Tuesday, July 29, 2008

around the web

First, a link (with photo) to an article about a Florida biologist who jumped into the water to prevent a tranquilized black bear from drowning. One burly biologist!

Next, a good article by Robert Levy (co-counsel for the winning side) on the consequences of the Heller decision regarding the DC firearms ban. Nice bit of non-legalese discussing the decision. Beyond that article are responses by Dennis Henigan (lawyer and employee of the Brady anti-gun group who worked on their amicus brief), Dave Kopel (lawyer who has been active in Second Amendment research and advocacy for years and contributed to an amicus brief as well), and Erwin Chemerinsky (law prof who put together a very good constitutional law textbook, but who is completely at sea with respect to the Heller decision and 2nd Amendment scholarship). Edited to add a link to a fun take on the Chemerinsky sort of view on the Heller case.

Again from the Field & Stream "Field Notes" blog, a link to the infuriating story of Kirt Darner, famous among hunters for killing the largest number of mule deer to make it into the record books and appearing in prominent ads for Remington rifles which recounted that claim. I recall reading one of Darner's books back in the '80s and being impressed with his dedication. I also recall coming across one of his letters to the editor in an issue of the New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish wildlife magazine from back in the 70's. Darner turns out to be a fraud who, among other things has been operating a 40 acre "ranch" in New Mexico where he has been selling hunts. I personally do not think a fair chase elk hunt is possible on 40 acres. In any event, the guy gives all hunters a black eye.

From Never Yet Melted, a post with links about a Bronze Age burial find. What makes this more interesting is that genetic testing reveals that descendants of one of the family groups in the burial still live nearby some three thousand years later. Shades of Cheddar Man!

David Lebovitz' blog. This is the man who has written the book on ice cream and on his site you will find lots of recipes (I recently essayed his "easy jam tart"), informed writing on chocolate, snapshots of living in Paris, and other interesting things.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hunting the wild mushroom

This weekend A., the dog and I headed south through mist and fog to Querencia country and, with a little expert guidance, joined the denizens (and visitor) therein for a mushroom hunt.

There we found a few bolete (mostly Suillus, rather than King)mushrooms, which are just starting to appear.

Along the way we saw a ferruginous hawk, kestrels, Abert's squirrels, pronghorns, and great whacking stretches of country where the Plain of San Augustine has turned green with the rains.

Some of these were incorporated into a very nice risotto-

which we enjoyed with some New Mexico wine, lots of conversation, and watched over by tazi-

and falcon-

followed by more wine, dropping by long dog/falconer/hunters, gun admiring, food talk, book talk, outdoors talk, tales of the perils of modern mail order, and all other parts of a very fine afternoon and evening.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

dinner blog

Things have been warm and muggy here in my slice of the Southwest. We've had (badly needed) rain somewhere around town nearly every day for the last week (check out what's been happening in Santa Fe). While that's good, the afternoon and evening thundershowers cut down on patio time and call for more simple meals.
So, dinner- I'd been given some nice fresh garden green beans:

The beans were steamed until just tender, then refreshed and allowed to drain. From the freezer (starting to get low- need to get an elk this year) came duck breast fillets, the carcass long ago used for stock:

Those were seasoned with a little salt and pepper and thrown into the skillet with a little butter:

allowed to rest a few minutes, then thinly sliced:

and then added to mixed greens and the green beans and dressed with a vinaigrette sweetened with a bit of pomegranate syrup:

Accompanied by the best baguette in the area and a nice light bottle of wine, it's done.

Hard to get more simple than that!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Living in a science fiction world

A lot of things may not have held up or happened like he speculated (massive mechanical roads?) but I dare say that Robert A. Heinlein would be smiling today if he were alive to see one of the necessary features to one of his best novels, The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, has proven out. They've discovered water on the moon! Via Instapundit.

What an interesting and encouraging development. It appears a lot of water might be up there, buried deep under the surface. If there ever are hardrock "water miners" on the moon, I hope at least one is named "Manny".

Monday, July 07, 2008

reference blog- food

Big old tip of the hat to Chas at Southern Rockies Nature Blog for his post on and link to an interview by Ron Dreher of Michael Pollan. Interesting interview about food, worldview, and politics, and well worth reading. Sometimes the standard political classifications don't work all that well. I recently heard from a friend about meeting a "gun carrying Buddhist Republican" who is working on a local campaign. Gee, who speaks for that demographic?

p.s. They caught the article over at Odious and Peculiar, too.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


I hope everyone had a good Independence Day. This is always a big holiday for folks to head out into the woods, much like Labor Day. Consequently, I generally stay in town. Sometimes, though, you can get out to a popular venue or on a big weekend. A couple of years ago some friends and I took a long weekend and popped up to Rocky Mountain National Park. I have no idea how many people go through that park annually, other than "lots". Even so, we managed to see fewer than a dozen people once we got off the road.

Newlywed, my friends had been in the park but not backpacked, while I had gear but hadn't been up there. Despite the popularity of the park, we found a trail on the backside with no other folks signed in for a couple of open camping areas. We camped on a bench up above a little creek, a couple of miles in from the trailhead.

Next day, up to a lake which we shared with three other anglers and a couple of sightseers.

Once there, we found some nice Cutthroat:

and after a couple of hours of lunch and chasing the fish we headed back down the trail, rushing to beat a rainstorm. We camped the next night on an anonymous piece of Forest Service land, rigging a tarp to beat the rain and enjoying a bit of forest to ourselves.

Here's to public land, one of my favorite things about this country.