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Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Bitterroot Bugle archives

support your troops – aiding your body’s defenders

We do not have to know it is going on. Most of the time we don’t even have to help. Our hunter-gatherer machines Just Do It. Our most important role on a regular basis is: Do Not Hamper Your Defense System. Phlegm – an unsung hero. It not only kills invaders, it expels them via drainage and coughing. Don’t fight that. Thousands of dollars-worth of big-pharma shelving tries to capture your money in order to suppress this defensive system. DON’T DO IT. The same can be said for sinus drainage. Helping it is good. Hampering it is bad. Your nose, mouth and eyes are obvious entry points for pathogens. However, tears, mucus and saliva contain an enzyme that breaks down […]

pictures from our cold snap

I suppose if you grew up in Wisconsin, Michigan or North Dakota, this wouldn’t be all that impressive. But I grew up in coastal northern California and haven’t lived anyplace that touched yesterday’s minus 41 low, let alone today’s minus 28/29. Dang, that bites… Literally… chews on, stings whatever skin you offer up to it. Storm doors, double-pane windows … yeah, they all grow frost coats. My foresight to install wood heat and stock up on both free kindling and moderately affordable local forest BTUs is looking rather clever today… wait until the electricity shuts off for a bit. Wow! Genius!!! We took yesterday off from wood heat. It was just too darn cold to go across the yard […]

Who moved Darby to north of Medicine Hat, Alberta?

I went to sleep with Darby in its rightful Montana banana belt location and woke up smack dab in the colder areas of Alberta, Canada. I looked for the blue-colored alcohol in my indoor-outdoor thermometer this morning to find with a shock a reading of MINUS 41 degrees Fahrenheit! My friend with his Kubota plow and I with my Sportsman ATV plow got the recent snowfall moved off key areas yesterday when it was a balmy -12. I had the wrong mittens on, freezing my hands to immobility and suffering five minutes of painful recovery back in the warm house. I am sure glad it wasn’t really cold. About then my wife waved in my face the end-of-season-sale snowmobile mittens […]

December 21st is 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. I have been looking forward to the end of the shorter-and-shorter days cycle and beginning of the longer-and-longer days – I have a warm relationship with our sun. 😉 Our Winter Solstice 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. Typically the snowfalls increase for the next couple of months. I am a bit less enthusiastic about that as I have already plowed, scraped and […]

Sundews

Thanks to California Carnivores from my old neighborhood, I picked up a variety of insect eating plants. Expecting to enjoy their beauties and appreciate the insect population reduction for one summer, I have been pleasantly surprised to get several years from them. This particular bog that lives next to a south facing window in my studio is far exceeding expectations, surviving, growing and even reproducing well. Another bog garden is in its dormant stage now, but will likely be a fine pitcher plant in our laundry room again next spring. A third did not come back last year and will likely need to be refreshed with new purchases next spring. Sundews (Drosera) If an insect ever evolved the brains […]

mushroom giants

Amazing nature delivered these big boys to my yard this week. This impressive pair quite literally just popped up in the last couple of days. In the adult education class I took on mushroom cultivation, I learned that the above-ground part we see, and think of as being the mushroom is actually the reproductive part of a very much larger organism living underneath it. As I began this post I realized there was no perspective, so I added a tennis ball and re-took the photo of the pair. I have never seen any remotely close to this large, in fact none even as big as the ball in all these years. I am taking chances by sharing this. Some […]

bear sense we should learn from

From Hiking and Fishing .com “A bear’s sense of smell about 2,100-3,000 times better than a human’s. Bear Vs Wolf’s Sense of Smell A wolf’s sense of smell is about 100 times better than a human’s sense of smell, making them better than most dogs, but nowhere near as sensitive as a bear’s sense of smell.” What does this enable them to do, besides finding fish in a rushing river or berries two ridges away? As this video of a man trying to tempt his bear buddy with a Big Mac might teach us, there is no food in there. If you tried to buy the ingredients in a grocery store, AND if read the list itemized on the side […]

Exploring The Bitterroot: Skalkaho Falls

It is officially Bitterroot motorcycle riding season. Tourist bikes have been exploring up and down The Bitterroot River on Highway 93 for most of a month now. A skosh tardy in getting my bikes where I wanted them for this season, I started a little behind the early bikers, but not too much. Right at the top of my 2023 bike ride bucket list was a reconnoiter of Highway 38 between Grantsdale and Phillipsburg, Montana. It is right in my neighborhood, lightly traveled and reputed to be quite scenic. I was also warned repeatedly by people who have been there, done that, to explore it on my more maneuverable, agile Dr Zee (350 pounds) rather than jumping right in […]

today is the summer solstice

Today is the summer solstice. Celebrate it. Go dance in the sunshine… Or walk… Or play… We are in it, but few know, having been disconnected from nature and the real world. For most of human existence, people knew seasonal cycles from direct experience. They paid attention because summer, winter, spring and fall mattered. Today experts tell them what they need to know, there’s an app for that covers much of their research, and food comes from grocery stores completely disconnected in their minds from farmers, agriculture, seasons and shipping technologies. In our location, today is the longest day of the year. Tonight is the shortest night of the year. The sun will not set over The North Pole […]

Northern Light sighting possible this weekend

  Photo by: Shutterstock   By: Scripps News Posted at 12:11 PM, Mar 23, 2023   and last updated 1:06 PM, Mar 23, 2023 An aurora Borealis is possible this weekend after the Space Weather Prediction Center issued a geomagnetic storm watch for the upcoming weekend.  The watch is in effect from Thursday through Saturday but is expected to peak on Friday. At its peak, it is expected to be a G2 solar storm on Friday. At that level, the northern lights could be seen as far south as New York and Idaho.    The solar storm is expected to be at a G1 level on Thursday and Saturday, meaning the aurora could be seen as far south as northern Michigan and Maine.  A […]

chilly today

Among the dumb jokes that stuck with me from early adolescence was: Mexican weather report: Chili today, Hot tamale Unfortunately my neck of the woods is not expected to rise above FREEZING until February. On the estate, our little valley grabs the cold and hangs on to it with unappreciated tenacity. You can see my morning low to the left. Yep … minus 24 … or so. Thanks to a nice collection of firewood I have built up, I can keep the palace around a plus 75… roughly a one hundred degree difference … that I really appreciate after plowing or blowing snow in the yard for an hour or two. The photo to the right is from yesterday’s two-hour […]

cold snap

Now THAT’s COLD. At Sunrise (8:17), I threw on a wool coat, insulated gloves and boots for a one-minute outdoor job of opening the chicken door so my flock could get out to their heated water reservoir and food supply. Whoops. My young back-saving helper yesterday did not close the double gate into / out of the chicken yard after blowing a foot of snow off their scratching yard. So I did that while I was out there – to keep them in and predators out. By the time I was back inside, my legs were cold through their double layers, my back was cold through its triple layers and my cheeks were genuinely frosty in the non-bearded areas. (Interesting […]

plan to celebrate Winter Solstice tomorrow

Connect with the natural world for a day. This year our calendar day of December 21st will be the shortest. From this day forward the days will grow longer and longer until the turnaround at the summer solstice. Montana sunrise will be 8:11 am; sunset 4:44 pm; length of day 8 hours 33 minutes; night 15 hours 27 minutes The sun’s steady disappearance from our world will make a turnaround. This is worth celebrating, marking in some way big or small. I plan to work in my greenhouse, perhaps put some seeds into pots and onto a germinating heat mat (that we have yet to dig out of whatever clever storage site we found for it). Maybe you can […]

time off for winter preps

I have visions of snowflakes dancing in my head. I also have quite a few things I want to do differently in my yard before that happens in any significant quantity. As long as Ma Nature keeps holding off the arrival of my winter white stuff management, I will keep on polishing the estate winter preps. I will be snowed in and posting here more regularly soon enough. TTFN