Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

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I had to go on a long overnight field trip to west-central Idaho this weekend at the Soulen Livestock Ranch.

Here were the good parts:
*Seeing a golden eagle's nest (with female golden eagle and two nestlings). It was huge--big enough to brood a small dragon.
*Seeing a great-horned owl's nest (with two ENORMOUS nestlings (silvery down, blue beaks), and parents watching warily from the distance.
*Finding some lithic scatter on a sagebrush slope...chips of obsidian and chert (mostly obsidian), and some neat points...that were probably left from natives in the area, working weaponry out of the stones.
*Finding possible scat of endangered pygmy rabbits.
*Hearing a winnowing western snipe, calling long-billed curlews, and a zillion other birds, and almost being made faint at the scent of about 20 syringas in bloom.

Here were the bad parts:
*Having to drive a massive 15-person van through super-thick mud and down incredibly rocky, narrow, steep roads. Our van felt like an amusement park ride, and my steering wheel seemed about as useful.
*Going on a hike to find the sheep and shepherds, being told that they were 3/4 of a mile away, and hiking 2 miles uphill, in the sticky mud and in huge holes in the ground, and rocks, and not finding them. Also, being made to KEEP LOOKING for them by our elders, even though we were supposed to have already started driving back, which is why we were 2 and a half hours late to get back (10:00 pm) last night. We eventually mutinied.
*Getting absolutely plastered with ticks on the hike back. We kept having to stop to flick them off, and check our legs, arms, hair, crotches, ankles, and backs for ticks. When we got back to the vans, we completely cleared ourselves of ticks before getting in as best we could. Matt found two on the drive back, as did Tyler, and Sarah found one. Last night, Tyler and I had to completely check every inch of our bodies for ticks. Tyler found one on the inside of his pants. I had one in my shirt and one actually embedded in the back of one leg, which Tyler had to extract.


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