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Showing posts from May, 2010

Where I Be

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Back to the Birds

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The desert is as green as Yellowstone was white.  All the plants, from the cheatgrass to the low larkspur to the antelope bitterbrush to the willows in the drainage bottoms, are putting their photosynthesis skills to use.  Many are displaying their brightly colored billboards, declaring to all passing insects that this is the best place to dine.   



It feels great to be back in the sagebrush desert of Idaho; I have missed it greatly.  My position with the Idaho Bird Observatory has brought me to the BLM Shoshone District, where I spend my days scrutinizing canyons, power lines, and buttes for the nests of raptors, ie golden eagles, prairie falcons, ferruginous hawks, etc.  So far, I have only found one nest...that of a red-tailed hawk, but Heidi, my coworker who has been here for 1.5 months already, has found several, including golden eagle and prairie falcon nests.  It is an exciting time out in the real world (yes, the real world); all the birds are going nuts building nests, laying e…

A Subaru Tale

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Every year, Outside Bozeman Magazine (one of the best local magazines I have ever read) runs a "Suby Tales" contest (this because Subaru is by far the most popular car in Bozeman; you are guaranteed, at the very least, three other Subaru's at every light that you stop at).  Two summers ago, during a field job searching for Mexican spotted owls in Zion National Park, something terrible happened to my Subaru.  This is the story I wrote for this years contest.  (The reply from the editor after I sent it:  "I have only two words: Holy sh**.")




A flash of light and an explosion repulsed the quiet of the desert.  Billowing flames and black smoke rippled against the towering canyon walls and lit up the dark, midnight sky.  Fully unaware of the distant blast and flare, my coworker, Steph, and I were miles away in a slot canyon, deep in sleep.  I wish I could say that I felt some odd feeling looming over me that night, some ominous foreboding or horrifying dream, but it w…