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Friday, October 31, 2008

Winter Camping on the Ayakulik

Well maybe not true winter camping, but one night the temperature did get down into the single digits. Far colder than we had expected. We'd put our teepee up over an old tent platform, and the cold got under the platform. It was like sleeping on a slab of ice. Everything froze. Even the river.

Good thing we had a wood stove and plenty of willow. Not the greatest fire fuel, but adequate. It was a good thing we brought about 50 pounds of good firewood from home. We sure needed that wood stove! Everyone asked me how the Alutiiq could have possibly survived winter with such poor local firewood. I reminded them that elderberry used to be far more common before it was overgrazed by deer. I also pointed out the black birch and alder groves on the hillsides, and how much better a fuel willow can be if properly dried.

Photos: Top two - Ayakulik flats scenics. Middle - ice in the river. Bottom two - life in the teepee. My brother Dicky took the scenic second from the top and the one of me in the tent. Patrick

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deer Meat for the Freezer

Tonight we are cutting up deer meat for the freezer so it seemed appropriate to include some hunting photos. The bottom photo is of me and my second buck. The other photo is of my brother carrying out most of his deer. There are some big deer down there! And as much work as it was to field-butcher the deer and carry them out to our camp, the hard work is going on tonight - here in our kitchen. It takes forever to cut up and package 5 deer. I am now glad we did not harvest more deer. But the pay-off is a freezer full of tasty meat.

We were lucky to harvest our deer before the bucks went into rut. Deer in rut do not taste good. I will not be harvesting any more bucks this year. We could tell that the bucks were just beginning to hang out with the does, and their scent glands were beginning to smell. By next week they would have been inedible. Patrick

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back from the Ayakulik

Today Dicky, Ray, Paul and I got back from our hunting trip on the Ayakulik. Lots of stories to tell and pictures to post. Too much for one post, and I'm too tired to write a lot anyway. So I thought I'd whet your appetite with just a few photos that seem to sum up the trip pretty well. Bears, Floatplanes, and Glorious Hiking. The views while hiking were glorious and we had superb weather. Lots of deer too, but no reindeer.

Photos: Dicky shows off some big bear tracks in the trail. Bear tracks were pretty much ubiquitous, and bears everywhere. We saw maybe 10 bears a day. The middle photo is of Dicky examining the landscape while we scanned for deer from a mountain ridge. Great ridge walking and very little brush to contend with down on the south end. Bottom photo is of Rolan coming in to pick up deer meat halfway through our hunt. We had too much deer to take it all back with us on one trip. Patrick

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Off to Chase Reindeer

Today my brother Dicky and I are off to my old stomping grounds on Kodiak's South end to hunt reindeer and sitka blacktail deer. Friends Ray and Paul are joining us. I am looking forward to going back to the area I surveyed for archaeological sites over the course of 4 years. I know the area by the river pretty darn well! But when I am doing archaeological surveys I never seem to get away and explore all that much - I have to find sites and map them, and the sites are not up on the mountain tops. On this trip I'll get to leave the river and explore.

Another aspect of visiting the area this late in the year is that I should get an appreciation of what it was like for the Alutiiq people who lived there in the late fall and early winter. Too often archaeologists rely on what is in books to say how people used a certain landscape. They really have no idea what it is actually like to live in that landscape at a certain time of the year. And since most archaeologists teach at 'Far Away' Universities they rarely, if ever, get to visit where they work in the field during the fall, winter and spring. Archaeologists go in the field in the summer when school is out.

I'm lucky - I'll be checking out the conditions on the Ayakulik River in late Fall. I'll probably learn why the Alutiiq built such nice warm houses! I also might learn about some resources that were available to the Alutiiq that I never thought of or read about in books. For instance, 'oh so that's why there was such a huge village here - the silver salmon pool up and spawn right in front of the site!'.

It should be fun! Patrick

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Snow and Hands on Learning

"Hip Hip Hooray" Nora exclaimed in the car today as I drove her to daycare and she looked at the snow on the trees. "Daddy Happy" she said several times.
Winter has arrived, and yes-Nora---Daddy is happy. As am I. Just not quite as ready for snow as Patrick. The chill is VERY much in the air and the valleys in the mountaintops are quickly filling in.

Dicky arrived today from Maine-ready to go Reindeer hunting with Patrick, Paul Z. and Ray R (from Seward). Paul and Ray are both doctors and they don't have any idea of what they're in for, going hunting with Dicky. Dicky is KING of hypochondriac thoughts--Ray and Paul will have an intimate knowledge of Dicky's whole medical history by the time this reindeer hunt is over. It will make for good conversation around the campfire, I suppose. (oh and Dicky approves this message....he got a laugh out of it when he read the draft post last night)

They have been busy coordinating food and gear. Patrick reassured me that they will bring plenty of warm gloves, jackets, etc... He had an almost-hypothermic-moment on the last elk hunt where they were wet from rain and then it got really cold. Patrick told of how he started doing a full body shake. (This is coming from Patrick, whom I've NEVER seen get cold like that.) So they're preparing for the coldest type of weather.

Last Monday I returned from a 3 day manual therapy class in Boston that was fabulous.
The class was on cranial techniques and advanced extremities and spine techniques. With only 9 students in the class, plus the instructor, it was a perfect 3 days of lots of practice on eachother and feeling the results of our work.

A lot of the cranial spots have to do with clearing sinuses/nasal pressure, relieving tension in face/neck, alleviating after a class like that, I"m feeling great! I had a cold when I got to the class but a full day of serious head/face work cleared it right up!

The more I learn about the body, the more I realize how much more there is to learn. Its so humbling. I become more and more fascinated and amazed by the human body, its capacity to heal and the ability for therapists to improve its healing capacity.
My new clinic is up and going and I"m loving it. I"m so excited about my job and profession and the potential my little clinic has to make people in Kodiak feel and function better!



Stuey and I.
Patrick taking Nora sledding this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things Stu Like to Wear

Stuey's latest fascination has been with shoes and hats. Its wild-he loves wearing hats. Most kids dislike hats but he puts them on and off his head all day. In fact, he'll even put 2 hats on at once. In the photo he is wearing a hat that our friend, Mike Yarborough, knit for him. He also puts our shoes on and walks around the house in them. This display of fashion gets lots of smiles and laughs from Patrick and I!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Closure on the needle saga

Last Thursday I saw the needle that was removed from Stuey's leg. The risk management ladies in Anchorage met with me and had the needle there as well as sample immunization needles handy. I was able to closely look at the needle and see that it wasn't hollow,it was too long to be an immunization needle AND it wasn't flexible enough to be an immunization needle. I bent it and bent the immunization needles and there was a whole different feel.
We'll never know how the needle got inside him. It will forever be a mystery. But my investment of time and energy into finding out is done. I am glad the needle is out, I am glad that Providence Risk Management was so helpful with the whole situation. I am glad that I got the chance to take a closer look at the needle and know for myself that it wasn't used in his immunizations. It will be one of lifes wild mysteries--the needle in Stuey's leg. I asked if I could take the needle home---they said they had to keep it there at Providence. For years-I believe. They offered to take a picture of it for the baby book (which really doesn't exist for Stuey) but I declined. The x-ray is exciting enough.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Snow's coming down the mountain

Today after work I took the doggies and did a quick climb up Pyramid. Pretty soon we will be skiing up there. There was new snow above 1500 feet and in places it was quite deep. And looking back into Kodiak's interior I can see that we already have enough new snow back there for skiing. Up on Center Mountain the new snow is probably over a foot deep. So the snow is 'on the move' and coming down the mountains. Soon it will be in town. I can't wait.

Hard to believe, but I was skiing every day on Pyramid just 2 1/2 months ago. Just a little more snow and I'll be skiing Pyramid for 9 months of the year! Patrick

Sunday, October 19, 2008

2 or 3?

Sometimes hunting elk is like having more kids - more of them means more work. A LOT more work. One of the dilemmas on our hunt was how many elk we wanted to harvest. We had numerous chances to harvest a third elk, but in the end we opted for just two, and boy am I glad we did! I think it is important to realize how much work it is to harvest and butcher an elk. They are hell to carry out to the beach and they take forever to process at home. But then there is always the meat. ... So good!

In the photo Mike is doing the 'heavy load' lean on his poles as he rests on his feet and contemplates the 'trail' out with a heavy load of elk on his back. He is not happy. I believe we should remember the pain every year before we hunt elk. It keeps us smart. Patrick

Friday, October 17, 2008

Afognak Elk Hunt

More elk hunt. Today we cut up and packaged elk meat for 8 hours. And we have another 2 quarters to do tomorrow. Yesterday we packaged about 180 pounds of halibut. So it was a true subsistence hunt. About the only failure was our attempt at catching shrimp in pots. We baited them with cat food and all we caught were starfish (see bottom photo of Mike with the fruits of our labor).

The hunt itself was pretty hard. We climbed up into the high country carrying camping gear in the rain, hoping it would clear off. And it did - by evening it was snowing, and then it cleared off, dropped into the 20's, and started to blow. A full on gale. With all our wet gear on we were pretty cold. But not as bad off as another group nearby that shot an elk and got stuck on the beach without adequate gear for 2 days. They almost lost a skiff trying to get off of the beach.

As it was Jim, our skipper, could not pick us up (anchor and weather problems) and we had to hike up back into the bay to get to where he could pick us up in the skiff. That's when we found the herd of elk :-) So we got our elk in the late afternoon, cut them up, and then hunkered down for the night for another night in the field - an electric fence around our elk meat to protect it from the bears. Good thing we brought food for 2 days!

The next day was spent humping out all the meat. By the end of the day we were very happy we decided to shoot just 2 elk rather than 3. It snowed off and on, and by the end of the day after two trips up and back to fetch meat we were very happy to be back on the boat drinking beer. The next two days were spent recovering and catching halibut - with some beer imbibing on the side. All and all, a most successful hunt!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Afognak Orcas

One of the best things about boat hunting for elk around Afognak Island is the opportunity to view wildlife. Sea otters, whales, loons, bears, you name it we saw it. The wildlife viewing highlight on this trip was a pod of orcas. I was calling Zoya on the SAT phone and leaving a message on the answering machine when I first saw them - the message must have seemed staged. But it did happen that way - 'oh wow, there's a killer whale'. The orcas were pretty difficult to photograph as they appeared and disappeared at will. A whale would surface and I'd just have to point the camera and shoot quick before he went back under the water. Sort of like filming submarine races.

Oddly enough there were sea otters all about and neither the otters nor the orcas seemed particularly interested in each other. I thought orcas around Kodiak fed on sea mammals and half expected some sort of feeding frenzy. It never happened. What's up with that? But our skipper Jim did tell us that the last time he filmed a pod of orcas feeding on a sea lion the boat sank and he lost his camera. So perhaps it's better we did not get the 'feeding frenzy' photos. Patrick

I'm Back - Zoya's Off

Last night we got back from our elk hunt on Afognak, and this morning Zoya is off to Boston for PT training. It feels like 2 ships passing in the night, but at least I got to see Zoya before she left. Also - the kiddos seem happy. It is good to be home. All is well.

And we had a successful hunt. We got 2 elk and around 300 pounds of halibut. Our work is not yet done - we will be packing meat for the next few days. First the fish and then the meat. More to come on the hunt but I thought I'd just post a few quick photos. Needless to say, but it was often cold.

Photos: Top - day 2 on the prowl for elk. Bottom - bull elk are big!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Litterbug Intervention, Mr. Thristy and Needle Visitation


Today I caught a litterbug.

I was driving down Mill Bay road when I saw off to the left a boy (9 or 10 years old) throw a napkin onto the ground. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought-did he just litter? In plain day? With me driving by? Thats not cool!

So I slowed down, looked in my rearview mirror and was pleased to see that there were no cars behind me. I stopped the car, put it in reverse and caught up with the litterbug.

"Ummm...exuse me." I said.

He looked up at me with a blank face.

"Did you just throw that napkin on the ground back there?"

"Huh?" He replied.

"I saw you throw that napkin on the ground. Can you please go and pick it up?"

He didn't say a word, walked up to the napkin and began to pick it up. I told him I'd gladly take it and throw it away. He started to bring it towards me. I saw that there was also a ziplock bag that he stepped on when picking up the napkin.

I asked, "Can you grab that ziploc bag too?"

He said, "i didn't drop that."

"I know. We should clean it up to."

I grabbed both items, said, "thank you" and drove away.

He really handled it well and didn't get defensive or put up a verbal argument with me, which was good.

I just hope that we raise Nora and Stuey to be good stewards to the earth and to not litter. It really is a disgusting habit and even more disgusting to actually see it in action.

Nora had another Happy Visit at the dentist today and I got to go. It was a HOOT.

I absolutely LOVE our dental hygienist, Erin, at Dr. Arneson's. She had Nora get in the chair, explained that she was going to raise the chair up high--even higher than mommy! Nora laughed. After tilting Nora back in the chair, she turned on the overhead face light and said, "Lets shine Mr. Sunshine on your feet." She pointed the light to Nora's feet and Nora (and I) laughed. Then she moved 'Mr.Sunshine' to Nora's chest. We laughed again. Then she finally moved the light to Nora's mouth.
Erin was so good about explaining everything she was going to do to Nora before she did it and she had Nora completely CAPTIVATED!!

Erin was able to clean Nora's teeth (like a REAL teeth cleaning), floss a few of them AND paint flouride on them in a matter of 15 minutes. And she had us in laughter all the while. I held Stuey in my lap and he laughed away as well. (Hannah was with me too--the plan was for Stuey and her to be in the waiting room, but Stuey knew that he wanted to be part of the action...and he rebelled).

Erin said Nora was the youngest client she has ever been able to professionally clean their teeth. Pretty impressive on Erin's part, especially considering that Nora is NOT a fan of people putting things around her mouth/face.
The funniest part was Erin calling the water-sucker device "Mr. Thristy". She'd spray water in her mouth then say, "Now lets get Mr. Thristy to clean it up." Nora would laugh and really got to liking Mr. Thristy quite a bit!
What a fun time.

On Thursday I have a planned visitation with the needle (in medical custody at Providence Anchorage) that was taken out of Stuey's leg. I got only a quick glimpse of it after it was removed. It was promptly sent off to Anchorage for supposed further evaluation. I'll be en route to Boston but have a several hour layover in Anc so I'll be off to Providence and meet with Risk Management department and see the needle once again. There are still many questions we are all asking about it. Everyone at Providence has been very helpful with the situation.

(Bless the hearts of my sister, Ella, and Alexis J. for listening to "the needle saga" for over a month now. You guys rock. )


Monday, October 13, 2008

Elk Hunt Update

The guys got two elk---and are going for more. And all is well with the anchor and boat. Phew.
All 5 of them drew elk permits but I think they'd be more than thrilled with just 1 more elk. 3 elk is a LOT of meat. Processed and packaged, I believe its somewhere close to 800 pounds of meat. Several years ago they got 3 and thats what it amounted to. And many days of meat processing in the Eufemios house...

All is well at home. My energy has been high today--and I've had a fun time with the kids. We went to Cactus Flats to get Nora some natural cough syrup. Both the kids in there was overwhelming. Too many objects at their level. Nora grabbed several things--including a can of soda and dropped it. Somehow the impact spot on the side split open and soda started spraying everywhere. I had to hold the can up to my mouth and suck on it to keep it from getting all over Stuey and I. Stuey thought it was quite funny. People walked into the store and gave me a funny look--me sucking on the side of the can. Once the store clerk realized what was going on, she got me a cup and I put the can in the cup. I apologized all over myself for the mess and she was so nice.
"No problem at all. We've had MUCH worse casualties in this store. Kids have dropped glass vitamin jars."she replied.
That made me feel somewhat better.
We have LOTS of work to do in the store etiquette department. Its my own fault, as I haven't really taken them to any store other than Safeway. And in Safeway they are in a cart--a BEAUTIFUL thing!!

The house is a disaster zone. Gotta go clean it up a bit before beginning again tomorrow!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Roxann to the Rescue

Patrick and the guys left Friday for the Elk hunt and yesterday morning the kids were already giving me a run for money. By 8:30 AM both kids had already had time outs and my energy was low-as I was still recovering from a cold. I called up Roxann to vent, as her husband Mike is also hunting with Patrick. I wanted to see how her time was going with Mike gone. She heard the frusturation in my voice and offered to come over and play with the kids while I got out of the house for a few minutes! What a friend! I went to Safeway and did some grocery shopping and got a cup of coffee. When I returned, Roxann had the kids at the counter enjoying snacks and everyone was quite happy. What a gem of a friend Roxann is. I made her promise that she would call if she had frusturating moments and we would return the favor. Last night we also enjoyed dinner together at her place-whipped up some salmon dip, cucumbers and kielbasa. Good combo of food.

Nora and Stuey both sleep as I write this. Thank heavens. Nora needed a nap desperately. She tends to get whiney and demanding without good sleep (like mother, like daughter).

The weather is cold and WINDY.
I got word that the guys have had some problems on the Elk hunt. Jim, the skipper, was on the boat last night by himself. He dropped the guys off on shore yesterday and they camped. Evidently, the winds picked up significantly last night so Jim had to move further into the bay they are in (can't give away location details--). The anchor got stuck so Jim is on the boat by himself and the guys are having to hike much farther into the bay to get to Jim.
Fortunately there is another boat in the bay--so they have potential assistance with the situation. I just hope everyone is safe and sound.
The best case scenerio would present with a big herd of elk on their way to the boat. That would be fabulous. We'll see what happens. Evidently Jim is dive certified--not sure if they're going to just cut the anchor line or what the plan is. I wait for more news.
To be honest, I just want them all to motor on home so I can make them some warm homemade pizzas and serve them some cold beer. But I do like the elk meat...its just such a big ordeal to chase down those big burly animals!!!


Thursday, October 09, 2008


Last night we went to Mike and Roxann's for dinner. It was total mayhem. (Karen and Jeremy have been-there, done-that with our family) Our kids were a bit wild as Mike tried to prepare dinner. Stuey kept pushing a chair up to the sink to play in the sink. Nora spilled milk 3 times and there were tears involved each time. Stuey also turned on the dishwasher somehow. In the middle of the evening, Mike said, "did one of you turn the dishwasher on?". We assume it was Stuey. All-in-all, it was a really fun time filled with laughter. Mike prepared halibut enchiladas-with a kick. They were quite spicy. He made an extra batch to bring on the boat hunt. The extra batch was even spicier---(there were jokes about how they should consider bringing a roll of toilet paper to put in the freezer on the trip for the guys....)

One of the many highlights last night was Roxann doing up the kids hair. She put Stuey and Nora's hair into ponytails. So fun!


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Elk Hunt Prep

Only 3 more days 'till we motor off in the Alpha Centuri in search of Elk on North Afognak. My favorite part of the annual elk hunt is the awesome hiking, exploring and backcountry camping. Of course I also enjoy drinking Ben's beer in the evening too. And there is always the elk. They are not much fun to carry back to the boat, but there always is that sense of accomplishment once you got the big boy back to the boat (see top photo - from last year's hunt). That's when the beer tastes really good. Most of our time elk hunting is spent glassing for elk that seem nowhere to be found (bottom photo - from 2004's hunt). Good thing the views are stunning.

But right now I am buying food and getting gear ready. I only got 3 days. Can you imagine if I forgot to buy coffee or something? Patrick

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bears by the Road

This fall on the streets of Kodiak there seem to be bears everywhere - wandering through neighborhoods, hanging out in the KANA parking lot, lurking behind McDonalds, wandering through Abercrombie, Everywhere. And every day there have been bears by the road out at Bells Flats chasing spawned out salmon in Russian and Sargent Creek. Anyone who wants to see a bear just has to drive on out to Bells Flats. Look for the cars parked by the road and all the people with their cameras. They are photographing the bears.

I gather that this year we had a poor pink salmon run and the bears are coming into town for food. The great thing is that people who don't usually get to see a bear have had a chance to - the bad thing is that some idiot hunter will shoot the bears by the road on the first day of bear season. Not that I am against shooting bears - it's just that these bears are so small and so habituated to humans. It seems more like killing than hunting. And it will give all hunters some serious bad PR. I bet it will be some 20 year-old, new to Alaska, who has just purchased a semi-automatic cannon of some sort, and just has to shoot his first bear.

Anyway - these are the photos I took of the bears driving back from the rifle range with Mike Pfeffer. The bears were hanging out under the bridge directly beneath the road. As Mike put it, 'This year with bears, Kodiak is living up to its reputation'. The bears under the bridge were tiny - I was looking around for their mother. Patrick

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Facebook vs. Blog?

Patrick has been worried that I have been paying more attention to my Facebook account over our blog. It is not the case. I reassured him tonight that I haven't updated our blog simply because I've been busy. This next week I start accepting clients at my business for Physical Therapy and there are so many things to do before opening day. My to-do list always seems to be 15-20 items long. It is an exciting time--and I can't wait to start seeing clients in my own PT business! Needless to say, when my work duties pick up, it is hard for me to squeeze in my 'recreational' writing. Patrick fell asleep early, tired from his hunt-so he will be pleasantly surprised when he reads this tomorrow!

Today the local radio station, KMXT hosted their 2nd annual "Run the Rock" marathon, half-marathon, 5 K run. I walked it with Karen Millstein. It was fun to catch up with her and it was a PERFECT day for a walk out Anton Larson Road near the golf course. The leaves are falling from the tress (yes, we have a few deciduous trees in Kodiak), air was cool and there was very little breeze. Winter is on its way and I"m glad! Afterwards there was hamburgers, chips and lots of people hanging out at the Golf Course Clubhouse. Good times were had with moms/dads doing the 5K walk with kids in jogging strollers. I think moms who do that are so brave. Am I a loser for not packing up Stuey and Nora and bringing them out there? I rather enjoy the walk and think that much of the walk would be doing "disaster management" trying to keep one or the other from crying. That said, I was in awe of the moms and dads who brought their little ones out and did the 5K trek with the strollers. So cool. Dedicated parents and I didn't hear much in the way of screaming from the kids...

Nora has attended 3 dance classes and really isn't into it yet. I''ll try for a week or two more, then reconsider taking her. She had a ball the first time but since then is quite timid and just sits on my lap. She'll occasionally join part of the class but she really isn't into it. And I don't want to pressure her. I"m happy that she attends on my lap and wonder if she'll come around to enjoying it more. Who knows. Time will tell.
Molly, her instructor, is just WONDERFUL about attending to her occasionally on the side of the room and inviting her to join. Very thoughtful and good timing. I'm appreciative of that.
I was talking to my friend Alexis about it, and expressed that after a while I don't feel like expending the extra energy to try to make her enjoy something she really isn't enjoying. Sure, I'd love it if she like dance class, but it may not be her cup of tea right now and we could always try back in a few months.

I attended the wedding of my new friends, Shannon and Dustin, on Friday. Dustin and Shannon recently moved to Kodiak and they got married at Fort Abercrombie on a beautiful, crisp October day. Just gorgeous. I only got a few pictures of Shannon, as I was with Stuey and couldn't be the shutterbug that I normally am! There were 20 people or so in attendance and it was a simple, classy, small ceremony and reception at the picnic area at Fort Abercrombie. So fun. 2 weddings in one week!!



Top: This morning, Stuey, Nora and I cuddled on the couch. Patrick snapped this photo while Stuey played with the landline phone and Nora played with my cell phone. Amazing how much they love phones!

Middle: Shannon walking down the stairs in preparation for her wedding. I had the joy of picking her up at her house and taking her to Fort Abercrombie! How fun it was!

Bottom: Shannon holding Stuey. Stuey thinks the world of Shannon. He always sends her big smiles when he sees her! Shannon even picked him up in her wedding dress! So sweet!

James' Deer

Another hunt, another deer. But much easier than our hunt two weeks ago! We headed up in the dark and broke out into the alpine at dawn. We saw quite a few deer, but all does. We did spot a big buck, but he was a long ways off, and we had just decided to make tracks and go for the big guy - when we spotted a nice 2X2. This time, unlike on our hunt two weeks ago, we decided a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush (or in this case a bigger buck), and we started our stalk on the close by buck (the bird in hand).

We got to within a couple hundred yards of the buck and it had moved over the crest of the hill. James went on alone while Gregg and I killed time looking for other deer. Then boom - only one shot, a very good sign. And yes, James had shot it perfectly.

As I approached James I saw another buck practically right next to him - I asked him if that was his deer getting away. He said no his was right by his feet. He was shocked to see another deer so close by. It bounded off and off in chase I went. I finally did have a perfect shot at it- but did a very smart thing. I did not shoot. By the time I located it, the deer was near the bottom of a sheer alder slope, and it would have been hell packing it up out of the alders and back up 1200 feet to the top of the mountain and the trail home.

So we got our deer and headed home. It is always good when you get home before 3PM.

Photos: Top James and Gregg with James' deer. Bottom Gregg and James hike home with packs full of meat. Mission accomplished. Patrick

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bear Beds in Abercrombie

For the last couple of weeks a bear has been hanging out in Abercrombie Park - the park next to our house. I've been seeing fresh tracks and poop - even wet footprints on the boardwalk - but no bears to date. Other people, however, have been seeing the bear, and there are signs warning of 'recent bear activity' at the entrance to the park. Needless to say, but I've been seeing a whole lot less people during my daily walks lately. It seems that me and the doggies have the park to ourselves (and the bear of course).

Today I found out where the bear has been bedding down. In the woods near the rotting beached whale I found a bunch of bear beds and copious amounts of green bear poop. Some of the poops also look like mud. It appears the bear has been feeding on the whale and sleeping in the woods nearby. He digs a hole and burrows down into it to sleep. Judging by his tracks he is a pretty small bear. I bet once the whale is gone the bear will leave too. Patrick

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Our Off Road Rebel

I was feeding the kiddos this morning when I noticed Stuey had on an interesting teashirt. Good Lord - it begins. Will Stuey grow up to be a backcountry shredder? While I certainly hope the apple will not fall to far from the tree I also realize that I will not be able to totally control how he turns out. But I thought I had a bit more grace time than this.

I also wonder where he got it - or more importantly, which of our friends gave it to us? Heaven forbid that Zoya bought it!

PS it turns out that Zoya did buy it. She claims she got it from Old Navy online and just didn't look very closely at what was on it. Old Navy makes teeshirts for Shredders? Or is it a whole commercial thing where people want to associate with shredders and appear slightly 'bad boy'? Pretty Weird.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Deer Art

It's pretty amazing what you can do in Photoshop. This was a still I took from a video I shot of some deer almost 10 years ago. The quality was terrible - all grainy and pixilated. I think it was 500 by 500 pixels or so. But by playing with it in Photoshop I turned it into art. I used the 'filters' - and then chose watercolor. Viola! I got a impressionistic painting of some deer cresting a hill. Pretty big deer too. Perhaps I'll make a poster. Patrick