Western Tanager, Poison Creek Picnic Area, Owyhee County, Owyhee Scenic Byway

An Owyhee Photo Sampler


“Owyhee” is an early spelling of the 50th state, Hawai’i. The Owyhee Mountains, ancient volcanoes, are named by early fur trappers. In 1819, three Hawai’ian, part of Donald McKenzie’s fur-trapping expedition, were sent to trap a large stream that emptied into the Snake River. When they did not return, McKenzie investigated and found one man murdered…

Demon Weed! 7,000 pouns of hemp

Saving Us from Dangerous Hemp


WC’s adoptive home, Idaho, is a politically strange place. As just one example, consider its attitude toward marijuana. Demon weed is legal in most of the state surrounding Idaho: Washington, Oregon, Nevada . But not in Idaho. Hemp – marijuana plants with extremely low levels of THC used in industry  – is now even legal…

Shoofly Oolites, about 5 times life size; 100mm f2.8 at 6 inches

Geology 101: The Shoofly Oolite


WC knows geology isn’t the most popular topic around Wickersham’s Conscience, but today, at least, it can take your mind off of taxes. WC has written earlier about the massive Lake Idaho that filled much of the western Snake River Plain, in southwestern Idaho. Lake Idaho was an extremely long-lasting freshwater lake, possibly as long…

Governor Dunleavy: Ignorance Is Not Bliss


WC’s adopted state, Idaho, is politically a very conservative place. More conservative than Alaska, in most respects. At least until recently. But Idaho’s conservatism isn’t ostrich-head-in-the-sand conservatism. Unlike, say, Alaska. WC is speaking here of the approach to climate change. Governor Dunleavy in February abolished Alaska’s climate change commission. He didn’t explain why he issued…

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…