A Few Quick Takes

I’M OVERWHELMED BY NEWS

dry-fly.jpgAs an anxiety killer, dry fly fishing ranks near the top. It’s fishing that requires Zen-like concentration tightly focussed upon threading a nearly invisible pin hole atop a hook deftly dressed as a fly, with a nearly transparent line and tying a minute but secure knot in it. The other portion of your time is spent a) getting into your ridiculous-looking gear b) casting as far and gently as possible to land your lure gently upon the water and then c) watching the river for an encouraging ripple signifying the presence of trout that are within your view but seemingly always out of reach.MAMACITA

polar.jpg‘I don’t want to live in permafrost no more.’Gristmill

Changes to agricultural practice and forestry management could cut greenhouse gas emissions, buying time to develop alternative technologies.Scientific American

Eye candy that’s melting fast.Gristmill

grizzly-muddler.jpg— There are a number of ungulate hairs suited to spun and clipped patterns but the best spinning hairs are coarse, spongy and soft. – Philip Rowley

Non-indigenous fish, introduced in the 18th century are taking over South African rivers and streams.Get Outdoors

palomarknot.gifThe Palomar Knot is a general-purpose fishing knot . . .Women Fishing

— By the End of the Century Half of All Species Will Be Gone. Who Will Survive? – RedOrbit

But a good barbera is the epitome of an elemental, honest red wine. It offers you fruit — lots of spicy cherry and raspberry flavors — and it doesn’t hurl w-vs-beer.jpgthem at you in some formless mass. Barbera is shaped by a bracing acidity. It’s got a bite, a burr, that makes the fruit incisive and refreshing.Eric Asimov / New York Times

. . . a Gallup poll revealed that, for the first time ever, Americans preferred wine to beer. This was an astonishing development, akin to Americans jilting baseball for bocce.Slate

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The Brucellocis/Bison/Cattle Industry/Yellowstone/Montana PROBLEM continues to make news on many fronts, (go to Yellowstone Newspaper for the stories – both the lewd and the lucid.) One element that has not been addressed is the fact that as the planet warms and Yellowstone becomes a bit more bison-friendly environment; the population of these habituated beasties will grow to the point of destruction. whine.gifIf all the bison that have been killed in the last five years had been allowed to mature and reproduce there would be no grass left in the park.

The whiners have tamed Yellowstone and provided us with wolves that peer into car windows, bears that approach humans, coyotes that beg for food, and bison that proliferate without predation. The bison situation is far larger that the slaughter of a few poor babies. It is the problem of a sentiment gone rampant. Don’t dare ask the cheerleaders what would happen to the park if bison were left to their own protected devices.

Where are the whiners at Wind Cave National Park? Did you know that bison management has worked there and that roundups and culling continue? Did you know that there are some sane managers in the NPS?

 

“The park holds a roundup annually to monitor the health of the herd and to manage herd size for available forage,” said Superintendent Linda L. Stoll.

The wolves have done wonders with some of the elk herd – where’s the “TRADITIONAL” bison predators? Where is the sane management? Ahhh, I get it: publicity, not a care for the park.

water-buffalo.jpg

Back To The Stew

I DID VERY WELL LAST WEEKEND

Mighty Mouse

The match went well, and I finished in the top five. There were 24 shooters so I’m feeling very good – especially since I was the only girl. I’ve posted a couple of targets, including the one that really messed me up. The wind and rain made shooting a challenge. There were wind shifts of at least 120 degrees and the sighter targets looked like Swiss Cheese.

I’m still waiting for ‘Hunter 2’ and I’m grateful that ‘Hunter 1’ shoots well at lower elevations. The trip was exhausting, but it got me out of the burg for a bit of time and it felt good to see some people that didn’t hate snowmobiles, didn’t want to kill all the wolves, and thought that there were bison near them too.

This was my second match shooting in hunter class. The 30’s are a bit different than the 22’s and the 6mm’s of the varmint classes. This was a full match and I also shot in the light and heavy varmint classes. The 22 PPC was right on and I finished well in light varmint. The 6 PPC just wouldn’t group and hung right in the high 4’s – scattered vertical so it wasn’t the wind.

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Last Monday night was a frenzy. I got home about noon, and the whole gang was coming over at 6:00. Happily the bison stew was done and patiently waiting in the refrigerator – melding flavors over the weekend.

The recipe is simple, old fashioned, and very tasty. It’s my third try, and this time I got it right. There are three sites on the web that I drew this recipe from, and they all say about the same thing – make it the way you like it. Visit Recipes for Natural Health and look at the Bison Stew page.

Just as Kansas City beef is superior to much of the range fed beef in Texas, Wyoming, and Montana, (I know I’ll hear about that,) so too is Midwestern bison superior to free range bison of the Dakota’s and Montana – Ted Turner’s herd included, (is it cow genes?) My bison comes from Eichten’s, and they also have a bison stew recipe. If you insist on ‘grassfed’ bison, check out Grassfed Recipes for the crock pot version of the bison stew.

Despite all the warnings about over cooking bison, 10 hours in the crock pot is not too long, and 12 hours on low can be perfect.

MY OWN BISON STEW

bison-in-crock-pot-440-x-303.jpg3# very tough bison shoulder roast – 1″ cubes,
2 stringy and dry parsnips – scrubbed and sliced thick, (use potatoes if you must,)
3 big onions coarsely chopped,
A carrot or three if they are old and tough,
4-5 tomatoes quartered,
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce,
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,
pinch of sage,
1/2 cup of red wine that you would drink,
salt & pepper to taste.

 

drool.gifBrown the meat in a hot cast iron skillet with no oil. Do the same with the parsnips. Put the bison in the bottom of the crock pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with parsnips, then carrots, then 1/2 of the onions. Splash 1/2 the wine and all of the Worcestershire sauce over the ingredients: cover and turn to high and cook for about 5 hours. good-pinot.jpgStir, add the rest of the ingredients with the tomatoes on the top and cover and cook on low for another 5-6 hours. If you like you can thicken with a bit of cornstarch and buttermilk. Serve with buttermilk biscuits; Burgundy or Merlot or a Pinot  –  a hearty beer like Charlie Otto’s Moose Drool is also good. No salad, no beans, no squash, nothing else.

We ate it all: drank some of mom’s Pinot, ( 2003 Sonoma Coast Pinot – the last three bottles in the world,) and the report looked better after dinner than it did before dinner.

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Sneaky insight: Populations of Bison, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Elk, and Mule Deer will increase during the initial stages of global warming in Yellowstone National Park. So too will populations of Wolves.

Oh The Joys of News Overload

DAMN THE FEED READERS – FULL SPEED AHEAD

The world is in a fine fit of chaos. I’ll never get any work done if I continue to read about what’s going on around me.news_overload.jpg I’m in a dither about the flood of disheartening and absolutely stupid news on my Bloglines page. Some bits, on the other hand demand my attention and are going to rattle around in my head for quite some time.

First off, The Yellowstone Newspaper is about as good as it gets when seeking information about Yellowstone National Park. This remote aggregation of information is full of recent information and is well worth looking at on a daily basis. Even at two million acres the park generates a disproportionate amount of news and it is well chronicled by Mr. Macdonald.

National Parks Traveler reports that the GAO is about to look at the bison management scheme in Yellowstone. It’s about time. Maybe they’ll look at the tame elk, winter access, commercialization, and cranky ex-rangers too. One can only hope.

The Casper Star Tribune has two articles on Wolves and the circus going on in Wyoming. One describes the first of a series of public hearings taking place, the other details how the split state senate ignores it’s own staff and voted to reduce the permanent management area in northwest Wyoming. These law makers just don’t get it.

An excellent review of the eminent domain issue is reported in New West. Many western states are reacting to the 2005 supreme court ruling that allows local governments to condemn and seize property for commercial development. This could mean that the cute little vacation cabin that you saved your whole life for will be gobbled up by a commercial trout fishing ranch.

A disturbing result of the push toward biofuels is reported by Grist. It seems that the biofuel feedstocks such as corn and soybeans and rape are such good money makers that barley is being neglected. The remaining barley being grown is so scarce that beer prices are liable to shoot up. This is truly disturbing news.

Little Sis reminds us all of the real problems in Missoula and elsewhere about the old bugaboo of the double standard. Not just in practice – but in conversation as well.

I’m relieved to discover that global warming is a myth. Thank god for Jerry Falwell. David Roberts reports about this wonderful reassurance and points us toward a revealing video. I’m so glad that I don’t have to be duped by the experts.

I’m disturbed to find out that honey bees are vanishing without any reason. The New York Times reports about the disappearing bees, and the mystery is about to threaten crops – including my beloved California almonds. This is a real tragedy.

Even more disturbing than the bees is the note about elderly poor women. A long and insightful article by Jeffrey Feldman in the Huffington Blog details how eating from garbage cans is a strategy for survival and not just for homeless people. The article contains many disturbing observations from a White House study (PDF) and consumed most of my morning blog-time. Read it and weep.

rangerhat-nps.jpgOn a light and genuinely entertaining note; visit the blogs of “OH, THE JOYS” (even the linked links are entertaining.)

From the deep south comes the voice of one who knows about fiber, enjoys fantasies about rangers, and other ‘joys’ such as: Santa can ride my duck, frying bacon (sans garments,) and ‘Mommy, why do you wear a bra?’ Bless her voice! (Try this for a mommy sample.)

Got to run. The snow of the last couple of days has turned the little burg into a white postcard and running in the snow does wonders for my legs.

It Finally Snowed For Real

OF COURSE I WENT FISHING

a-cutsey-cabin.jpgFinally the snow has come in earnest. We received about 10″ of real winter snow last night and the town transformed itself into “winter mode.”

This snow came on top of a couple of feeble falls of 4″ & 6.” The snow plows were out, the snow shovels were used, snow blowers were started up, (or not,) and the hardware store did a land office business in window scrapers.

The village looks so much better in it’s new clothing. The white blanket covers a world of sins: scruffy lawns, unkempt yards, junk piles on city property, broken fences, and torn up roads and construction debris.

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A nice, unemployed, fishing guide told me about a place to fish. It’s out below the dam at Hebgen Lake. It’s called Cabin Creek. There are still fish running up the little creek to spawn, and at its junction with the Madison there is what he called a “silt cloud” that carries debris and food. The trout line up to eat – like a line at a buffet.

I went down there and the fishing was great – my hands froze to a lovely shade of reddish-blue. The water is getting to be cold now and the fish are pretty lethargic. They take the fly with just a hint of a tug, and they walk away rather than run.

Fishing is legal in this stretch of the Madison all year. Maybe I’ll wait for a day warmer than 9 degrees next time.

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sams-hagens.jpgOf course I had to treat myself to some good food when I got home. Simple carnivorous fare was my choice. A fried pork chop with some Sam Smith (old Brewery) Tadcaster and a pint of Hagen-Das ice cream. No salad, no beans, no bread, just my fingers and the meat, & beer, & ice cream – – – Yummy.

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There is still time to run around the town – or jog, or a quick saunter. So off I go in my new snow boots. Soon the skiing will start. That’ll be good. The Army Guard X-Country Ski Team arrives tomorrow. So to the Finns and Swedes. The biathlon teams will be here shortly thereafter. Finally – – WINTER!

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I just wanted to mention that Suzanne, over at CUSS, (Campaign for Unshaved Snatch,) has been having all manner of trouble lately. She’s had to admit to violating her own ethics, developing creepy bruises, eating cock, and she can’t even get the same sized underwear. Please click over to the site and commiserate with her.

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