February 4th, 2004

Sierra Night

Bioregion answers (for me, anyway)

1. Trace the water you drink from precipitation to tap.
Seattle: water rains down into the Cascades and flows through waterways into the Tolt River, where it's piped to Seattle and, I think, to a large resevoir up at Horizon View, about a mile away from my house. It just comes down the hill from there.
Moscow: water rainED down into the area many thousands of years ago and trickled into the Palouse aquifer, where it's pumped out from local wells and piped to our homes. It's saturated with silica and grows white crystals everywhere.

2. Describe the soil around your home.
Seattle: I don't know the soil terms, but it's a sandy loam covered with a rich layer of organic matter.
Moscow: Also loam, but more crumbly and clay-like. Good agriculture soil.

3. What were the primary subsistence techniques of the cultures that lived in your area before you?
Seattle: I think most of the zillions of tribes that lived in the area hunted forest game and fished. Lots of salmon, maybe the odd whale, deer and elk more frequent.
Moscow: We had plains culture here, Shoshone for sure and perhaps Nez Perce. They probably focused on cervids(deer, elk, moose), but those in the more elevated regions (like the Tukadeka) hunted bighorn sheep.

4. Name five edible plants in your bioregion and their seasons of availability.
Seattle: Salmonberries (midsummer), thimbleberries (same), huckleberries (late summer), lamb's quarter (spring-summer), and fireweed (spring-summer).
Moscow: Cous (whenever), lamb's quarter (spring-summer), whortleberries (midsummer), serviceberries (midsummer), and wild carrot (whenever)

5. Where does your garbage go?
Seattle: Eastside Sanitation, I think, takes it to a landfill on Oregon.
Moscow: Latah Sanitation takes it to a landfill in Oregon.

6. Name five resident and any migratory birds in your area.
Seattle: Northern flicker, Northwestern crow, Canada goose, mallard, bufflehead, black-capped chickadee, bald eagle, California quail, house sparrow (exotic), American robin, belted kingfisher.
Moscow: Northern flicker, American robin, American crow, Canada goose, mallard, bufflehead, green-winged teal, cinnamon teal, American widgeon, black-capped chickadee, dark-eyed junco, house finch, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, California quail, ring-necked pheasant (exotic), American robin, house sparrow (exotic), Eurasian starling (exotic), black-billed magpie, belted kingfisher, northern harrier, ferruginous hawk, great horned owl, western meadowlark, yellow-headed blackbird, Brewer's blackbird.

7. What animal species have become extinct in your area?
Seattle: Ug.
Moscow: Not sure.

8. What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom where you live?
Seattle: Indian plum (technically a tree)
Moscow: Syringa (I think)

9. What kinds of rocks and minerals are found in your bioregion?
Seattle: igneous rocks, andesite from the Cascades, ocean pebbles, basalts, some granite.
Moscow: Lots of granite, andesite sands from the Cascades, granite, some obsidian and chert.

10. What is the largest wilderness area in your bioregion?
Seattle: I don't think we have one. Mount Rainier and Wenatchee Natl. Forest are big, but not wilderness areas.
Moscow: Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (largest in the lower 48 states).
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Match Girl

(no subject)

Tyler and I both had a little bit of leftover bread heel that went bad a few days ago. I put mine out on the balcony for the birds to peck and Tyler crumbled his up and stuffed it in the bird feeder (he had a lot more than me).

No birds touched it for days, and Tyler was getting ready to pull it out when a squirrel crept into the covered feeder this morning. He moved slowly, as if stunned by his good fortune. Tyler and I came back from class half an hour ago and he was still there. I mean, he may have left to get a drink or something, but it's funny to think about. He's still there now, hunched over in a little fuzzy ball, cramming himself. Tyler went out to check on the bread and the squirrel didn't budge an inch.
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