Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Golden Eagle watch-plus 25 year old mystery solved

  February, week 7.

  Weather:  Lots of sun these weeks, no precipitation. High pressure system bominating the Northwest, spinning the weather over usinto Northern Idaho and keeping it from approaching from the South.
 Reports state that we only have 25% of our snowfall for February and be in drought conditions again this Summer.
          Temperatures have been warmer than average, highs hitting high 30's and only in the middle teens at night.

  Just South of my place, 30 feet from the road is a carcass of it looks like a young elk, or cow.
 Passing by I have seen a Golden Eagle there twice. Both times unable to stop, I returned and staked it out but it looks like the brunt of the food is already scavenged, leaving the magpies to pick at it.

       While at the library, I found a handy, well illustrated "compendium" on the "Idaho Mountain Wildflowers" by A. Scott Earle.  In it I found a photo of a flower I had seen once 25 years ago and never able to correctly identify it.
 It looked to me, as I described it to otheres, like a cow skull, a white bleached cow skull.
        Well, surprise , surprise. The Dicentra uniflora, , is commonly known as the "Long-horn Steer's Head"
  Or just Steer's Head".  Click the picture to learn more about it.

    On other notes, I have to study more on photographing tracks in the snow. Hard to do with the contrast and white field of snow.
It looks ok, but hard to identify from the picture. I'm making it's tracks from the Stoat, or weasel that I have seen around here before.
Well, nuff for today.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Science Day Master Naturalist Program Jan-15-2011

Snow Science day
                                           January 15 2011   
Location : SNRA Headquarters
                  8 miles North of Ketchum
Class Time: 9:30 to 15:30
First observations :  @ 9:00   
        Temperature :       7 F
         Sky              :    Light clouds,  high cirrus
                                  Abundant sun
         Ground        :  Frozen and dry
          Wind           :  Slight breeze down valley

    Course content :  Snow impact on community and 
                                implications for water in the West
                                 Snow versus rain
                               : Snow formation and types and 
                               : Snow pit exploration and  snow to
                                  water ratio measurement.  

Snow Exploration
Digging an exploration pit
Observing layers
All the layers
Observing crystal types
Collecting snow for snow to

                                                        water equivalent calculations.                                   
   Notes : New words - Albedo : % of light reflected
                                             Sublimation : Transition from solid to gas without passing through a liquid stage.