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Archive for the ‘Snake River’ Category

Ok, Blue Bird fans, it’s Week #17 update time for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Program in the city of Long Beach, on the 45-acre campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center!

So, here is what ‘Master Naturalist’ buddy John and I found today, June 27, 2008, walking around campus during a Friday morning, taking the Blue Bird Trail nesting survey.

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There are dozens of gray squirrels on the SMRC Campus.

Here are this week’s Survey results:

Box #1- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #2- 3 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs.

Box #3- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

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Another campus gray squirrel.

Box #4- 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Box #5- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #6- 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: New Blue Bird nest, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Box #7- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest on Friday afternoon.

DSC_0085ABCKilldeerBaby-2
The Killdeer babies on the campus have really grown during the past week, and almost look like their parents now.

Box #8- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #9- 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies.

Box #10- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #11- Few old straw. – Last week: Few straw, no activity.

DSC_0089ABCKilldeerParent-1
One of the Killdeer parents is always near the babies.

Box #12- 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: e Blue Bird eggs.

Box #13- Empty Nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

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During the past several days, ‘pop-up’ thunderstorms have been very common on the Mississippi Gulf Coast area, and yesterday, provided a very heavy rain storm over the SMRC Campus.

Totals This Week: 12 Blue Bird eggs, 3 Blue Bird babies, 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 0 sterile eggs,
7 empty nesting boxes, 3 Killdeer babies.

Totals Last Week: 12 Blue Bird eggs, 7 Blue Bird babies, 0 Sterile eggs, 7 empty nesting boxes, 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 3 Killdeer babies.

Master Naturalist buddy John continues to be very enthused about the activity, and reports that during the last 17 weeks of the program, 36 Blue Bird babies and 6 Chickadee babies have flown from their nests, and we also have 3 Killdeer babies who have left their ground nest in one of the grassy areas on campus, and have joined their parents in feeding on the ground, during this first season of the new Blue Bird Trail.

The weather today was partly cloudy, light wind and about 88 degrees.

Another update will be along next weekend.

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Chapter 2:

Mountain Man Will Rolfe:

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“On our way down offa Sleepin Injun Mountain, lookin way off yonder a way ta the the west, at least a daze ride, the purty waturs a Jenny Lake sparkled so green an shiny, it don takes a man’s breath juss plum away. I fugur’d that me’an Long Hair in the Wind had us a little extree time so we mite outta dipsee on by ther an sit a short spell on our way on down ta the Green Rivr an the Randazvous thang comin long nex week.

Az we come down offa the foothills an onta the short grass, we started ‘cross a flat place call’d Antelope Flats. It wuz still a fur piece ‘cross ovur ta Jenny Lake, but light wuz still gud an I fugur’d we’d make it afore it wuz plum dark, if’n we kepp movin ‘long, so we did.

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Bein’ early July, the big game – the elk, sheep, moose and grizz, wuz up high’r in the timber an the parks. Nuthin much wuz down in na flats but smallur critturs, like jacks, coyotes, sum muleys an, a course, them antelopes. They cuud run faster then a jack any day, fur sur, that be the truut.

They wuz lotz a them ‘lopes there wen we wuz fixin ta start ‘cross the Flat, but wen they seen us, they plum skeddadled off thru the stage an such. Ta onliest way a man cuud hav onena them ‘lope critturs fur a meal, wuz ta slip up on ’em slikkery like, juss peepin ‘long, an suppriz ’em afore they cuud skeddadle. ‘Lope meat wuz durn good eatin, bout az good az elk steak, I sez. We awreddy had us a quartr a elk on Ship Rock, so we juss let them ‘lopes go on ‘n skedaddle.

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A warm summer breez wuz wisperin up thru the crick willers and sage az we wus ridin’ a slowly pace ‘cross the Flat, an lookin up, the sky az fur az one cuud see, wuz ’bout a purty a blue az ther ever wuz. I look’d over nex ta me at Long Hair in the Wind, ridin’ on Donell, an ta small breez wuz anuff ta make hur long, black hair ta muv softly, gently, az she rode ‘long. She look’d over at me, an smiled; an ma heart felt good.

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With the sun high ovur head, we polled up baside a ole, snaggy yeller pine, what had ben struck ba lightnin’ or sumptin’ else, an had us sum elk jerky Long Hair in the Wind had made fur us back yonder a few days. Wil we wuz sittin’ there on a log, the mountains wuz towerin’ ‘bove us clear up ta the heavn’s. Makz one feel purty small bein’ nex ta them. Such primativ beutty makes me feel that ole’ God is so powrful.

They wuz a litter crick only spittin’ distance away as we et, an Long Hair in the Wind walked over ther ta fill our canteens with crick water an then we wood be on the trail agin.

It seem’d like only a few minutes had passed, wen I hurd Long Hair in the Wind call out, with a skeer’d like cry. I run over ta wher she wuz standin’, an seen that juss a few feet away frum her, all curl’d up and makin’ a racket wuz a rattler, settin’ ta jump at hur leg. I sez, “Don’t muv, stay still.” I took out ma throwin’ ax an let fly at that varmut, an slik az can be, it sliced right on thru, an the head went flyin’ frum hiz body, inta the crick nex ta Long Hair in the Wind.

Wen she seen wat happened ta the rattler, she come ta me an put hur arms ’round me an held on tight az she cuud, puttin’ hur head hard agin the side a ma neck. I let hur hug me fur a bit, an wuz glad she wuz OK. I wood a ben a sad owl hoot iffin’ she got bit by that varmut.

Juss then, two Gro Vants rode inta the clearin’ ‘cross the crick, stopped, an got down ta fill ther watr bags. They looked at us an we looked at them, and wen they figur’d we wazn’t no thret, they got up an muv’d away back thru the sage, frum the way they come. I thought to myself, ‘I’ll be a suck-egg mule!’ They slipped right away. I wuzn’t too concernd, ‘cuz the Gro Vants an the Shoshones got ‘long purty gud in them daze. It wuz the Shoshones where I got Long Hair in the Wind frum her brother back yonder in ther village.

trappersbride

We got back up an muv’d ‘long, too, an ’bout two hours later, we come ta Jenny Lake. I had camp’d here severl times in years pass, an It wuz one a ma favrit places ever. Long Hair in the Wind had never ben here, an she juss stood at the watr’s edge and looked and looked, furst at the watr, an then at the mountains above. The watr wuz so clear, you cuud see the mountains in the watr juss fine, almost az good az looking up at ’em.

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Finnly, Long Hair in the Wind got up an sez ta me, “I think this place must be saccrid, an we shouldn’t stay too long, mabe juss a night, no more. When I took a look-see ‘long the shore, I seen marks frum other fires, an figur’d Long Hair in the Wind wuz right. We wood stay tonight an go on towards the Green at furst light.

Az we made camp fur the night on the shore a Jenny Lake, an et elk steak an coffee by the fire, I couldn’t hepp wonderin’ if we wuz doin’ right by goin’ ta this Randazvous meetin’ down on the Green. May be all this fuss an trail ridin’ wuz all fur nuthin’. Well, time enuff then ta think ’bout it.

Long Hair in the Wind held open the blankets where she had set ’em by the fire, an seemed she wuz wantin’ me to come ta hur more than usual. So, I crawl’d in there with hur, an she muved over to me. A coyote crutter cut loose with a batch a yelpin’ off in the distance, as we peerd up at the twinkl stars up ‘bove, an went ’bout bein’ tagether.”

Photos #1- Jenny Lake & Mt. Moran, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, #3 – Antelope Flats, Grand Teton peak, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, #4 – Moose, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, #6- Jenny Lake, Teton Mountains, – Lance Myers. Copyright 2008.

From: Wyoming Tales and Trails: http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/bridger2.html
Photo #2 – Bourgeois and Squaw, Alfred Jacob Miller, 1837.
Photo #5 – The Trapper’s Bride, Alfred Jacob Miller, 1837.

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Mountain Man Will Rolfe:

Chapter One:

I wuz ridin long that afta noon on ma hoss Buck, with ma yung squaw wife, Long Hair in the Wind, ridin’ on Donell bahine me, and wuz leadin ma mules, Old Nell and Ship Rock, long the slickkery, slate trail that led down offa Sleepin’ Injun Mountain, up in the Hole. I coudn’t hep but peek on down the long, steep slope we wuz crossin’, some 1,000 feet or so, all the way ta the bottom. It wuz a fur piece fo one to fall down offa there, that no man no beast would liv ta tell ’bout it.

Sleeping Indian Mountain, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Woof! One slip and down we’d all would roll, lock, stok and tea kattle, and we would be all dun jus’ like one big pile o’ buffla guts.

Twasn’t to long, tho, an we made it ‘cross that tight peece, and follerin’ an ole’ elk trail, we slowly moved inta a mess a tangled timber on the fur side o the slope. Thankful wuz I, that I had ma sure-footed critturs to haul me, Long Hair in the Wind, and ma load a’ furs ‘cross that fool place.

Hoback Canyon, south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Wen wez jus comin’ outa the timber inta a small park, Buck pulled up an’ raised hiz head asudden, an stopped dead in hiz tracks. In hiz own way, Buck wuz tellin’ me that somethin’ wuz off up ahead.

Az I squinted hard lookin’ yonder ‘cross the park, I seen a lurge brown crittur muv from behine a big ole bunch o’ bushes. It wuz a big ole mama grizz! Then there wuz two smaller brown spots what muvd out baside her, hur two youngin’ cubs. The mama grizz stood up high, muvd hur head ’round and sniffed the air. Then she dropped down on hur paws a-gin and they muvd on ‘cross the fur edge of the park and headed inta the heavi timber.

Woof! I couldn’t hep runnin’ ma fingarz over them grizz claw scars on ma face from so long ago, an membrin’ how I com ta gettum. Itza good thang wez wusn’t no closa ta that mama grzz an hur youngin’s then we wuz, or we’da hada hot time fur certan.

This wuz a warm, early July day, in the year 1825, that seen me an Buck, Long Hair in the Wind and Danoll and ma mules makin’ our way south outa the Gro Vants, on down thru the Hole, down ta the Green, where, rumur in thez parts had it, they wuz fixin’ to have a big meetin’, ina coupla days. I hearrd tell they wuz a buncha other montin folks who wuz a comin’ there, and also som fur buyin’ fellas from the Merican’ Fur Company, maybe soma them Astor fellas, that wuz afixin’ ta pay good money for ma furs I got up lass fall an thiz spring.

Site of 1825 Rendezvous, Henry’s Fork of Green River, western Wyoming.

Don’t know who else mighta bein’ sho up there, but I reckon I’ll fine out juss purty quick like.

I had me a good ’nuff spring runnin’ traps on the cricks an streems here ’bouts, and I got me a bunch a prime pelts tied on Old Nell and Ship Rock that I’d shur like ta make me a good trade on, if I can. ‘Bout three or four more days traveling ‘long the Snake and then the Hoback, shuud get us down there ta the Green, and that there meetin’ place. Gotta keep me a sharp eye out tho, so I can keep ma hair up on top o’ ma head where it blongs. Lotz a sign around…”

Site of 1825 Rendezvous, Henry’s Fork of Green River, western Wyoming.

Wen we stopt ta make a camp fur the night, baside the swiff wattars of the Hoback Rivr, I set the hobbles on Old Buck, Danoll and the mules, an Long Hair in the Wind went an brung in sum mahag brush an had a good fire goin’ in no time. She went ’bout cookin’ sum elk meat, beans an coffee vittles fur supper. Long Hair in the Wind had been ma squaw wife fur ’bout two monts, and wuz juss all a man could wont fur a squaw. She wuz 18 an frum the Shoshone tribe, frum east a the Hole a fur piece.

She wuz named fo hur long, wavy black hair, that stretched down hur sleek, yung body purt near on down ta hur waist. Frum the furst time I laid eyes on hur, I knowd I had ta have hur as ma squaw wife. Hur purty face an big, soff brown eyes jus set me off, an rite away I went an made a trade ta hur brother an made hur ma squaw. Shez good at cookin’, too, can work a nife ok, and always seems ta have a smile fur me.

Along the banks of the Hoback River, south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Afta we had et the elk steaks, an things wuz put away, Long Hair in the Wind laid out the blankets near ta the night fire, put moor wood on the blaze, an crawld inta the blankets, ta wait fur me ta join hur. Layin’ ma rifle closs up, I went ta lay down in the warm nest Long Hair in the Wind had made up fur us.

Az I lay down in the blankets, a soff breez wuz wisperin thru the tops o’ the nearby trees, an the stars up in the sky twinkled ther lites, it seemed jus fur us. The rushin’ the nearby rivr made as it run down past us, juss a few feet away, covered up the small sounds that Long Hair in the Wind made as she muved hur soft, yung body up agin mine, hur fingurs slowly movin’ over me as hur breethun’ got faster. The rivr an the breeze covered up our sounds, an later, sleep finnly took us in.

Tamorra’ wuz on its way. Rendezvous wuz one day closr.”

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In the early 19th Century, the western United States was inhabited mainly by Native American tribes, with very few “foreigners” living among them.

Those who were among the Native Americans there, were primarily a rugged, self-sufficient, independent breed of men, men like Will Rolfe, called “Mountain Men.”

Most Native Americans in that region tolerated the Mountain Men, because they did not feel threatened by them, as they understood that the Mountain Men were interested in trapping furs, not in taking their lands.

The Mountain Men mainly trapped for beaver and muskrat, in the early spring and fall, when the furs were in their prime. During the summer and winter, this rugged men didn’t do much of anything, except eat, sleep, hunt, and if they had an Indian squaw or two, spend time with her or them.

The challenge they had after accumulating large numbers of prime pelts, was to get them to a market place, which could be hundreds of miles away, and hopefully, sell them for a decent price, which could be anywhere from $3.00 to $10.00 per pelt, in a good year.

There were businessmen in the central United States who decided to take the market place closer to the Mountain Men, to try to get a jump on purchasing and trading for the best furs available, and, in the process, make a tidy, if not large profit.

In early July, 1825, fur buyers and traders traveled to extreme southwestern Wyoming, on the Green River system, to a place along a river bank called Henry’s Fork, a branch of the Green, south of what is today known as Pinedale, Wyoming, and just north of the Uinta Mountains.

According to Gary Spina, in his rich, revealing volume concerning mountain men, entitled: Mountain Man’s Field Guide to Grammar, 2006, Sourcebooks, Inc., “The Henry’s Fork Rendezvous came about because General William Ashley saw a backdoor war to profit from the fur trade. Summertime offered wide, dry prairies across which an enterprising man could roll a packtrain of supplies to the trappers who stayed year-round in the mountains. Ashley was one of the first to realize that the supply-and-buy side of the fur business could be as profitable as trapping itself. Ashley’s wagons rolled in loaded with rifles, rifle ball, powder, traps, knives, coffee, sugar, tobacco, whiskey, and mirrors, combs, and trinkets for white man and Indian alike. The wagons rolled out on the return trip loaded with furs that would bring a handsome profit in St. Louis.”

“The first rendezvous lasted only one day, but it proved a profitable day, indeed, for Ashley. The general paid the trappers an average of three dollars a pound for their furs and carted out almost four and a half tons of beaver pelts worth nearly fifty thousand dollars in St. Louis.”

“The 1825 rendezvous was a church luncheon compared to subsequent rendezvous. In some ways it was the end of innocence for the mountain man. Future rendezvous were pure diversion, a celebration of camaraderie and ribald decadence. It brought together mountain men and company agents, trappers and supply wagons, scouts, Indians, Indian squaws, tobacco, whiskey, games, riotous singing and dancing, and things better left to the imagination, as well as drinking, gambling, storytelling, news-gathering and rumor-spreading, and tradingand selling – knives and rifles.”

“Rendezvous separated men from their senses, their money, and sometimes from a season’s worth of plews, their best horse, and their best wife.” No self-respecting mountain man would miss a rendezvous.”

Several years ago, during a brief visit to western Wyoming, I was privileged to visit the location on the Green River where the first western Rendezvous was held in early July 1825, and to take the images above.

In a later installment, what was it like to be at a Rendezvous?

And, more adventures of Mountain Man Will Rolfe and Long Hair in the Wind.

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It’s sharing time…

I love many places, some of which I have even been fortunate to have lived in.

Below, I am sharing some of my personal favorite images I shot over a decade ago, in one of my (if not my all-time) favorite places on earth!

Do any of these scenes look familiar?

Here is a favorite place of mine:

It’s very near Moose, and Moran Junction…

This next one is close to there, too – shot early in the morning when there was considerable ground fog.

The next three were shot about 30 miles farther south, in very late afternoon…

The next one is a the location of a “slide”…

And now, dear friends, this is my heart and my soul place.

The water is a beautiful, shimmering emerald color.

And this is one of my all-time favorite places…

The Snake… Mt. Moran in the center distance, guarding over all.

One of my favorite images from some 40+ years of photographing.

When I am at Jackson Hole, I am content.

I am warm.

I am at peace.

I am home.

I am.

Note: I was fortunate to live, and work in, and fall in love with Wyoming, for about 4 years in the mid-1970’s. Looking back now, I’m not sure why I ever left…

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