Saturday, June 20, 2009

Working near the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

Hello, everyone. I've been bugging Mommy persistently and managed to get her to type another post (wow, two in less than 2 weeks). Paws are not effective on the keyboard. She loaded me into the truck again last week and headed up into the mountains on Shoshone National Forest. This time we were working within a half mile of the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. This road connects with the Beartooth Highway leading from about Red Lodge to Cook City, Montana and into Yellowstone National Park. I made Mom stop at Dead Indian Overlook and take a picture of the northwest view. As usual, the wind was blowing so I tried to help her steady the camera.

I am happy to report that no electric fences or bears were encountered on our excursion. No rain or hail occurred and we stayed dry although I did find some lovely puddles and a shallow ditch (off Russell Creek) to walk in. It was cooler up there and no rattlesnakes to worry about.

My usual pickup had to stay in one day for an oil change appointment so Mommy drove the diesel Ram. The windows had all been cleaned since my last ride in it. I made sure to get nose prints on the back glass and side windows. I forgot to adjust the review mirror for her - easily done with a couple of nose pokes. That used to confuse Mommy, who couldn't figure out why the rearview mirror was mysteriously tilted from time to time until my little nose prints were discovered on the glass. Oh well, my great Uncle Trouble set the emergency brake peddle on at least one occasion. I'll have to completely climb into the drivers seat to accomplish that.

I like looking at the scenery -cameras are hard to operate with paws. Why not invent one with bark recognition!
Happy Trails, Miley

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fieldwork in the Mountains

Hello, Miley here with a long overdue post. I got a nice change of scenery yesterday. After the cold weather (and mountain snow) of about a week ago, it was finally nice enough for me and Mommy to go working in the lower elevations (around 7,500 feet) of the Absaroka Mountains in Shoshone National Forest. Much greener and less gray than the badlands and bentonite mines. I got to walk around in a shallow spring, it's fun getting my feet wet.

Mommy neglected to sufficiently warn about the evil fence marking the Forest boundary up there. I got zapped and complained loudly to Mommy! I rarely encounter electric fences, especially those three strands high. That explains why she was walking 3-4 feet away from it (boundary of our project area). Mommy assured me that my fur hasn’t gotten any curlier.

We also got rained and hailed on with the temperature dropping down to 41 degrees. Mommy was soaked by the time we returned to the truck; water would literally run off the top of her hat when she tilted her head. She looked like a big, wet, rat! She placed a blanket on the backseat for me, shut off the air conditioner, and turned on the heat until we got down from the mountain where it was a pleasant 66 degrees.

I saw several antelope and deer but happily no grizzly bears. According to local residents, the bears have been quite active this spring. One large male is known for occasionally “tearing through the draw” that we still need to hike up. Mommy and I do not wish to encounter him.

Hugs and happy summer, Miley