Cool little video showing an alternative way to fix S'mores, a campfire classic, using waffle cones, baby marshmallows, and just about any type of chocolate candy you prefer. I am seriously thinking of trying this out with a diced up Snicker's or Milky Way Bar on our next campout!
The Portal Trail that winds around Poison Spider Mesa offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Spanish Valley and Colorado River near Moab, Utah. While I have hiked the trail, and have met mountain bikers along its winding narrow paths, I am simply not brave enough to try to ride a bike along some of the more dangerous sections of trail.
The trail is rated as moderate to difficult, and if you are afraid of heights, you may want to turn back when the terrain starts to get a little scary. I know the first time I hiked the trail, my legs got a little wobbly, and I had to set down several times just to get use to walking along the narrow cliffs. The following is a nice video of some mountain bikers who attempt to ride the loop even though there are several signs that warn bikers to dismount because of multiple deaths along the trail.
Just came across this cool video on You Tube which shows a classic battle for herd supremacy and breeding rights between an old bull, and his younger rival. Enjoy!
Prior to 1800, it was estimated that nearly 30-60 million Bison roamed the North American continent from Alaska and northwestern Canada to the Great Plains and Gulf Coast of the United States. and northern Mexico. Through excessive hunting during the 1870’s, the species almost became extinct and in the early 1900’s it was estimated that fewer than 1000 North American Bison (Bison bison) survived. In fact, fewer than 500 individuals served as foundation stock for the buffalo herds we see today. Of the estimated 500,000 bison found in North America, only 5 % are set aside in conservation herds. Over 95% of the Bisons today are to be found in private and commercial herds. 2 of the largest Conservation herds can be found in the Greater Yellowstone area, and Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada.
Through conservation efforts the species has rebounded after going through a severe genetic bottleneck that could have threatened genetic diversity. In the early days of conservation Bison were bred with cows to increase herd size, and commercial value through hybridization with cattle. Genetic studies & testing indicates that a high percentage of buffalo even in the conservation herds have cattle genes, and are not considered to be pure with exception of the Yellowstone National Park and Wind Cave herds. (Halbert, et all 2007, and Gates, et all 2010.)
Additionally genetic testing of various herds appears to indicate that despite genetic inbreeding, the relative genetic fitness of the American Bison is quite good, and did not show significant amplification of harmful genetic traits (with exception of the Texas State Bison Herd which has a relatively low viability rate due to sperm abnormalities, and high mortality rates in calves) possibly due to inbreeding and a decrease in genetic diversity. Inbreeding was shown to reduce fertility, lifespan, and even the survivability of juveniles (Frankham & Ralls, 1998). Despite all this, the comeback of the American Bison from near extinction has been one of the great success stories of conservation.
The following are pictures I took while we were camping at Aspen Creek of a very large colony of chipmunks. The kits were extremely hard to photograph because they were constantly on the move and wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get a descent shot. Some were so young they couldn't have been more than 3-4 weeks old, such as the little guy directly below. Still they were an absolute joy to watch while we were sitting around camp!
Another sentry in training!
The following are a couple of short videos I shot of one of the kits foraging for seeds. Keeping track of them in the tall grass was a major challenge!
This last video shows one of the colonies sentries nervously grooming himself. There were always sentries stationed an that rock because it sat on the edge of a tall rocky cliff that was honeycombed with chipmunk dens. One morning I even spotted a red tailed hawk sitting on the rock for a couple of seconds before it flew off and landed in some trees just across the creek. It was not an uncommon site to see raptors and even owls flying low through the narrow creek valley looking for game.
The following is just a short video I shot at Aspen Creek of 3 bulls (F301 herd) that I spotted just before dawn. I was just getting ready to head out to a small blind I had set up on the ridge just west of camp overlooking the marshy area where we had seen Elk before. I had overslept, and was running a good 90 minutes late as I like to take cover in the blind while its still dark so as not to spook any animals away.
These Bulls had formed a small bachelor group during the summer. We would occasionally see them with smaller herds of 5-10 cows, but mostly they seemed to hang together by themselves. Most of the time when I am shooting video it is just for identification purposes, so I can go back and review the film and ID specific individuals at a later time.
These bulls were actually members of the Aspen Ridge Group we had been studying in the White Mountains of AZ. The following is a video of the Aspen Ridge and Baldy herds which combined to form a superherd during the fall rut.