Almaden Mercury Mine spoil, April 2017

Notes on the Almaden Mercury Mine


Between 1932 and 1972, Nutmeg Mountain, eleven miles east of Weiser, Idaho, was a mercury mine. The mining was episodic, not continuous. Usually, it took a war to drive the price of mercury, which is used in explosives, to levels that made mining and extraction profitable. Changes in mining technology also affected the level of activity. Altogether,…

Senator Dan Foreman (R, Moscow, ID)

We Get the Government We Deserve: Senator Dan Foreman


Every nation gets the government it deserves. — Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre Idaho Republican State Senator Foreman represents – for a given definition of “represents” – the citizens, of Moscow, Idaho.1 Senator Foreman is a former fighter pilot and law enforcement officer. Whatever his education, it didn’t include science. Or common courtesy. Senator Foreman has gained…

Shoshone Falls, Idaho, Vertical Composition

Notes on Shoshone Falls


The Snake River is dammed within an inch of its life. It’s polluted by agricultural runoff. Diverted for irrigation. There are at least 15 dams along its length, most of them in Idaho. But once in a while it can still bust loose and show some serious water. And when it does, there’s no better…

Sawtooth National Recreation Area, July 16, 2016

Can We Think About this Privatization of Federal Land Idea?


Americans, and international visitors, love federal lands. Idahoans pack the federal parks, national forests, national recreation areas and other federal lands all summer. Everything from dirt bike racing in the Owyhee Mountains to rafting Wild and Scenic Rivers to backpacking Forest Service trails to filling up all the campgrounds in the state on weekends. Hunting…

Northern Flicker noshing on Virginia Creeper berries

The Yardbirds


Some random photos of yardbirds,[^1] photographed in WC’s backyard in the north end of Boise the last few weeks. Northern Flickers occur in interior Alaska in summer but, unlike their woodpecker cousins, Flickers migrate outh for the winter. Apparently to southwest Boise. The absence of red means this is a female. By far the most…