Posted by: greentangle | April 7, 2014

Listening and Reading

I found a website tonight — — which offers access to a couple dozen nature-related interviews with people such as Doug Peacock, Derrick Jensen, Craig Blacklock, Tom Brown, Cristina Eisenberg, and others I’m not yet familiar with. I’ve also been working on filling a hole in my music collection caused by the absence of early blues folks like Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, and others.

Also tonight I pre-ordered three books which are due out the first week of May: The Carnivore Way, Keeping the Wild, and Grizzlies on My Mind. Recently picked up but not yet read–Wild Rides and Wildflowers. And I’m finishing up an advance copy of The Predator Paradox. And there are some other nature books that have been in the pile longer which I still haven’t gotten to–I’m too easily distracted by fiction.

Temperature warming, snow melting, greentangle aging.


Posted by: greentangle | December 16, 2013

Yellowstone News

I’ve been interested in many news stories from the Yellowstone area lately. Here are a few quick mentions and you can look for more info if you’re interested.

For an update from NPS on the condition of the park, check out Vital Signs. This includes brief summaries of the status of some species and issues, a summary table, and some nice photos.

The group which studies grizzlies in the area has again recommended delisting them. This isn’t a bad idea except for the politics and culture of the surrounding states. Wolves are the more controversial species, but living with grizzlies is a completely different animal. I almost agree that people from outside the area can’t possibly understand what it means and should have limited input on the question.

But before I get too understanding, Montana wants more white people to kill bison. And the Gardiner asshole (my opinion based on reading news stories, backed up by the opinion of people I spoke to who actually know him) who used sheep to lure some Yellowstone wolves to their deaths? His sheep have now inspired the curiosity of some bighorn rams and coincidentally there is a new round of respiratory illness among the bighorns.

The Livingston newspaper had a good two part article about the gentrification of Gardiner. Many area employees can’t afford to live there any more, and many living places are being used for summer tourists instead of for year round residents. A proposed solution–companies providing housing for employees. Let’s make it a Companies Town. This is actually already happening, and being surrounded by National Park and Forest land limits expanding options.

There is finally some new bus service to Whitefish, nine months after its cancellation prevented me from meeting Amtrak for my New Orleans vacation last spring.

An oil well (possibly a fracking one) has been approved less than 100 miles northeast of Yellowstone and even closer to the beautiful Beartooth area. Drilling starts in the spring.

And today comes news that the magma chamber below the park is 2 1/2 times larger than previously thought. 55 miles long by 18 miles wide, 3-9 miles below the surface, would make it the equivalent of about 2000 Mt St Helens eruptions. Let’s go out with a bang.

Posted by: greentangle | October 17, 2013

The Last Last (?) Look

As predicted, the park opened today, a few hours before I left. It was snowing again.

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The gates blocking roads into the park were open.

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This next gate stays closed all winter–it’s a dirt road to Gardiner. The sign on the gate is the standard one used everywhere for the past two weeks–area beyond closed due to government shutdown. Since the park was open and it was my last morning, I ducked under the gate and kept going. But see that tripod farther up the road?

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That wasn’t there when I first read the gate sign a week ago. Here’s what that second sign looked like.

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I admit I had some doubt whether it was true, but there has been an unintimidated  grizzly in the area the past couple weeks. And the way the year went, I decided not to risk a mauling on my final day especially since I wouldn’t have had a view from the top anyway because of the weather.

The last walks and goodbyes were emotional–I had a persistent lump in my throat and break in my voice. But I’m feeling relaxed in Bozeman tonight watching the Red Sox.

I don’t think I’ll be posting on this blog often although I hear there are some tame foxes in the area of my favorite Duluth hike who could make for some interesting photos. There will probably be more posting at Hard Wood to Whittle, but I don’t know yet if I’m going to get internet at home in Duluth.


Posted by: greentangle | October 16, 2013

Last (?) Looks at Yellowstone

Photos have been against the rules since the shutdown, so I’m sworn to protect my source for all that follows. Hiking on trails has also been forbidden but walking on roads has been allowed which must be where these were taken.



It’s been a snowy October with a couple good storms, one leaving almost ten inches. I’m probably going to miss a good winter in the park.

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And as miserable as this year has been for me, it still hurts like hell to leave this beautiful place, unsure of whether I’ll ever be back.


And as I’ve predicted, it looks like the park will reopen as soon as I leave. Thanks for nothing, teabaggers.


Posted by: greentangle | September 30, 2013

Twas the Night Before Shutdown

And through Yellowstone,

The creatures were happy, yes, even the moose,

They slept under the moon and waited for dawn,

In hopes that the people soon would be gone.


I’ve had the past three days off and it has been rainy and windy the entire time. I couldn’t pack or make plans either because my employer hasn’t had the courtesy to let us know what the plan is if the shutdown happens. I stopped by the Visitor Center this morning and talked to a ranger and got more information and respect from him than from my own employer. The sad thing is that after four years, this didn’t surprise me in the least.

I don’t have a clue what is going to happen but envision nightmare scenarios of hundreds of us arriving in Bozeman at the same time looking for hotel rooms and bus rides out of there. In the meantime, I’m apparently supposed to show up for work tomorrow regardless of what happens tonight.

Around dinnertime, the clouds starting breaking and I headed out for what might have been the last Yellowstone hike and photos. There were pronghorn along the old road–I wish I could bottle that wet sage smell and take it with me.

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Happy Shutdown to all, and to all a good night!


Posted by: greentangle | September 28, 2013


Woke up to a snow cover yesterday morning. It was all gone within a few hours (here; elsewhere in the park, roads were closed or required snow tires) but it was nice to see for what could well be the last time. The day before, a bison (not seen in Mammoth for months) showed up and hung around to get me through the workday.

At most, I have 2 1/2 weeks left here; it could be less. If there is a government shutdown, the parks will close. People staying in hotels or campgrounds will have two days to get out–I haven’t heard anything about employees.

I’m taking a studio apartment in Duluth through April. It’s very cheap and all the space I need without furniture, and if I stay in Duluth would mean I wouldn’t need much income (and it’s pretty much a given that I won’t have much income if I do stay there). I haven’t seen the place but it’s just a few blocks from where I used to live, and I think having a room and bathroom of my own and my first kitchen in three years will make up for any defects.

Doing a lease only through spring keeps open the option of returning here, no matter how unlikely that seems to me now. More likely is that since this company has gotten the contract for Glacier next year and I’ve seen that they’ll be hiring for some jobs which would interest me, I’ll definitely be applying for that chance to live in a different park.

Posted by: greentangle | September 20, 2013

Another Long Goodbye

It’s definite that I won’t be coming back this winter, and I doubt that I’ll ever return at all. There are many parts of being here I’ll certainly miss, but it’s always been more of a mixed bag for me than it would be for most people. I’ll write more about my Yellowstone experience after I’m gone, probably on Hard Wood to Whittle which I think will replace this blog once I leave here. I’ve said all I can say on the nature issues which created this blog and I don’t expect to do much more traveling–it’s probably going to get a lot more personal. For the next four weeks, some more critters.


Not the sharpest of the photos I took, but the only one of Chipper wagging his tail.

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Greentangle in the trees.

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Young deer–Mule

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and White-tailed

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