Thursday, January 30, 2014

Like Snow Cones Only Better

We do miss the eating out options we had in Portland and that includes the food carts Portland famous for, but Delia has decided she doesn't need no stinkin' cart, she can just make her own shave ice.

video



Mostly Eric misses tacos. Delicious, authentic Mexican street tacos.  At least he knows that wonderful Mexican food survives in Portland and that it's thriving in part to his long-time friend, Brent, who is a partner in bringing back the sorely missed Taqueria Nueve!  You should go.




Eric keeps pestering him (and anyone associated who will listen) for some Fed Ex tacos, but so far no dice.  Fed Ex doesn't come up our road in winter, anyway.



Monday, January 27, 2014

Wildlife Crossing

There's just not much blog- or blather-worthy stuff going on.  Other than a really nice, but short visit from my mom, it's just the normal day-to-day around here so far this year.  So instead of some craft or household project, what I have to share is a couple of photos that are noteworthy on our little part of the Bitterroot.




That's my first antler find!  And a five-point model at that.  Delia walked right by it on our midday walk in the woods. Of course, after I picked it up she tried to act like it was hers and I should let her have it. Ain't gunna happen, li'l puppers.

I also had a birthday recently and a certain someone here at Weasels' Rest gave me this cool sign as a gift


It is installed such that it seems like Bigfoot is walking down our driveway, across the road, and into the "lower pasture."  Which he probably is given how he follows me all over the world.  HINT: When installing your Bigfoot crossing sign, do so wearing black pants and in such a place as the sunbeam will land on your rear. One of life's simple, little pleasures, that.



Monday, January 20, 2014

Gaining Traction

I finally got some mechanical help footing it around the death-luge-ice-driveway!  Thanks to the REI gift card from Eric's Aunt Sally and a gift card with some remaining balance, I got some "treads" as I've been calling them.  They have revolutionized dog walking and firewood fetching, not to mention trips to and from the shop.  WOO!

My ICEtrekkers, installed on my biggest, warmest boots. After reading lots of the reviews and considering my needs, these seemed the a good choice so far I'm very pleased.


That said, when you're cutting biscuits you may as well cut them Tyrannosaurus rex shaped.

The lighting was terrible, the biscuits were not.  That blob on the bottom right? Eric claims it's the meteor that wiped the dinosaurs out.



Friday, January 17, 2014

Ever Feel Like You're Being Watched?

For Christmas I received serious LED headlamp. Like, 220 lumens and several strange and fantastical settings level serious.  Mostly I wanted this for after dark dog walking, but I'm sure I'll use it for other after dark yard tasks as well as when I go under the house.  POW!

This was a close as I could come to what I saw: just the eyes and some tree trunks, of course noe green misty stuff for me.  Photo: Ralph Martin visual-nature.de

Both Eric and I been using it since Christmas night and last week I saw what I'd wanted the light for seeing and what I was pretty sure I did not want to see.  EYES! A pair of green glowing eyes looking in Betty's and my direction from downwind in the trees on the other side of the fence-that-is-not-an-actual-barrier.  They didn't seem high enough off of the ground to be deer so I assumed it was a fox since they're plentiful and short.  My internet searching hasn't been as productive as I'd hoped, especially for images, but it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride making me feel more like I saw something like this.

There are raccoon, but you get what I mean: post incident minor freak out.


Here are some things I found for various critters that are known to be around here.

(From Predator Masters Forums)
Coyote--eyeshine is greenish gold.
Gray Wolf--eyeshine is greenish orange.
Red Wolf--eyeshine is gold to bluish green.
Mt lion--eyeshine is greenish gold.
Bobcat--eyeshine is greenish gold.
Nothing on foxes.


(From Sunstar-Solutions)
BEARS:
CATS WITH GREEN/YELLOW EYES: GREEN
CATS WITH ORANGE- BROWN/BLUE EYES: RED
COUGAR:
COYOTE:
DEER: WHITE/YELLOW/RED
DOGS: GREEN/BLUE
FOXES: BLUE/RED
RACOON: GREEN/WHITE
WHITE-TAILED DEER: SILVER-WHITE
BIGFOOT: RED
MOTHMAN: RED

(From a public Q & A forum called Blurtit)
Fox's [sic]eyes are green at night.

(From Backpacker.com's Ask-a-bear page)
In photos, the glow ranges from yellow to yellowish orange, though some people report seeing red or green. (Variations in color between species often come from the presence of nutrients like riboflavin, distortions in the lens, and iris color.) Black bears also appear yellow to orange, though people sometimes report seeing red.
Bottom line: You're unlikely to identify my species at night solely by shining a light into my eyes.

(From Survivalist Boards)
It [helps] to have a known reference for height of eyes from the ground. Or good enough light to sense the ground. Deer are clearly taller than Bear, Coyote, Puma, Bobcats, etc.
and
I still have not found anything about the color being a definitive point of identification. The type of light being used without question can play a role in that.


Sooooo, based on the height, what we know from our experience of who's hanging around here a lot*, and what I really want (and don't want) it to have been, I'm going with fox.  Yup, definitely fox; the trendy little predator that generally won't even mess with a full-grown house cat.

I couldn't find a way to credit this great photo, if you know better ways for me to find out, I'd love to credit this.


*We've both seen fox scat and tracks on multiple occasions in the last several weeks.

ADDENDUM: Not 5 minutes after finishing this post, which I admit got me feeling kind of edgy, I took Betty out for last-call potties and saw another pair of eyes! This time they were on the opposite side of the house, but still on the other side of the fence-that-is-not-an-actual-barrier.  Betty did her business and we came in. I told Eric that I just saw more and this time he wanted to come have a look. Once he spotted them he wanted a closer look, but I was not going out there, so I handed over the head lamp and watched him venture ever nearer... nearer to the deer.  D'oh!  But I didn't want to waste all my efforts and research and overcoming of irrational fears up there ^ and I didn't want to waste that adorable fox photo, so I decided to update at the bottom, to bring you along on my journey, you lucky so-and-so's.

Photo: 123rf.com Royalty-free stock photos.

When I went back out a few minutes later with Delia there were two pairs of eyes and they were moving through the forest parallel-ish to the fence line, by the time she had completed her task and we were going back inside they were running which was kind of freaky to see. I felt a little bad that maybe we'd scared them even though it's good for them to be scared of people and dogs.  I now assume that they were further away than I thought which is why they looked closer to the ground, they were possibly a little uphill from me, too, which I know I wasn't taking into account.




Monday, January 13, 2014

A Little Rain Must Fall... Sideways

Now we sure haven't been getting the crazy weather that people in other places have been getting, but last week as a bit more dramatic than so far this winter.  Friday morning we woke up to 2-3" of fresh snow on the ground and it kept coming down until early afternoon.

This is not a black and white photo.

Then around dusk it started to rain a little. By morning it was raining almost like "real" rain. You know Oregon rain; the kind that actually gets you wet when you walk out to the car, except it was barely that rainy.  Rainy enough to make most of our snow disappear and expose the death-luge ice on the driveway, though.

It took me several seconds to figure out what about our bedroom window was familiar, but not familiar, or what. It was big water droplets on the glass! I hadn't seen that except on the windshield in a loooooong time. Note how the rain is ruining our winter wonderland effect. Jerk.

The wind kicked up early Saturday afternoon and the rain started turning into this thing the weather folks call "wintry mix."  It's not great for road conditions, but when it's going sideways and in multiple directions it's pretty cool to watch.

video


Apparently this combination of conditions is what leads to avalanche warnings.  Whoa. Luckily, our property is at the top of this particular rise and there are low points between us and the rises beyond and I don't think we're included in the warning area even though my various weather* apps n' sites notified me of it.  Anyway, it was good weather for replenishing our supply of fire starters and folding a few loads of laundry.


*I hardly ever paid attention to weather reports until we moved. Now I have the Weather Channel app on my phone (as well as the weather app that came with it) and I keep a tab open of our coordinates on the NOAA website. I've become one of those people.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Not Much. You?

There hasn't been a lot new going on here. We had some neighbors over for drinks and appetizers between Christmas and New Years, but otherwise it's just been normal stuff; the snow/melt/death-luge-ice-driveway cycle continues, the sun rises and sets, and the Beastie Grrrlz bark at squirrels on the deck, turkeys in the yard, and deer in the forest.

That said, when you're cutting biscuits you may as well cut them pibble-shaped.

For Christmas, Eric's mom gave me a great set of pit bull themed cookie cutters that I'd been coveting.  They make for big biscuits, but that 's only appropriate.