Friday, December 25, 2009

Vulcan Hot Springs

The ski into the springs was 1.75 miles across the wonderful meadow. The snow was glittery of silver rainbows with windswept texture on the frozen surface. Across the SF Salmon River, the trail continued to meander up a creek that occasionally was steamy. Upon reaching our destination, we were pleasantly amazed. The entire creek is filled with hot spring water, the source if directly from the ground. I personally, have not seen any place this amazingly active since Yellowstone NP. The hot water comes from conical fissures in the rock surface. Amazing large moss and other plants thrive in the tropical bliss.
We found the pool, filled with debris and mud. Pretty gross. But we went in and moved up towards where the water was still moving and out of most of the gunk. But not away from it enough. Gina and I both were bitten, multiple times, by something in the gunk. We did not feel it until the next morning. Lesson learned: do not go into a gunky hot springs no matter how "natural" it may be.
We left the springs, skied back to the cabin to eat lunch and pick up our gear for the ski out.

Stolle Meadows 2009

Tuesday, Gina, Henry and I skied 6 miles to Stolle Meadows cabin near the South Fork Salmon River. The drive in was blessed with a small dusting of white snow under a heavy gray sky. The air was breezy, enough to keep a chill.
Gina and I geared up ready for the ski in.6 Miles later we came upon the cabin that will be home for the night. The cabin was outfitted with a propane stove-top, pots and dishes, a bucket drain sink, wood heat stove, solar lights, 5 sleeping cots, and a table with 5 chairs (which we used for drying racks). The only "complaint" we had was the lack of strategically placed nails to hang dry clothing.
We had a wonderful evening of food, white russians, and good company. Sleep would have been great except for Henry pacing all night long except for the brief moment he slept on the cot with Gina! (I am amazed at this interaction)
Wednesday, the cold (12'F) morning was clear and blue. Looking south towards Vulcan Hot Springs, the steam cloud billowing up from over the ridge was calling me to visit. I have never seen a spring put out that much steam in winter. So, after breakfast, off we skied to Vulcan Hot Springs.Since there are many photos to be posted of the Hot Springs, I will just do a new entry.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I love Taco bell

Taco Bell's New Green Menu Takes No Ingredients From Nature

Taco bell is my fast food achilles tendon. The crispy tacos are so "fresh"/ however, now I am not so sure....

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Tis the holiday season.
Happy Holidays folks!


this one goes to Cindy D

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elk River Falls-FROZEN

It has been a while friends.This past Sunday I went to Elk River Falls with Henry and Todd. It was a cold day, temperatures around 20F, with a chilly wind that sang in the tree tops. A few times the trees would sway, the wood would creek, and I was in fear of one snapping off a top. The falls were partially frozen, adding to the beauty of the sunny day. Henry stirred up some elk, but did not chase them cause I called him and he returned immediately. He can be such a good dog.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The God Squad v. ecology

Another paper written for my class:

We humans are very egocentric. We believe we know everything, can control anything, and it is our divine duty to conquer all. However, Mother Nature has the upper hand. From the space between electrons to beyond the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere, many connections exist in the ecological web that humans are unaware of. It is only through our actions do we learn of these connections and sometimes the actions are irreversible and negative in consequence.

Aldo Leopold is a typical human who made a bold statement towards the eradication of predators. The vicious furry buggers were in direct competition for resources that humans desired. By eliminating the competition, more deer and elk will be available for human consumption. This direct linear thinking of predator-prey dynamics is an example of human’s narrow vision and ignorance of the interconnected environment.

The article “Linking Wolves and Plants” exemplifies a terrestrial context of trophic cascades and tangent impacts to the environment. In my graduate study at UI, my research is focused on aquatic ecology; specifically a keystone zooplankton species and its role in nutrient cycling, water clarity, and trophic influence. I have read articles on ecology and trophic cascades by Pace, Paine, Carpenter, and many other important scientists. Even in the “isolated” context of a lake, the boundary between the biological and physical worlds is not defined. Every year, new knowledge is obtained and every year that knowledge is contested. Even in the scientific world, earth systems are not certain and humans continue to make mistakes.

As for management of a species or ecosystem, we strive to do our best with what little understanding we have. The most difficult part is determining the most direct holistic goal of any management activity. This includes natural systems and human interests, neither of which coincide.

Back to wolf reintroduction. In the mid 1990’s I was all for wolf reintroduction. Bring back the natural balance that our human fears destroyed! Screw the ranchers! Wolves were here first. This na├»ve view from an urban idealist has been challenged. What a better challenge than one that impacts personal ego. Two years ago, while working on the Payette National Forest, my dog and I encountered a wolf. 20 Linear feet above the road on the cut bank was a beautiful gray wolf staring down at my dog. I yelled, my dog returned to me, the wolf strolled up over the ridge.

I still today question how I fit in the wilderness with a four legged companion. However, it still boils down to my idealist view of preserving the natural wilds for what they provide to Mother Earth’s complex design. Let them (predators) come. Let us stop trying to interfere.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blue Green in Willow Creek

For those of you who may be interested in where and what I am doing for my graduate research, here is a short video of a wonderful cyanobacteria bloom in Willow Creek Reservoir. Video taken in September 2009.

The object out there is the long distance circulation machine. I(S) wOuLd put the nA(R)me of the machine But big brothE(E)r is watching and I do not need another notice to the superiors of my blogging (see prior post January 20 2009).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend..cold in McCall

This weekend was packed full of fun.
Saturday, Molly, Henry, Marius and I went to McCall.
On the way we hiked Rapid River. The dogs swam a bit in the cold clear water. We only encountered one couple with a dog. I picked this trail for the scenery and by staying in the canyon, we could avoid most of the hunters. It was opening weekend for Elk season.

After Rapid River, we went to McCall for the Cultural Day festival, hiked a little bit on Brundage Mountain, at at Crusty's Pizza, and finished the evening off at Gold Fork Hotsprings.

The next morning included breakfast at FoggLifter Cafe. Mmmm good coffee.
(Southwest: Wallowa Mtns, and Seven Devil Mtns)
On the return drive, we detoured to the Heavens Gate lookout. What a view of the area. To the north was Craig Mountain and the Camas Prairie, the East was the Salmon River Canyon and many jagged peaks in Salmon River Mountians, the south was Rapid River and the start of the Seven Devils, the WEst was Seven Devils, Wallowa mountains, and Hells Canyon.
(Northwest: Hells Canyon)
I love the beauty of Idaho.
(East: Salmon River Canyon)
I returned to Moscow with two lumps of Crusty's pizza crust and two growlers of beer from the Salmon River Brewery in McCall. Highly recommend both places should you ever be in the area.

I must mention, the temperatures were high of 10' Celsius to low of 10' Celsius. Had to use metric for the Norwegian guest. For those who are not in science or used to internationally recognized units, interpret it as really cold.

Monday, October 5, 2009

AZ video

I have been getting into video making since I did one for a class project. This phase soon will pass. There is much work to do for school.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I have been tagged.

Where's your cell phone: pocket
Your hair: thinning
Your mother: packrat
Your father: geek
Favorite Food: bacon
Dream last night: anxiety
Favorite drink: juice
What room are you: bedroom
Where were you last night: home
Something that you aren't: tall
Muffins: poppyseed
Wish list item: FinancialFreedon
Where did you grow up: Illinois
What are you wearing: REdANtsPAnts
Your pets: neurotic
Friends: Biatches!
Something you're not wearing: makeup
Favorite store: hardware
Favorite color: green
Last time you laughed: morning
Best friend: supportive
Place you go to over and over: work
Person who emails you regularly: cindyD
Favorite place to eat: Mikeys Gyros

one word answers
pass it on...

I tag Gina..

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Go Barack!

I am so proud of the speech given by our newest President. He talked about healthcare and broke down the health-scare that is flying about on the airways. He is calling on us and our lawmakers to use our heads, not our fears, to determine what is ultimately right for the better of our people of the United States of America. As I have time, hopefully I will attach a link to his speech.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sockeye for your eye

Here is more from this past weekend trip.

The Sockeye were swimming up from Wallowa Lake. It was fun to watch.

What surprised me was the lack of information for tourists to read. No signs were posted suggesting people to stay out of the river bed. Why should you not go into the river? First off you scare the fish. Second, you may unintentionally step on a redd, in other words smother the eggs the poor fish died to put there.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Western Drives

I love driving out west and here is why:

Amy and I went to Joseph, OR on Sunday and Monday. Albeit a bit chilly, we hiked, ate and drank our selves merry. Henry had fun too.

Pictures will be posted soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bottled water destroys local water supplies

Do you drink bottled water?
Do you believe it is better for you?
Do you know where the water is coming from?
Do you care?

Watch this section of Democracy Now. At the tail end of the section, a few other brand names are called out to be questioned on the impact to the environment and people who's aquifers are drying up so water can be stored on a shelf for your luxury.

Should you be more interested in what Frack-Drilling is doing to the drinking water of citizens of Colorado and Wyoming click on the Democracy Now web page to watch the remaining time of the above episode. Petroleum equals pollution. This includes natural gas, oil, and gasoline...what are we to do?

Dang, I am in a pissy mood.

Dancing fool

MAkes me want to DANCE!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grill Time!

My parents visited this summer and bought me a Smokey Joe grill. I have greatly enjoyed grilling up the wonderful organic vegetables brought to the table by Soil Stewards, the UI student CSA farm.

As one can see, the dogs patiently lay in wait...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hood River

Over 4th of July weekend, I had to work in Heppner. Not to have the whole weekend spoiled, Clinton, me and the two dogs went to Hood River. We ate at the Full Sail Brewery which was awesome food for a major brewery. We drank at the Double Mountain Brewery, yummy yum yum. We hung out at the river park. We spent the night off some forest road with a view of Mt Hood. It was awesome being a tourist in a tourist town.

Hidy ho its the St Joe!

This summer I went up to the St Joe River a few times. Each time the adventure grew from the last. The final trip (so far) resulted in rafting/fishing down two sections of the wonderful river. My companions were Henry!, Tim Caldwell, and Sue Bury.
The raft was a 12.5ft NRS with oar-frame. This set up was preferred since I was the only one with rafting experience, Tim's goal was to fish, and Sue's goal...lets just say she was wonderful help and great company to have.
Lots of cutthroat was caught by Tim on the first day. I fished one hole and caught a cutty. I may have fished more but there was always a rock to maneuver around just 20 feet ahead. The early August float was a bit late for smooth riding. Sleeper rocks everywhere. The weather was cloudy and gray.
The second day was lower in the watershed and had less cutthroat. But there was a rope swing and less sleeper rocks. This day the weather was warm and sunny.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School is back in session

Hello all. It has been a wild busy summer with field work. I now have over 200 samples..maybe 300 count. Much of this needs to occur before October 1 as I am presenting my data to an international audience of lake managers at the International Symposium of NALMS (north american lake managers) in Hartford, CT on October 29, 2009. This will be my first major presentation ever.

I have some photos and summer things to post for you all. Please be patient.

My great friend Gina is staying with me this fall. She is taking courses at UI to help finish her Masters in Natural Resources. It shall be wonderful having a conversationalist in the home. Sorry, but Henry does not converse, he only knows: stick, ball, food, bastard, grrr.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

travel guides

Check out this blog, it has great guides for many cities. The woman who put the guides together is an architect with a hip eye for retro things.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Craig Mountain Wildlife Preserve

What a great place this was. CMWP is located south of Lewiston and encompasses 120K acres. The south boundary is the Salmon River, the west boundary is the Snake River, and the rest is private and agriculture lands. This particular day we did not see any wildlife, however the area is home to bighorn sheep, elk and deer. Plus bear, mountain lion and 3 bachelor wolves.

Above are old cabins at the Zaza stagecoach site. Not much else remains at the site. Below are scenic pictures of the Snake River breaks.

St Joe

Mid June Clinton, the dogs and I went fishing and camping up on the St Joe River, upstream of Avery, ID.
The first night we fished, I caught two cutthroat trout, Clinton caught none.

Thunder, lightning, and rain visited the campsite right as we were near finished cooking dinner.

The next day we drove slowly out and fished a few spots but did not catch anything. According to Clinton, it was to late (noon) in the day to catch fish.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Voyeur on blogspot

Voyeur wedding. What a beautiful wwedding. Ilove other cultures and the elaborate weddings that occur:Click HERE to see pictures of smiles, wonderful fabric, great henna, etc....the pics may change over time so look fast!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Salmon paper

This summer I am taking an Environmental Journalism course for the fun of it. The course has exposed me to the manner in which journalists see and research topics. I have not picked up on the jargon, interviewing tools, or in depth sleuthing required to write a catching article. I also must put my opinion in the paper. Maybe someday I can refine this to be an editorial writer. Any who, below is a paper I just wrote regarding salmon recovery and dams. Pointless, that is what my papers seem to be, pointless.

In the Pacific Northwest, large numbers of steelhead, Chinook, and sockeye salmon historically migrated from the ocean to spawn in headwaters of the Columbia, Salmon, and Snake Rivers. With the installation of hydroelectric projects within the Columbia River basin the salmon and steelhead runs have greatly declined.
Native American Tribes, environmental groups, and fishermen demand something be done to save the salmon and restore the large migrating runs to near historical numbers. Scientists, environmental organizations, and government have agreed that the salmon populations are being impacted by dams but disagree on the how the dams impact the salmon and what needs to be done about it.
When the dams were built, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) had enough foresight to know that the salmon runs would be impacted and built hatcheries to mitigate for the loss of natural salmon. The success of hatcheries is controversial. Some people such as the Army Corps of Engineers and local fishermen are proud to show that there are salmon in the water regardless of their origin. As Tim Caldwell, a fisherman, was overheard saying while holding a string of large salmon caught this past June near Whitebird, ID, “there is no salmon problem, we slayed them today.” However, Ellen Hamann, a fisheries biologist student at the University of Idaho, replied “if you believe in hatcheries, then that is true.” Fisheries biologists argue that hatcheries are decreasing the genetic diversity of salmon and creating an inferior fish.
Even with the success of hatcheries in producing millions of salmon juveniles, the young fish still need to navigate around dams and endure the environmental conditions created from impoundment of water.
On a recent tour of Lower Granite Dam, a run of the river hydroelectric project on the lower Snake River, the ACOE tour guide dispelled some common misconceptions of the impact of the dam on the salmon population. One such misconception was the turbines acting as a “Quiznart, chopping the juveniles into little pieces. Actually, the turbines are moved by the water passing the blades, not the blades pushing the water.” Another misconception of the turbines is the great pressure placed on the juveniles crushes the salmon. This was dispelled with research using paintball like structures and passing them through the turbines and recovering them. According to the ACOE, there is no negative effect to the juveniles from pressures in the turbines however, they have invested millions of dollars into juvenile bypass systems such as the Removable Spillway Weir (RSW) and barging the juveniles downstream past several dams.
The entrance to the turbines and through the typical spillway requires the juvenile salmon to swim down (or they get sucked in the whirlpool) 50 feet to pass the dam and then go down a slide into very turbulent water. Research has shown that the juvenile salmon typically swim near the surface of the water and diving down to depths is not natural.
The RSW allows water from the surface to spill over the dam, facilitating the outward migration of salmon. Research performed by NOAA and USGS on the survival rates of juvenile salmon and steelhead going over the RSW versus the typical spillway showed no significant increase in survival between spillways.
Barging the juveniles past the dams to increase survival has effects on the returning adult migration. Research performed by the Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit at the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID have shown results that suggest “juvenile transport [barging] impaired adult orientation or homing abilities, perhaps by disrupting sequential imprinting processes during juvenile out migration.” Therefore, barging the juveniles increases the survival of the young fish but impairs the ability of the adult fish from returning to suitable spawning areas.
In the past, dam breaching was a topic reserved for environmentalists and the government would not consider it in negotiations toward reviving the salmon populations. Recently, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, stated that dam breaching should be considered in all present and future talks regarding the salmon and dam issue which also means including a non-breaching option. Federal Judge James Redden is to decide if the latest Snake and Columbia River Salmon project written by the Bush Administration is legal.
The cost of dam breaching versus continuing the present management is also up to debate. Save Our Salmon, a coalition favoring dam breaching, claims a savings of $50 million annually plus an additional $500 million in real benefit value. The ACOE Draft Environmental Statement estimates the cost of dam breaching to be $246 million annually in forfeited economic benefits than other alternatives. Presently, according to Brig. Gen. David Fastabend, ACOE, the “$506 million a year spent on salmon recovery represents the entire regional federal budget for dam improvements, habitat restoration, and hatchery and harvest management activities.“
Obviously the ACOE is attempting to do anything to save the salmon at whatever cost as long as the dams are not to be breached. Their record of success on improving the runs is costing millions of dollars with little success. The loss of hydropower is the biggest economic hurdle to overcome but with the various sustainable energy technologies being developed and used, maybe the millions of dollars could be better spent supporting another power source instead of keeping the failed dams alive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Food for thought. The consumer focus is what caught my interest. Specifically how money, industry, and capitalism has destroyed communities and sent humans into a spiral of consumption.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Selway Falls

OMG! The falls were huge and there is no way I could capture it on film. There is also no way anyone would be able to survive a trip through the maytag falls.

Manly stick

This one is for Miss Gina. Henry is learning about the manly stick.

Monday, May 18, 2009

summer begins

Ah it is summer break. It is a break from courses but not the requirements of research. However, the lack of students running all over campus creates an air of quiet study conducive to getting stuff done.

With the onset of summer, I did a bit of spring cleaning yesterday at my home. Cleared out the second bedroom for a temporary guest. All my camping gear, craft stuff, photos, and ski gear had to get moved out. The stuff was then neatly piled into my bedroom. The windows are open, last night was warm all night. Ahh summer.

Hopefully i will be able to get posting again.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring weather

ah spring time in Moscow.
the rains fall from the sky and someday the sun will dry it up.
this weekend was the Moscow Renaissance Fair. it rained from 2pm Saturday to 3pm Sunday. the poor venders who rely on the sales to make a living. Most folks were gone during the cold rain.
There were good bands playing however, I saw/heard little of it due to the rain.
I did get two garden plots ready for seeds. The sizes are about 2x4 feet each. Already there are brussel sprout starts, lettuce, spinach, radish, and morning glory seeds planted. I have three tomato plants that I am going to put in pots, one pepper plant, two dill, two parsley, two sunflowers, and some purple basil that are going to go into the ground when the rains let up or the temperatures rise a bit.
I thought I was going to forego gardening this summer, but I must be addicted to diggin in dirt.
I also transplanted a spider plant last week.
Or am i avoiding the mounds of homework that is due this week, and the lab work I have sitting in the refridgerator?
Sorry, no pictures with this post.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Other worlds

Surfing in cyberspace wasting time
or is it exploring the other worlds?
One article lead to another, next thing I know
I bookmarked a new news page:
Mother Jones

From there I found a neat photo essay:
Phone Sex Operators

Ah, getting lost on the internet can be deadly.

"what begins with 'F' ends in "K" and means "screw your employees?"

answer: 401(k)

That was an article title from Mother Jones...