Nugget Newspaper
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  • The TVs are on their way!
    In spite of all the snow and cold, turkey vultures are on their way north to their summer haunts. While air temperature does play a role in the movements of TVs and other birds, it's really the sun's relationship to the horizon and the amount of daylight that controls their migration calendar.
  • Darina Allen, cookbook author, chef and owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland said, "For centuries in Ireland, the March 17 holiday celebrating the country's patron saint was a somewhat sober affair. It was much more of a religious feast - you went to Mass where people would wear a live shamrock, a little Irish dancing, and sometimes a parade."
  • Change is one phone call away
    Sometimes it seems impossible to change things. I mean, it's hard enough to eat better or get more exercise. What about changing the world?
  • Challenges travel in packs, and this winter is no exception.

    No sooner had our second generational snowstorm in four years ransacked an otherwise placid winter, than one of the dogs ripped open his shoulder in an accident and needed medical attention. Twenty or so sutures later, a leak opened up in the master bedroom in the same place we had a leak in the winter of '17, which required some late night alpinist adventures on the north face of a precipitous peak, and will require a second replacement of the bedroom ceiling in as many years.
  • It has been awhile since the last Ranger's Corner. Too long I reckon.

    The 35-day partial government shutdown threw a wrench in our public outreach efforts as well as many other projects. But we hit the ground running and picked up right where we left off in late December. As winter reminds us it's not done yet, with recent record-breaking snowfalls, we are ramping up for another busy field season.
  • When The Nugget asked me to start a new column, my husband suggested I call it "In the Pines." I laughed and agreed. I'd been involved with a couple events using the phrase, like Writing in the Pines.
  • Is enough snow really enough?
    There are some people in Sisters Country who are pretty unhappy about this magnificent snow that lies upon our sagebrush and sand at the moment; they think "enough is enough."
  • Self-awareness 
and pets
    A lot of research has been built up around self-awareness - the ability to recognize the self as distinct from the environment. It's having consciousness and knowledge of the self as an individual. Humans have self-awareness and we're able to recognize our body, our feelings, and our thoughts as our own.

    But an unsettling question has hounded humanity for generations: Are we alone in our self-awareness; do other animals have a sense of self, too?
  • They're all stinkers
    Mustelids can be pretty stinky.

    In addition to the American badger (which I wrote about recently), there are several of its cousins that have the same ability: American marten; ermine aka short-tailed weasel; fisher; long-tailed weasel; mink; northern river otter; striped skunk; Western spotted skunk and wolverine.
  • I'm writing this on Sunday morning, during the first real snowstorm we've enjoyed this year-though I almost didn't believe it was going to happen.
  • What can we learn from Wilson Wewa
    We are, in our travels, occasionally blessed to spend time with incredible people who, against every conceivable cultural and political roadblock, still manage to make a difference. This happened for me last Wednesday morning when I was fortunate to share some time with Wilson Wewa.
  • Where have all the badger gone?
    What is the status of the American badger in Oregon? No one really knows - and I doubt if many Oregonians care. From my experience roaming through the countryside east of the Cascades, I can accurately state that badgers are targets for shooters and for the most part hated by a great many horse people; as badgers dig in pursuit of food and shelter, they create holes in which horses break legs.
  • Spend Valentine's Day with your pet
    Fancy restaurants are gearing up for a packed house, flower companies are preparing for the busiest day of the year, and folks everywhere are pulling out all the stops to plan the perfect night for their Valentine.

    Valentine's Day is often filled with expectations of romance. It's a joyous day to celebrate the love between two people. But for others it's a day filled with mournful memories wishing for what they once had.
  • Last week provided a sobering look in the American mirror. Much of that ugly reflection was concentrated in the State of Virginia, where Governor Ralph Northam first admitted, then denied, that he was one of the two utter dimwits who appeared in a photo from his medical school yearbook. One of the idiots was wearing blackface, and the other case of arrested development was done up in Klan regalia, including the stupid hood.
  • The field of candidates for the 2020 Presidential Challenge Blowout is taking shape just in time for pitchers and catchers - they report for spring training in early February - and what makes this timing so marvelous, so utterly serendipitous, is that it also beginning to look a lot like a mid-season Sausage Race.
  • There is a concept in the art world known as "negative space." The basic idea is that instead of trying to draw the branches in a tree, one draws the space between the branches, and therefore, ultimately, the whole tree emerges.
  • Now that the APA (American Psychological Association) has decided that the political opinions of psychologists are a legitimate factor in mental-health care, we've reached another crossroads on the sordid trail of modern American history.

    Under the guise of concern for "the impact of power, privilege, and sexism on the development of boys and men and their relationships with others" - the APA has helped to create, legitimize, and now openly supports, a burgeoning new mental illness known as "Toxic Masculinity."
  • The immediacy of history
    I've spent most all my days trying to touch the past. It's a compulsion, a hunger for a connection. I have been accused by some folk who lack understanding of "living in the past," but that misses the mark by a country mile. It's never been about that at all - it's always about making the past present.

  • One idea that surfaced from the recent VAT (Vision Action Team) meetings was to foster a vision of Sisters Country as the artisanal capital of Oregon.

    That idea may be one of the better ones to have emerged from the project, if only because it is an organic outcome of broad-based community support. It is also something that is already happening, and largely independent from political or economic winds that blow beyond anyone's meaningful influence or control.

    It is the essence of the "grass roots" meme.
  • Sisters Country birds
    The short-eared owl [Asio flammeus] is a medium-sized owl with relatively long wings and tiny, often-concealed ear-tufts. In Latin, the word flammeus means fiery, flaming, or the color of fire.
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Thursday, March 21, 2019