This year’s Boletes

Not a great year– the southern San Mateos, our main source, were a bit drier than we’d like– but we got a gallon of dried, first adequate harvest in 8 years. The photos span the trip down and back up the Plains of St Augustin  by the VLA; flowers, like the white poppies, show we have had a monsoon. The album also includes processing, Ataika, out for the ride, and one mushroom you really don’t want to eat…

Don’t eat this one.


As many of you know, at 6 AM on Monday, Agust 10,  I go “under the knife”  for the Direct Brain Stimulation operation— well, more like the drill, sitting up, awake if not wide awake (6 AM at University Hospital in Albuquerque means leaving here before 4 AM, and I don’t think that will be a sleepy night). With luck, the procedure will be done by afternoon; with a little more, I will get to go home early the next morning, shorn of hair but potentially feeling better than I have in years. Maybe I can even type again!

And, despite having to dictate more of it than not to ever- patient Libby, I now have 130 pages and 36, 381 words of a projected 40, 000 words on Hounds of Heaven, my Kazakh- dog- travel book— actually shooting for 45 so I can cut, rolling along, WAY ahead of schedule. Now I just have to hope they keep my memories intact when they rewire my brain.  Think of me on Monday.

Jim Moore in Albuquerque came up with this fine poster:

The book:

And some not so random doggage from it…

In the Hawk Pasture

What I call the “hawk pasture” is an open hay meadow tucked into the foothills of Wyoming’s southern Wind River Mountains. Irrigation water and a water gap for cattle provide a draw for a variety of wildlife, but this year the birds that have taken over, including sandhill cranes, sage grouse, a pair of Northern Harriers, and a short-eared owl. The harriers and owl are competitors, and it has been a pleasure to watch both species hunt during the daylight hours. Here’s a few shots of the harrier pair as they chased a coyote away from their turf. (Click on image to see larger version.)


Actually not the right collective noun exactly though it appears to have become the “meme”– that word again– the one that you can use to find all kinds of bird “herd mind” videos on YouTube. HT to my old bird hunting friend Jeff Ball in Bozeman…

Big Feet

The trail camera Guy Boyd bought me caught these rather alarming images in the Wilson’s yard up Muleshoe south of town last week. Perhaps, if only for the peace of mind of their old Lab Aero, they had best not fill the Raven feeders for a while…