Ted’s essays

dam + ladder

Beagle Brain, aka: Scooter, our Beagle/Lab cross, the BLAB, inherited the beagle willingness to follow her nose wherever it leads, whenever she can. Our containment fence was not up to the task. She would challenge it. I would fix it. Rinse and Repeat. FINALLY I shut her exit down while the rented backhoe was available with a dam and its backwater flooding where the fence crossed the creek. Yay! Success! BUT The tiny dam I rebuild every spring to enable my irrigation to draw from what little bit the upstream irrigators leave in Bunkhouse Creek posed no barrier to the little trout living in the year-round stream. My Scooter dam and culvert, however, did make a barrier… One I was […]

understanding geostationary satellite images

I have been a weather watcher since I began working outdoors a lot about 35 years ago. It was also around then I studied meteorology in college. Nowadays we have much better tools readily accessable to anybody. We also have geoengineers working the weather over on a massive, global scale. One of my favorite tools is geostationary satellite GOES 17. Geostationary means it stays in a fixed position relative to our planet. I check this daily. It is, in fact, my home page. Learn to read it and The Weather Underground regional infrared satellite image and you can predict your weather more accurately than the computer models that do not allow for geoengineering. I produced the following videos to help […]

somebody moved Darby to Grangeville when I wasn’t looking

I haven’t dealt with snow at this level since I lived on the wet side of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. As wet air moves east into mountain ranges that make it go up the moisture is wrung out of it. That is meteoroligical fact from a century of experience. The west sides of the Sierras, Wasach and Bitterroots have all shown me this in real life, real time. Thus no real surprise a dozen years ago when I had to shovel 8 to 12 inches of snow off my sidewalk and driveway in Grangeville, Idaho, at the foot of the mountians dividing north Idaho from Montana. At a youthful 58 years old, removing 12 inches of snow on my sidewalks […]

connected with the cosmos

I have published several articles here regarding the function of the hair growing out of our heads (search this site for “hair”). There is more to it than most understand. History is replete with examples of warriors losing powers when shorn, or retaining inexplicable senses with their long hair. We long-hairs cannot quantify differences nor can short-hairs know what they are missing. A few days ago one of those unaccountable things happened to me. I felt an urgent need to take both dogs for an off-leash walk up the road; something I NEVER DO. I tried to rationalize the urge away, but then let it take me to the far side of the road (because the off-leash dogs went there) […]

Darby Dog Derby 2019 review

The 12th annual Darby Dog Derby sled dog and skijour races at Lost Trail and Chief Joseph Pass ski areas is now history. You can go see the official race results at the BITTERROOT MUSHERS website. My part in these events is to arrange and manage communications across the course over the weekend. This was my fifth year in that role. We learn from our mistakes and failures each year and improve the next. Along with getting better and better at comms comes being more appreciated every year. We received this nice letter of gratitude from the mushers for our help this year (jpg to the right; pdf here: 2019 Bitterroot Mushers thank you letter) call sign JOE This […]

today marks the Winter Solstice

It is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The South Pole is leaning as far towards the sun as it will until this time next year. It is also considered officially as the first day of northern winter. Even though the days will now start getting longer, the cooling of our portion of the Earth’s surface has just begun. Take a look at sunrise and sunset for the next few days. Note where they strike your house, where they shine in the windows, what areas of your yard get the most southern warming exposure. From now to June, those points will gradually move north before the Summer Solstice marks the next turnaround. As long as […]

heal thyself

I have been pushing the old body pretty hard in anticipation of this day. While I know it officially begins with the Winter Solstice on Friday, December 21, 2018, my activities shift to winter mode when the ground becomes frozen and unworkable. Today, November 30th is that day. While Intellicast.com and the National Weather Service are often incorrect, I’m not betting against this particular prognostication. It feels about right to me. Game over for new construction, yard improvements and anything that involves moving dirt. Temperatures consistently below freezing also make outdoor work a lot less fun and inspire me to limit my hours outside protective shelters. This day where I shift from outdoor to indoor modes came a little later […]

window covering ice sheet

Significant snowfall followed by above freezing during the day created this interesting window covering outside my studio.

creek maintenance

I took a break from metaspace and spent the week in meat space. Among other things, a major shelving project delivered a two car garage instead of a 400-square-foot waist-deep pile of crap that had no good home yet. Before that was an electrical wiring project to put our irrigation pump on an actual switch instead of plugging and unplugging a heavy-duty 50-foot extension cord. Side effects included a couple of useful outlets. About a week ago I came outside in the morning to immediately notice an abnormal quiet. Really quiet. Huh? Where is the sound of the creek? So I walked down to it and WHOA! It was a trickle. Oh crap. Some telephone calls later, I ended up […]

Super Pup, part 1

Missy’s Beagle Lab cross is more the former than the latter. Scooter is fundamentally a pack dog. She’s been pack-less nearly all her life. That is not the best situation for a Beagle brain. It has her more nervous than she would be in her natural habitat. I am more attracted to dogs of substance. Size, muscle, but most of all, self confidence. I have surreptitiously been watching for a mastiff downline mixed with another medium sized breed. Mutt, but with some genetics that are known for peaceful self-confidence and strong intelligence. I also wanted a situation where the dog came to us without the baggage of a bad start in an ugly home. Most of all, I wanted […]

Stand aside, groundhog.

I just realized a much more reliable predictor that spring is here; winter is gone. Both the woodbox by the fireplace, the kindling supply, and firewood storage outside the utility door are stuffed with fireplace-ready logs. The woodpile is in healthy shape as well. Being this prepared for cold surely must preclude its arrival. Well, that, and it is really nice outside. Blue sky, lovely sunshine, upper 40-degree temperatures, mud replacing much of the snow covering, insects on the move, kingfishers and geese arriving. Nature is telling me the pruning season is ending real soon. Get to work!

minus 18

It is probably my fault. Yesterday some great friends helped me blow insulation into our attic. I still have not personally visited the attic, but it doesn’t take a certified HVAC engineer to ascertain the need. I observe the snow melting off our roof, the prodigious icicles hanging from the eves and the 90%-efficient gas central heater’s inability to heat this house without the woodstove’s help and know our ceiling insulation is way below adequate. While a licensed HVAC contractor could double the price, they could not significantly improve the result. Tiny-town supplier Darby Distribution includes free rental of the chopper-blower with purchase of insulation – two pallets worth in this case. Their price beats Home Depot while delivering […]