Dealing with Pumpkin Vandals


In Alaska, the pumpkin vandals were large and mostly impossible to deal with. If a specimen of Alces alces americanus – moose, the largest member of the deer family – acquired a taste for the largest member of the squash family, there wasn’t much you could do. When we relocated to Idaho in 2015, we…

Field Notes: Burgdorf Hot Springs


The place name “Secesh,” including the lovely Secesh River in central Idaho, has a romantic, American Indian sound to it. Unfortunately, it’s short for “secessionist,” and a name given by refugees from the South in the American Civil War. The territorial history of Idaho reads as a struggle between Federal, pro-Union appointed officials and popularly…

Turbo Speed Goats, 2022 Edition


Pronghorn were an unexpected treat when WC started hanging around the Intermountain West. And WC still cannot resist photographing them when there’s an opportunity. Here are a few shots from this year. Because you can never have too many photos of Turbo Speed Goats. Remember, they are not antelopes, and are only distantly related to…

Awful Human Beings: Ryan Cole, M.D.


Some humans ain’t human, some people ain’t kind You open up their hearts, and here’s what you’ll find A few frozen pizzas, some ice cubes with hair A broken popsicle, you don’t wanna go there — John Prine, “Some Humans Ain’t Human,” Fair and Square, 2005 WC admits to an occasional fascination with some appallingly…

Jackson Browne Was Right


Oh people, look around you The signs are everywhereYou’ve left it for somebody other than youTo be the one to careYou’re lost inside your housesThere’s no time to find you nowYour walls are burning and your towers are turningI’m going to leave you here and try to get down to the sea somehow Jackson Brown, “Rock…

The Idaho Republican Party Prepares for Violence


Lunatic, Lunacy: late 13th century, “affected with periodic insanity dependent on the changes of the moon,” from Old French lunatique “insane,” or directly from Late Latin lunaticus “moon-struck,” from Latin luna “moon” Etymology Online It is a remarkable coincidence that the new Chair of the Idaho Republican Party, elected on the occasion of the most recent supermoon, is named Dorothy…

Geomorphology and the Idaho Batholith


WC cautions readers that this post is mostly WC’s speculation, geology ex cathedra WC’s bellybutton, as it were. But it is at least slightly informed speculation. Let’s talk about stream courses in the Idaho Batholith. Anyone unfamiliar with Idaho who tries to trace the course of the Salmon River on a map will find the task immensely…

Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin

An Open Letter to Janice McGeachin


Dear Lt. Governor McGeachin: The Idaho Statesman reports that at a campaign event on April 21, in response to a press inquiry about your botched and overdrawn Idaho Lt. Governor’s Office budget, you said, Honestly, who cares about $2,000 … in the lieutenant governor’s budget? I think more people in Idaho are concerned about their…

Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin

A Sampling of Deadbeat Republicans


It’s increasingly obvious that Donald Trump lies and cheats, and he is infamous for failing to pay his bills. Ask most of his lawyers. No President in history has had more creditors sue him, trying to get paid, than Trump. But he’s hardly the only deadbeat Republican. Here two deadbeat Trump-wannabes, one from WC’s home…

Notes on the Devil’s Weed


After only five months in Idaho, WC was selected for jury duty by the good folks at the Ada County Court System. WC reported for duty on February 1, 2016, along with 40 of his fellow citizens. The case, the judge explained, involved a felony, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, an inference derived…

That Edict from Idaho Republican Soviet


The Idaho Republican Central Committee recently considered a proposal that would allow only candidates approved by the Central Committee to run for office. The proposal originated with the Bonneville County Republican Committee.1 Under Bonneville’s proposal, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, legislators, even county commissioners and sheriffs would need official party permission to appear on the…

Climate Change and Bird Range Expansion


Back in 2017, Emma I. Greig, Eric M. Wood and David N. Bonter co-authored a paper documenting the range expansion of bird species in response to human activity. They chose as their example species Anna’s Hummingbird. They showed that, in response to milder winters, increased urbanization and more supplemental food sources – hummingbird feeders – Anna’s Hummingbirds had…

Scott Yenor: Giving Misogyny a Bad Name


Scott Yenor, an associate professor of political science at Boise State University, has achieved his fifteen minutes of fame by telling the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida last month that women shouldn’t be encouraged to pursue careers, that their role in society is to be wives and mothers. Yenor has also written four books…

Rep. Giddings Will Now Step Forward for the Ceremonial Slap on the Wrist


The Republican majority – excepting its extreme, right wingnuts – of the Idaho Legislature is congratulating itself on censuring Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R, White Bird) and kicking her off of House Commerce and Human Resources Committee. That’s the Idaho House legislative committee in charge of, among other things, supervising state employees. WC has written about…

Uncivil Servants


This was the photo in a recent Tweet from Idaho State Rep. Tammy Nichols (R, Middleton). For those who may not be following current memes, this is a zombie-themed photo. The guy is front has a baseball bat, wrapped in barbed wire, ready to take on the zombie hordes. He has a map of the…

Field Notes: Bruneau Sand Dunes


The Bruneau Dunes – more properly, the Bruneau Dune – are an accident of geomorphology. The Bruneau Dunes are in the Snake River Canyon in south-central Idaho. It’s a stretch of the Snake River that cuts through the lake bottom sediments from the long-vanished Lake Idaho instead of the ubiquitous basalt that’s more common along…

Choosing Your Excuse for Your Ignorance


WC, who is well past the 65-years old eligibility, has just received his Pfizer booster shot. It’s the socially responsible thing to do. Idaho hospitals don’t need any more patients, and WC’s aging immune system needed a hand to keep the evolving coronavirus at bay. Idaho’s vaccination rate remains at a miserable 41%. That’s the…

Idaho’s Turkeys


WC isn’t talking about Idaho’s politicians here; a comparison of Wild Turkeys to Idaho’s legislators would be an insult to the genus Meleagris everywhere. Nor is WC talking about Wild Turkey, a nearly undrinkable brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled and bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co. and, by most reports, the favorite beverage of the…