Friday, June 30, 2017

Notes from here and there

Our current window spider is a total badass. Last night, she took out a wasp:

She is an orb weaver, an Alaskan variant with coloring that is purported to match bird droppings:

The weather has been... uncomfortably warm, but blessedly smoke-free due to intermittent rain showers. Starbuckeroo is quite warm, as am I. Cricket and DL seem to be more heat-tolerant!


I don't know why, but there have been an awful lot of squirrels and arctic hares lately. Probably part of a natural cycle... next year, there will be more foxes, having feasted this year! Then, the prey will go down, and the cycle will reverse. The squirrels have been very cheeky, approaching the house (and my office!) and chittering:

Here are more photos from my visit to Creamer's Field a couple of weeks ago. Is it just me, or does it kind of look like some bayou in the Deep South?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer fun

Last weekend, the White Mountains were cool and sprinkled with rain showers. Very pretty and enjoyable for us non-heat-acclimated creatures. :)


The wild roses are out!

Cricket enjoys the view:

Starbuckeroo is happy that it's cooler:

Rain across the valley:

I'd never noticed this green patch in the fold of the mountains before:

We saw wolf tracks, a few days old:

And tracks from all of these critters! Tiny hands! Tiny paws! Birds!

I also left the dogs at home for a visit to Creamer's Field to see ducklings. Look how cute and fuzzy they are!

Creamer's Field's visitor center was staffed by an outreach/education guy from Fish and Game. I later emailed him the photos of the ducklings to thank him for his guidance, as well as the one with all of the tracks. He wrote back, "Tiny paw prints are probably from an Arctic Ground Squirrel, they’re common in the white mountains.
Wolves are common there too, the large paw could well be a Wolf (if not someone’s large dog). The bird prints are from a perching bird (i.e. songbird) such as a gray jay."


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Last Friday was this:

I, being a dumbass, decided it was a great day to go for a hike in a place without shade! Poor Starbuck, with her thick, black coat, could have gotten heat stroke due to my stupidity! Fortunately, I did turn around when we got to half our water, and I did continue to offer her water every half an hour in a shady spot the whole way back to the car, but still. It was Not Good. When we got home, it was about 2 p.m., and that is when I snapped the above photo. Needless to day, Roo was Not Delighted, and flopped on the floor for the following 36 hours (although she did leap up for meals, and at every opportunity for a snackie...)

So... Lesson: Just because your elderly, non-heat-tolerant dogs have passed away, and your comparatively youthful remaining dogs are MORE heat-tolerant, it does NOT mean that you can take said dogs traipsing through the sun in record heat. I'm so sorry, Roo. (Cricket didn't seem to mind at all though.)

When we started out in the cool morning, there was some shade and a slight breeze:

But when it came 'round noon, the temperature climbed easily 20 degrees, and we were over five miles from the car:

These photos are very beautiful, but they sting my heart with guilt.

Fortunately, there were spots of shade in the shrubbery, and I gave the Roo water and rest for ten minutes every half an hour for the long, hot slog back:

When we got home, I saw that it had been so hot that this awesome spider, whose diligence and cleverness I had admired over the last several days, had died. A victim of climate change!

On Sunday, clouds gathered, and it proceeded to rain in a cool, steady pour until Tuesday, when the storms took a turn for the violent! Bolts of lightning came down, and thunder crashed overhead!

Today, it's cool and sunny, but we are looking at a forecast for frost tonight!

Monday, June 12, 2017

I finally got to pet a behbeh reindeer!

As a wedding gift, RS gave us a gift certificate for a tour at Running Reindeer Ranch. The family raises tame reindeer and gives educational tours, while they talk about reindeer and take you on walks through their birch forest with the reindeer. I followed their Facebook Feed, and one day this spring, they announced that their new calf was joining the herd on walks with visitors! So I immediately booked our visit. BEHBEHREINDEER!





Obligatory tourist photo:

I got to pet her and fuzz! She was fuzzy!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

More White Mountains photos

These teeny tiny flowers:

View to the top of Wickersham Dome:

We have to cross a low spot before we start climbing the dome. It's usually muddy, but it looks like BLM has done some improvements. Look! Fresh gravel!

And grates! Now isn't that just grate?

Climbing the dome:

From the top, it's all more rolling mountains to the North:

Starbuckeroo wants to snuggle!

I forget sometimes how much she looks like a wolf!

Sniff sniff!

Woolly lousewart:


Friday, June 2, 2017

Wickersham Dome

The dogs went over the mountain,

the dogs went over the mountain,

the dogs went over the mountain,

to see what they could see.

The other side of the mountain,

the other side of the mountain,

the other side of the mountain,

was all that they could see.