Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday's Elk Photo

Click to enlarge

I really liked the way things came together for this shot! 
I would like to say that I knew that as the sun set it would make for an interesting photo if the elk were around. The reality is, that while I knew the sun was into the lens at that time of day, I thought it would ruin any photos taken. I was just too lazy to relocate the camera.  I'm glad I didn't. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A nice couple of days with good weather, family, deer, honey bees, and things to photograph.

Click to enlarge.
The barn bees swarmed and I didn't have a hive ready. They were low and easy to get at too. 

Wildflower, A Lilly.  Brodiaea terrestris
(with tiny ants)

I pretty sure it's our native rhodie.  Rhododendron macrophyllum . Not spurge laurel (Daphne laureola), which is an invasive plant and looks similar to me when it's not flowering. 
Me, Daisy & my sister

Had to cut that Scotch Broom seedling!

Getting a camera card.

Daisy had fun as usual.

The wood duck nest box with a red shafted flicker borrowing it.

Schizophyllum commune. Each about the size of a quarter. It is the world's most widely distributed and the most studied mushroom in the world, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. Growing on a fallen oak.

Doe & faun

they seem to like this spot, as they are here just about every day.

Friday, June 21, 2013

More Game cam Elk

Enjoying what's left of the mineral block.

The babysitter cow, her calf & a couple of others by the North dam.
The grass is pretty high & will be mowed & baled fairy soon. (If the rain stays away.)

At least one of these elk does not like to be photographed. She started out unplugging the battery wire from the camera. Then she decided to just bite it off when somebody must have told her that unplugging it would just engage the backup batteries in the camera and that leaving it plugged in and cutting the wire would shut it down and make me have to reprogram it when I set it up again.
There is nothing special about this location, other than it is by a short opening in a line of trees that they like to walk through into a more sheltered smaller field.
I thought I had them fooled this time. I screwed strips of bark over the battery accessory wire leading up to the camera lag bolted to the Oak tree. It didn't work. The bark was pulled off, the wire was chewed to pieces and I never found the ends meaning more money for Radio shack and time soldering those little tiny contacts on the plug. At least she unplugged it, so there were more pictures. I'll screw something heavier over the wire this time, and maybe place a salt block out there to give them something else to focus their attention on like on one of the other cameras. They also like to breath on the lens to fog it up for the next ten or fifteen shots until it clears up.
The culprit in the act!
My sister and her son were visiting from Canada and we all took a Jeep ride around the place. She had never seen the elk and we managed to drive right into the herd when we got to the top field. We seem to have everything they need here and they show up year round on the cameras or through personal sightings just about every week. Which probably means at least some of them are always here.
Now I will warm up a soldering iron and make up a new battery wire. I just keep the AA's in the cameras to hold the memory settings and use a 6v sealed battery for power as they still have at least six volts in them when I pull them for re-charge every year. (or when I have to make up a new wire). The AA's drain in a few weeks after several thousand photos. I have the cameras set for three shots and a delay of one second until the next shot if it senses movement. This makes for a lot of pictures, and my biggest problem is choosing which to keep and tossing the rest. I hate to delete them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Man threatens FBI building with burrito

Man threatens FBI building with burrito

(Not the actual burrito. Photo of an actor.)
Updated: Friday, 14 Jun 2013, 6:21 AM MDT
Published : Friday, 14 Jun 2013, 6:21 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A man is in federal custody after allegedly threatening to blow up the Albuquerque FBI building by placing an explosive inside a burrito.
Investigators say 50-year-old Brian DeMarco made two threats on federal buildings from the Super 8 motel off of Coors Boulevard.
A federal affidavit says DeMarco first called an FBI phone line in West Virginia on Tuesday night saying he was going to send a burrito bomb to the Albuquerque FBI field office.
That was followed by a phone call the next morning to a Denver Department of Homeland Security office, saying he would blow up the Albuquerque Social Security office at 10 a.m. using a timer-detonated device.
The offices were evacuated but no explosives were found.
Federal agents traced the call to the Super 8 Motel where they caught up with DeMarco.
Investigators say he told them he was angry at the U.S. Government because he believed it had “placed a tracking device inside his head” in addition to “beaming photons into his head.”
He also told them he has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder.
(DeMarco was detained and charged with making threats and creating a hoax.)
When truth is stranger than fiction?  Why didn't he just give them a gift certificate to taco bell?
It would have accomplished the same thing and they wouldn't have arrested him!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

More deer on the Game cam.

We took the Jeep to cut some Broom that I knew had been missed by the machine and I thought I might as well pull a couple of camera cards, even though they had only been in the cameras a couple of days.        The bucks are growing some nice antlers this year!
As usual, click on the photo for full size.

Stretched  image from his motion. This guy with the antler laying down over his right eye shows up every year. 
It doesn't seem to affect him. He looks healthy.

The next couple of photos are of a doe & her twins. Last week I came across them in the trail on the way up the hill but I didn't have my camera. This tim,e I did, but by the time I switched from the macro lens to the 200mm they were off the road and on the way up the hill. Maybe next time I'll get a better photo.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Scotch Broom

I hired John Dalke to do some Broom mowing. It went so well I did three days worth. He did an excellent job. There are still patches, some he couldn't get to with his machine, but the worst is gone. I can borrow a small sprayer from Budde with a  boom that I can tow behind the jeep and spot spray the places he mowed. There are still small sprouts that survived the mowing, and places where he couldn't get the machine. As usual, click on the photos to enlarge them.
On one of the the hills
In the woods 
 There was a lot of Scotch Broom!

I found a new variety of some kind of mustard the other day.  The flowers are macro if not microscopic. The closest we can get on an I.D. is Descurainia (incana I think), but it doesn’t quite match any of the variations of Descurainia I can find.  My friend Jake  is helping me.  Always something new here.

Descurainia incana (?)

 Each flower in the cluster is maybe 1 to 2mm   (That is a small ant I didn't see when I took the macro photo)                                                                 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lest we forget! Gun safety

Lately, with the run on just about every gun and any and all ammunition in the stores, people who shouldn't even consider owning a gun are thinking they should buy one now while they can. This is placing something dangerous in the hands of the untrained. A quick course often without actually firing the gun they just bought, and they can even carry concealed, still without the proper training.
In light of all the "gun fired while being cleaned" incidents, "accidental" shootings, and the numerous cases of law enforcement personnel whose firearms fired at inopportune times, and some who managed to shoot themselves, I am posting Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety.
I was going to attach more links, but with a quick Google search  searching only for sheriffs and deputies shooting themselves  or having an "accidental" discharge, I found so many I didn't know which to chose. Mind you, these are from people that should have been trained better than the average citizen and do not include the guy next door "cleaning" his firearm and shooting someone in the house next door. Which seems to happen quite often.

It wouldn't hurt to read, or reread everything below. Ask yourself if you can quote all of the rules and explain them as well, to someone else. I did, and found the exercise helpful.

 Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety


There are no exceptions. Do not pretend that this is true. Some people and organizations take this rule and weaken it;e.g. "Treat all guns as if they were loaded." Unfortunately, the "as if" compromises the directness of the statement by implying that they are unloaded, but we will treat them as though they are loaded. No good! Safety rules must be worded forcefully so that they are never treated lightly or reduced to partial compliance.
All guns are always loaded - period!
This must be your mind-set. If someone hands you a firearm and says, "Don't worry, it's not loaded," you do not dare believe him. You need not be impolite, but check it yourself. Remember, there are no accidents, only negligent acts. Check it. Do not let yourself fall prey to a situation where you might feel compelled to squeal, "I didn't know it was loaded!"

Conspicuously and continuously violated, especially with pistols, Rule II applies whether you are involved in range practice, daily carry, or examination. If the weapon is assembled and in someone's hands, it is capable of being discharged. A firearm holstered properly, lying on a table, or placed in a scabbard is of no danger to anyone. Only when handled is there a need for concern. This rule applies to fighting as well as to daily handling. If you are not willing to take a human life, do not cover a person with the muzzle. This rule also applies to your own person. Do not allow the muzzle to cover your extremities, e.g. using both hands to reholster the pistol. This practice is unsound, both procedurally and tactically. You may need a free hand for something important. Proper holster design should provide for one-handed holstering, so avoid holsters which collapse after withdrawing the pistol. (Note: It is dangerous to push the muzzle against the inside edge of the holster nearest the body to "open" it since this results in your pointing the pistol at your midsection.) Dry-practice in the home is a worthwhile habit and it will result in more deeply programmed reflexes. Most of the reflexes involved in the Modern Technique do not require that a shot be fired. Particular procedures for dry-firing in the home will be covered later. Let it suffice for now that you do not dry-fire using a "target" that you wish not to see destroyed. (Recall RULE I as well.)

Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.

Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.
I'm underlining the words "what is in line with it, and what is behind it", in Rule IV because all too often, when hunting, and, especially if the target is moving, tunnel vision encompassing only the target can ensue. I might add, Don't shoot at a high enough target that a miss will send the bullet somewhere unknown, downrange. Know where it will stop whether it is a hit or a miss!


Make these rules a part of your character. Never compromise them. Improper gun handling results from ignorance and improper role modeling, such as handling your gun like your favorite actor does. Education can cure this. You can make a difference by following these gun handling rules and insisting that those around you do the same. Set the example. Who knows what tragedies you, or someone you influence, may prevent?
Here are the NRA rules of gun safety. 

NRA Gun Safety Rules
Available as a brochure
The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
When using or storing a gun, always follow these NRA rules:
  • Know your target and what is beyond.Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
  • Know how to use the gun safely.Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun's mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.
  • Be sure the gun is safe to operate.Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun's general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun's ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
  • Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
  • Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.
  • Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
  • Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
  • Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
  • CleaningRegular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
    A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
    Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun's action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Changing the nature of using Nature

An article by an old friend of mine as posted in The Source Weekly, from Bend Oregon. More of his excellent writings here.

Changing the nature of using Nature 

There was a time—in my lifetime, actually—when anyone wanting firewood for winter simply drove a few miles from town and cut a full season's supply; no permit necessary. But not anymore.
There was a time when anyone could hunt, fish, hike, pedal a bike, drive a motorcycle or snowmobile anywhere they wanted. Not anymore. There was a time when anyone could hike the entire Cascade Range without worrying about where to camp, where to build a fire—or whether he or she had a permit. But you can't do that anymore either.
There also was a time when there was no limit on the number of ducks and geese you shot during hunting season, or the number of fish you brought home to feed the family.
Dean Hollinshead, a Deschutes County pioneer, told me that when he came to La Pine in 1910, his dad took him fishing with a case of dynamite at Pringle Falls. Dean and his two brothers, Chet and Cecil, would wait at the bottom of the falls with dip nets, while their dad went to the upper end and began throwing sticks of dynamite into the water that exploded with a roar, killing hundreds of fish.
In moments, hundreds of dead Dolly Varden trout came floating by and the Hollinshead boys scooped them out with their nets. In about a week there were 20 or so barrels of salted trout put up that would get the family through the winter at the Hollinshead claim near Dorrence Meadow. The only place you can see wild Dollies today is under the bridge at Camp Sherman.
The days of "no end to it all, it'll last forever" are gone. Our forests have been exploited for almost all the big trees. Dead trees that once supported abundant cavity-nesting birds, and kept a lot of homes warm in winter, are carefully managed so that some can be used for wildlife and others for firewood.
In the mid-1800s, no one had the slightest inkling that passenger pigeons would someday be extinct. But when tons of pigeon meat was shipped to restaurants in New York and Philadelphia year after year, passenger pigeons vanished forever.
A few decades later, the millinery trade convinced ladies that feathers in their hats would make them more attractive. The result was a mass killing of herons, egrets and other waterfowl that brought several of them to the brink of extinction. Here, in the Central Oregon marshes, Western Grebes were slaughtered by bird-shooters by the tens of thousands, only their breast skin and feathers cut from their bodies and marketed as "Oregon Sable."
In the '50s and '60s you would have been hard-pressed to see a wild bald eagle or peregrine falcon soaring overhead, because of DDT and its byproduct DDE. But not anymore. We have rebuilt their populations through habitat conservation and other management considerations. (Last year, though, in a reminder of the lasting devastation of these chemicals, scientists found that DDE was still present in the Columbia River ecosystem, leading to thinner bald eagle eggshells and nest failure. This despite that DDT was banned in 1972.)
Sure, it costs money now to hike the Cascade Crest; you have to purchase a permit. You also must purchase a woodcutting permit to harvest dead trees that keep us warm over winter. But, thanks to the Migratory Bird Act of 1918, it's also illegal to place feathers of protected birds in your hat, or disturb the nests of native birds.
"Conservation" has taken the place of "Exploitation"; "Management" has taken the place of "No Management" of our natural resources.
There's a strict limit on what species of fish, waterfowl, upland game birds and game animals may be harvested—how many you can take home during hunting season. And you can only hunt during the season, not any old time you want to. You cannot use explosives to harvest fish either.
(But I can recall hearing booms of dynamite east of Bend in the '50s when people used blasting powder to harvest trout trapped in the irrigation canals when the water was shut off to Alfalfa. One year, some dimwit went out with his shotgun to shoot the trout. After spending a half-day shooting at them speeding by, he stuck the barrel of the shotgun in the water and pulled the trigger. I can't remember if he survived or not.)
The answer to saving species boils down to three key factors: Habitat conservation, natural diversity and species protection. Without a place to call home, a roof (of some kind) over everyone's heads, enough food to eat and a place where they can find safe shelter, trying to save wildlife is a lost cause.
Yes, the passenger pigeon and (perhaps) the Ivory-billed woodpecker are gone, but we are working hard to save the snowy plover, northern spotted owl, American bald eagle, California condor, the golden eagle—and now—Man.
We're close to exciting and challenging changes of true conservation of our natural treasures. We're (hopefully) learning from our mistakes. We know what it takes to ensure the safety of nesting eagles. We know what it's going to take to save what salmon we have left.
We also know that whatever we do won't be easy, or inexpensive. And as we soar into a new century of conservation there is one overwhelming fact we must keep uppermost in our agenda: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

'Dolphin-Assisted' Birth?

'Dolphin-Assisted' Birth: Natural or Dangerous?

This one is hard to believe, but maybe not. Some "new age" foolishness like rubbing stones on one's body and claiming the rash that forms consists of toxins coming out, instead of what it really is, broken capillaries, is relatively harmless, like homeopathic "medicine". However, birthing one's baby underwater is unsanitary, exposes it to harm from aspiration of fecal matter among other things, and doing so in the presence of a large carnivorous mammal is the height of stupidity.  But Flipper is our friend! Well, lets hope he's well fed.
I predict this practice may well come to an unfortunate and abrupt end in the near future. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The World's Fastest Indian

 The World's Fastest Indian is a 2005 New Zealand biographical film based on the InvercargillNew Zealand speed bike racer Burt Munro and his highly modified Indian Scout motorcycle. Munro set numerous land speed records for motorcycles with engines less than 1000 cc at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. Burt Munro is a sort of folk hero in his hometown for his friendly and charming personality and for being featured in Popular Mechanics magazine (May 1957 p6) for having the fastest motorcycle in Australia and New Zealand. However, that recognition is contrasted by his exasperated neighbours, who are fed up with his un-neighbourly habits such as urinating on his lemon tree every morning, neglecting his garden, and, most of all, waking up before sunrise to rev his bike's very loud engine. (From Wikipedia)

I just put this on my N-Flix list to watch again.  There are very few movies I will watch more than once and this is one of them.
Burt Monroe designed and built every part of his engine in his garage, casting many pistons, blowing up engines and doing it all again many times until he succeeded.
Anthony Hopkins  is always good, but here he is at his best.  
Based on a true story and very well done. 
It makes you wish you had been there.

The trailer