Archive | February, 2010

Crimson Sunsets and Golden Dawns

Mornin’.

MP3: Beach Boys – Big Sur (thx RS)

February 8, 2010 | Long Hairs, The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Have A Good Weekend

February 5, 2010 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

The Color Of Dinosaurs

Until last week, paleontologists could offer no clear-cut evidence for the color of dinosaurs. Thanks to melanosomes, researchers have provided evidence that a dinosaur called Sinosauropteryx had a white-and-ginger striped tail. Melanosomes are pigment -loaded sacs that survive for millions of years in fossil bird feathers. The shape and arrangement of melanosomes help produce the color of feathers, so scientists are now able to get clues about the color of fossil feathers from their melanosomes alone. The discovery, which the researchers reported last week in Nature, supports research showing that birds are dinosaurs, having descended from a group of bipedal dinosaurs called theropods. More at the NYT.

February 5, 2010 | Flora/Fauna, History | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Tom Brown Jr.

The Way Of The Scout and The Tracker were always being read and discussed when I was young, largely in part because of Trevor, a friend who was obsessed with sneaking around the farms adjacent to his house and practicing psychological warfare on the farms’ owners. (Psychological warfare is not at all the plot or message of either of the books.) We pretended we were trackers while we crawled around Horizon Farms, switching flags and dodging the barn’s motion censored lights.

Tom Brown Jr. is a guy from New Jersey who was taught tracking skills by a Lipan Apache elder named Stalking Wolf, who he refers to as “Grandfather” in his writings. He’s the author of many field guides and owns a survival school in Manahawkin, NJ.

In addition to his books, Brown started Tracker Magazine and wrote numerous articles for Mother Earth News throughout the 80s. Brown’s Mother Earth News column was called “At Home In The Wilderness” (the logo looks a little familiar, eh?) and the topics ranged from fire, shelter, hunting and traps to making natural cordage. Scroll to the bottom here to read the articles in full.

February 5, 2010 | Magazines/Catalogs/Advertisements | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Half Dome Permits

In an effort to be better regulate the number of hikers using the Half Dome cable system, Yosemite will begin requiring day-use permits when the cables are put back in May. Last year, Manoj Kumar, 40, of San Ramon, Calif., fell to his death from the cables, and the following weekend, a woman fell during a rainstorm and sustained serious injury.

The Half Dome day-use permits (they’re “free” with a 1.50 service charge) will only be required on weekends, including Fridays, as well as holidays. Four hundred will be issued per day, with 100 of those to be included in wilderness permits. Last summer, the daily visitor numbers on peak days were around 1,100.*

At least people are getting out of their cars…

MP3: Allen Toussaint – The Chokin’ Kind

February 2, 2010 | Politics | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

David Bird Thomson

David Bird Thomson was living in Denver at the end of the 70s when he decided to hop on his mule, buy some flour and head to the mountains, in search of a plot of a land to build his cabin. Sound familiar? Thomson’s account of his quest, In The Shining Mountains, is more tongue-in-cheek than Proenneke (his “mule” was his car and the “trail” was I-70) but the sentiment hits closer to home than One Man’s Wilderness or The Big Sky. Ed Abbey called Thomson ” the Thoreau of the 80′s,” a statement that I wouldn’t quite agree with, because Thomson’s book attacks the “enemies” and truthfully chronicles the trials and tribulations of a guy who wants to live like a mountain man in the modern age. Long story short, it’s hard. And if it’s that hard in the late 70s, 2010 can’t be much easier.

The more interesting story surrounding this book is that Thomson has been missing since July 1st, 1979, just around the time In The Shining Mountains came out. He was last seen in Minnetonka, MN wearing a flannel shirt, jeans and a yin yang necklace.

I hope he found his plot of land.

MP3: Michael Hurley and Betsy Nichols – River In The Rain (thx BTBN)

February 1, 2010 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 7 }