Each year I challenge myself to create a photo book, which is printed in very limited numbers. Hey, I’m not rich. Here’s a PDF of this year’s edition, the 12th in the series. I think it is best downloaded so pages can be seen in the two-page (side-by-side) view. Make yourself a cup of hot cheer while waiting for the ebook to appear. Happy New Year!
Jasper was meant to live with us. I met Jasper 12 years ago while on a photo assignment for the Valley Times, now the East Bay Times. The Valley Humane Society was moving from its Spring Street location to larger and better quarters in Pleasanton, California. He was among the cats that needed homes before the big move. After a family conference, I went back to adopt Jasper. He was a garbage can kitty — literally thrown into the trash. Someone brought him to VHS, which raised him until he was old enough to adopt.
Separated from his mama at too young an age, Jasper did not learn what was food and what wasn’t. No shoelace, no fuzzy kitty toy, no brand-new-never-worn wool sock, no fluffy blanket or towel was safe from him. Woe to the person who ignored the warning to put shoes away in the closet. We were surprised when we did not find quilts in the litter box.
Despite his quirky diet (he eventually learned to prefer what was in his dish), we found him to be the friendliest cat to live with us. Any visitor became his instant friend. He never met a lap that didn’t inspire him to curl up and purr.
Jasper became ill, stopped eating and struggled to breathe. X-rays made at the vet’s office showed severe congestive heart failure and other major health problems. He would not get well. The horribly difficult decision to do what was best for him was made. There will never be another cat like him. The house feels different. Thank you, Jasper, for being a great companion.
Jared Barker separates the "target" fish from Lemhi River residents .(© 2018 Cindi Christie/Cyanpixel)
The sight of a bull trout captured in a rotary screw fish trap was cause for excitement as Jared Barker emptied the trap box. It was the largest he said he had seen. Bull trout, chinook salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout are the “target” fish in a study of juvenile fish migrating from the Lemhi River.
Moments later, Barker and partner Mike Hall, both lead technicians for Quantitative Consultants, checked to see if the fish had been previously tagged. If so, it had been caught before and would be in a database of individual fish. Or, it had swallowed a fish that had been tagged.
“It’s like catching fish in a barrel,” Hall joked.
Biologists and technicians identify, tag, weigh and measure the target fish and then release them upstream to be captured again in the large rotary trap, or downstream if already tagged. That helps estimate the number of out-migrating fish. Biologists and technicians identify, tag, weigh and measure the target fish and then release them upstream to be captured again in the large rotary trap, or downstream if already tagged. That helps estimate the number of out-migrating fish.
Native fish that live in the river year-round also are counted, measured and weighed before being set free downstream. Even sculpin, the bottom of the food chain, are important. Once let go, the bull trout stayed near the trap — perhaps in hopes of an easy meal or two.
Quantitative Consultants is under contract from the Bonneville Power Administration to monitor the population of migrating Chinook salmon and steelhead trout to “offset” the number of these fish that die in BPA’s hydropower systems. The project also is in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
While most are passing through, those that are repeat visitors can become familiar faces (or fins) and have been given nicknames. Each tagged fish with Passive Integrated Transponder tag that passes over an antenna throughout the watershed is monitored. fish logged can be tracked at Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System (PTAGIS), a public database.
They study the “relationship between stream habitat and anadromous salmonid populations in the Columbia River basin,” according to their 2017 annual report to landowners along the Lemhi River and tributaries who have granted access through their private property.
The bobcat is the mascot of Ohio University, my alma mater. Perhaps seeking a kindred spirit, one has been visiting the yard here in California. I doubt it has ever seen Ohio, much less heard of it. With these hot and dry summer days, the yard has had a lot more birds, raccoons, opossums and now a bobcat. These photos were made through windows. Big kitty didn’t seem to mind the attention.
This greenhorn tagged along as cattle were moved from the Doubletree Ranch in Salmon, Idaho, to BLM grazing land in May 2018. The ranch in Lemhi County has been in the Clark and French families for several generations. Riders on horseback and ATV, some accompanied by their working dogs, herded the cows and calves across Highway 28 and up into the mountains. Cattle and watering troughs on the BLM grazing land will be checked daily. Consider this a work in progress. After all, roundup season is ahead.
Each year I challenge myself to create a photo book, which is printed in very limited numbers. Here’s a PDF of this year’s edition, the 11th in the series. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate while waiting for the ebook to appear. Happy New Year!
May this holiday season be all you have wished for.
It’s migration season for many four-footed and winged critters. Birds are looking for new homes in warmer climates, just passing through Salmon, Idaho, for a meal. Several bird guides say this is a black-capped chickadee. Other animals follow the food. Neighbors have been setting out feed for the deer that stick around their yards. They are likely to be permanent residents, especially the fawns that were born there earlier this year. They know they have a good thing here.
The weather app reported that it was 28 degrees this morning here in Salmon, Idaho. As the sun cleared the mountains, it was time to quickly grab a camera and photograph the frosty landscape while it lasted.
The Norwegians say that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Having grown up in Minnesota, I am very familiar with being prepared for the change in seasons. We’d take one weekend and swap out our summer wardrobes for clothing more suitable for fall and winter. Then we’d sweat through that final heat wave with shorts and T-shirts out of easy reach until springtime. Warmer weather is forecast.