Hunt preparations

We start our hunting season this coming week, so are hoping for deep snow up high in the flattops. So far does not look too encouraging. We need deep snow to bring the elk down. We have had a really dry year. Tim thinks the bears will be raiding town as their natural food sources did not produce this year. However, during muzzleloading and archery season here, only a few elk were taken, but at least 16 bears were taken.
We have seen bear sign both down Dragon and near Stedman Mesa. Still so warm, am pretty sure they will be awake till late in the season. One of our town deer is really sick we think…a deer with the runs…kind of a nasty mess…one fella told us that is one of the signs of CWD. I just hope the deer quits covering our sidewalks with that odd coating!

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Seeing the Sites

We have seen so much during June.  There are over 30,000 recorded Indian sites in the county where Blanding, Utah is located.  We saw some neat ones at the state archeology convention there.  We also headed northeast without a set destination and saw some of the most amazing places.  Ready for this?  Not sure I am!

Como Bluff, Wyoming:  The government built a tourist attraction building out of the leftover dinosaur bones from the early 1900′s collections by Marsh and Cope (think bone wars!).  The building is still standing, with all these bones to look at, but no one around.  Would be nice if the ‘gummint’ could afford to reopen the tourist shop, but I guess I 80 took away all the traffic.  There are 6,796 bones in the building, weighing in at 112,000 pounds.

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument:  This is the place to see the ‘Devil’s corkscrews’…These paleocaster (ancient land beavers) tunnels filled with volcanic dust and fossilized along with rhinos, oreodonts, and beardogs.

Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron, Nebraska:  An extensive collection of Indian trade guns, trade cloth and blankets, mirrors, beads, knives and pots can be seen here.  Said to be the most comprehensive American Indian textile trade goods collection in the world.  Also available here are antique varieties of old Indian garden plants including; squash, watermelon, corn, and beans.

Hudson-Meng Bison bone bed, near Chadron, Nebraska:  Knapp-in on Labor Day weekend here, 300 plus bison were fossilized at this paleo-indian jump site.  Bones can be viewed in air conditioned comfort.  

 

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How Dry I Am

So hot and dry here that I think we have seen all the wildflowers that will have enough moisture to bloom this year.  Wild life is benefitting from the water the cattlemen put out for the cattle.  Places where the BLM lets sheep run are a barren desert. 

One sheepman abandoned about 10 lambs by driving his sheep to fast about a week ago, with lambs less than a week old.  People who lived in the area were catching the babies in order to bottle feed them, rather than watch them die of thirst and starvation.  The sheep guy doesn’t care, he is going to write it off on his income tax as loss due to wildlife depredations of coyote and eagles.  That is not the case, as he shoots all the coyote and eagles in this area…I know…..been out there……

Gossip inflates numbers….think it was closer to ten lambs abandoned in the first paragraph, so I edited this post.  Very hot and dry here, the peas are not going to produce much this year, thanks to the heat and the deer who decided to eat pea plants this year.  A lot of the tree blossoms were frozen off this spring, so may not get many cherries this year.  Speaking of food, I’m headed for the kitchen…Talk again next week!

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May Flowers

Claret cup cacti are blooming down in Hell’s Hole.  Brought home a lot more of the ‘ears and tears’ of Hell’s Hole.  Tim hiked down from the top of Rabbit Mountain, later heard that the lion hunters hate for their dogs to go the way Tim did.  They tend to loose dogs there.

There is an astronomy club forming in Strangely, could be interesting…Solar eclipse on May 20th……

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visited the Texas Creek overlook….

Hope you are getting out and having fun!!

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White Face Butte

Monday we made the long hike to the top of White Face via the northern slopes.  You can’t get up the south end unless you have real cliff climbing gear.  Lots of banded siltstone on the top, a few deer antlers, and a wild horse skeleton.  Way to far to haul many rocks down, so we left lots of good stuff up there.  Thursday we hiked a bunch of the lower sagebrush top hills east of White Face, but didn’t find anything worth taking home.

Today a cold wind is putting a chilly end to a few days of summer 70 degree weather.  Lots of wildflowers are blooming out there, so get out and enjoy!

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Insomnia

It snowed all night long last night, the moisture is so welcome!  I have now exhausted all the herbal store offerings for sleep at night.  The last one I attempted gave me some very scary side effects as it messes with your cortisol levels.  This stuff was a mixture of Magnolia officinalis, Withania somnifera, and Epimedium Koreanum.  Did not allow me to go to sleep, and we were out hiking about 12 hours after I took one pill.  I started seeing double and getting dizzy because of the vision problems.  Really a horrible feeling when you see two cliff edges beside you.  This was down in Hell’s Hole.  Benadryl is still the only thing which works about half the time to help me get to sleep.  I have to make sure I don’t take it over twice every two weeks for it to work.  Kind of rough when it is every third night that you don’t sleep.

We found a new to us petroglyph site on Missouri Creek and Tim saw a herd of does with two new fawns.  The fawns were taken away by does, with two does left as decoys to lead Tim away from the direction the fawns went.  Tim did not cooperate, sitting down on the ground where he was.  That really threw a monkey wrench into the does’ plans, as they then had to hang around watching Tim watch them.  They were only about thirty yards away from Tim.  The deer in this area are not hunted, so don’t have much fear of people.  The bucks have lost their antlers also, as Tim saw Jackson in the yard minus his rack.  He still announces that he is around by knocking the metal pan off the table after he eats all the grain available.

At the gas station last week we talked to a fella from Kentucky delivering chicken coops made by an Amish family in Pennsylvania.  Really fancy, nice looking chicken coops.  He delivers them as far away as Washington state.  Amazing that they can be delivered across the nation economically.

The peas, squash, and cantaloupe are all peeking out of their pots and looking so nice!  The squash, cantaloupe, and tomatoes still have to be taken into the house at night for another month.  Hope I don’t forget and freeze them.

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Look Up!

Sky stuff in the next few months:

April 22- Lyrid meteor shower, about 10 per hour, appears in the predawn southern sky

May 4- Eta Aquarid meteor shower, about 10 per hour, appears predawn in the southeastern sky

May 20: Solar eclipse in the afternoon- USE PROPER EYE PROTECTION

June 5: Transit of Venus across the face of the sun, near sunset- USE PROPER EYE PROTECTION-this event will not reoccur until 2117

Pictures are two of a young nighthawk on the ground, taken last year, and the third is of a rattlesnake (from last year also).  The snakes are out, last week Jarrod found a freshly shed snakeskin while we were out hiking, so watch out for that wildlife!

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