Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Miscellaneous June 2017

 I guess I'm not too far behind if I'm wrapping up June! Here are a few photos that didn't make it into previous posts. We enjoyed eating at the new Kerouac's Cafe in Baker, Nevada. The food is delicious and service is great! We've returned several times!

For work, I went up high in the mountains to protect some limber pines from mountain pine beetles. They are part of a proactive white pine blister rust program. Several trees (both bristlecone and limber pines) have been selected and pinecones harvested. The US Forest Service is propagating the pine seeds and then testing them for white pine blister rust, a non-native pathogen that can kill whole forests. The idea is that some resistant trees might be found, then their pine seeds can be stored and grown and resistant trees planted to help when the rust eventually arrives. In the meantime, we have to protect those trees from mountain pine beetle, so we apply verbenone, a natural pheromone that the  beetles excrete to say that the tree is full of beetles and the incoming beetles should select a different tree. So cool! (Bristlecone pines don't seem to be affected by mountain pine beetles, so we don't need to put verbenone on them.)

The bristlecone in this study isn't part of the study, but it looks cool.

We had been having some warm temps, but on this particular day it was really cold. And there were still snow drifts. Bruce and Becca helped us get up the road, moving trees and digging through snow/ice drifts. It was an adventure!

To my surprise, Nevada primrose was already blooming.

The views from Mt. Washington were amazing.

I spent a week near Redmond, Oregon teaching cave rescue. We had a fun day on the cliffs. This was a different type of rock than what we used for the rest of the week.

That's because there are lots of lava tubes around Redmond.

We didn't actually go in many, but we played at the entrances of several, including doing a highline across this one.

We also had some zen time in the gym/exhibition hall, floating students across.

Back at home, we tried out a new (used) sailboat that my husband purchased. It's lots of fun, but also a little scary when the wind gets going.

I enjoyed a trip to an ice cave that has part of its entrance blocked by snow.

It had never been entered this time of year before, so we didn't know what to expect. We couldn't use the bolts at the entrance, so tied off to a tree and went over the snow.

The transition to snow to ice was abrupt. It was an interesting cave, but very difficult to get to. We installed a wildlife camera at the entrance, so we'll learn what else is using the cave.

We've also been spending time with the lambs. We figure if they get used to chaos here, they'll do better at the fair. So we invite friends over to play!

Desert Boy got some lessons on showmanship, but needs a few more! It will be fun to watch him at the fair. He's definitely gotten a lot more confident, and I can see why it's good to start with animals that weigh about 100 pounds instead of those that weigh much more (like steers).

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