods to the north of Atlanta. It  too is another exotic plant, making it self at home, on the entire East Coast of the USA.

Matt 

Time Has an Interesting Magazine

June 14, 2006

I just bought Time Magizine, Natures Extremes. It was an over the counter impulse buy. It is much better than People Magazine or the Enquirer, both of which I have to be really bored to read at the checkout line at Safeway.

Read page 64 about polar bears and rising sea levels. It admits in the popular press that polar bears could be wiped out  by 2100, because of the melting ice in the arctic.

On page 72 is a picture of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, it is part of an article about how the Bush administration wants to open up the Arctic Wildlife Range to oil and gas drilling.That is not new and neither is this likeness. 

I remember seeing a poster much like this one when Nixon was our president, just to tell you how old this issue is.

If you go to the Gore movie, An Inconvieniant Truth, you will see that Gore first learned about Global  Warming in the fifties, a decade when many of todays scientists who are proponents of that issue were playing with their Tonka Trucks and Barbie Dolls. I know I was!

Matt

Nice Comment on Post 37

June 14, 2006

If anyone has the right information about the right car to be driving now, please post it. Cars, after all these years, still a mystery to me. I think American Car Companies would like to keep it that way in spite of what they are learning the hard way.

Matt

Costa Rica

June 12, 2006

I am researching the Central Pacific Coast near the Guanacaste, a wild and dry area of Costa Rica.

I am looking at the Osa Peninsula. I would like two settle on an area with two hundred possible birds and a good assortment of wildlife, including the big cats. I am going to definitely stop in Monte Verde. I hear the Native Costa Rican ruins are diverse and worth visiting in the area.

I am open to ideas for an opportunity that fell in my lap. Suggestions?

Matt

I Will Be Away…

June 12, 2006

My computer has crashed and I will be traveling in the NW USA for about a month and a half.  I will keep you appraised of my travels because I am going to some neat places like North Cascades National Park and the John Day Fossil beds.

 I will be camping with a three year old and a 12 year old. This is the second batch of children. I have not done a lot camping with them, and it will definitely be my last time in a major excursion with them. I will pass along some tips, because I am a stepdad to the 12 year-old.

He and I are learning some things about each other and we both have our doubts about surviving each other. I am not the "mean" type of person, but I am selfish about some of my naturalist habits, such as birdwatching. Sometimes I lack energy for him and my biological 3 year old. I understand her, and my older children, a lot better than I do my 12 year old.

So we will see how this adventure works out. Wish him, and I, luck! My posting will be more eratic during the trip.

Matt

More on Europasaurus and Dino Things

June 10, 2006

This 154 million year old dinosaur lived in northern germany,where it was a dwarf. It was found by German Paleontologists. It was related to the American (now) Camarasaurus.

For two years I lived down in Warm Springs Creek in Wyoming. A little known fact, almost forgotten by me,  was that it is the site of an Allosaurus feeding and juvenile rearing ground, and a complete Camarasaurus was found there amongst other Apatasaurian Dinosaur remains (Jurassic site).

The Camarosaurus was  studied by Denver Museum of Natural History Paleontologists. The site was owned by a German resident named Burkhart.

Matt

Europasaurus

June 10, 2006

In today's USA Today is a story about the Europasaurus. I meant to write about it tonight since it is a dinosar with dwarfism; a 20 foot long "long-neck" (total length). It is related to the 60 foot American Camarosarus, found in the Rocky Mountain West now.

I am reminded that my older son helped build a 136 foot model of a USA Seismosaurus. I got it into the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest dinosaur model. More on the Europasaurus tommorow.

Matt

Wolverines

June 7, 2006

This almost seems silly, but I want to write a post about the Wolverine.

I have seen them in the Bridger Range of Montana, in the Cabin Creek Wildlife Management Area of Montana, the McKennzie Barrons of the Northwest Territories, the Inca River of the Northwest Territories and Interior and Arctic ALaska and the Yukon.

The ones I saw, including young, were very fast and agile. They were about the size of a medium coyote and they are longer legged and less stocky then stuffed specimens I have seen of them.

They are the largest member of the weasle family. They bolt when they see humans, but like the badger they can be agressive. For wolverines that is usually at food sources, like carrion.

I have seen them take Ptarmigan and ground squirrels, and if they can get them, Yellow-bellied and Hoary Marmots. They will also eat Spruce Grouse and Blue Grouse, and their young and the Varying Hare. I have seen them in a full sprint and they are fast.

 Matt