Cumulative Snowpack at March 5, as Function of Long-term Average

Some Good News: The West Has a Lot of Snow


WC has been writing about mostly bad news: spineless mayors, salmon-threatening foolishness, sexual perverts enabled by those who were supposed to be on guard; deforestation. It’s time for a bit of good news. In the West, especially the Intermountain West where WC lives, it’s all about water. This place is a desert, and an adequate…

Another Roadside Attraction: the Giant Idaho Potato

Another Roadside Attraction


WC and Mrs. WC were birding, looking for Ferruginous Hawks out on the Snake River Plain. And on the old road to Orchard, Idaho, a few miles off I-84, we found this. A giant potato. A giant fake potato. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s a famous giant faux potato. It has been hauled…

Dirt bike tracks on lichen-encrusted rock along Lick Creek Road

Another Reason WC Loathes Dirt Bikes


WC has been complaining about dirt bikes for years, especially dirt bikes tearing through the wilderness. However much fun it may be for the folks riding the dirty, noisy and destructive machines, it is a use that precludes pretty much any other use. With noise levels at or above 100dB, they scare away any wildlife.…

A geological map of Valley County, Idaho

Geology and Payette Lake


Geologists tend to have a strange time sense. Mostly, they live in the present, year-to-year, decade to decade, like the rest of us. But their profession also requires them to live in geologic time, in epochs spanning millions of years. A geologist would look at Payette Lake in both ways: a beautiful, blue and blessedly…

Smolt to Adult Fish Ratios at Dams Along the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Science, Salmon and the Snake


The Snake is the Snake River, once one of the world’s preeminent salmon streams, famed for its chinook,sockeye and steelhead runs. Now those fish are an endangered species and at the heart of a complex struggle involving fish, water rights, hydroelectricity and, most of all, dam-foolishness. One way to measure the health of an anadromous…