15 August 2006

Brook Trout, Raspberries, Beer, and Grayling


Fished way past dark and stumbled my way out of lower German Gulch last night, 'bout shit my britches when RolyTheDog and I walked up on a moose in the half moon light. Being out at night is magical. Owl hooting. Coyote singing. Strange rustling noises. I was so inspired I drove the old RR grade in the dark with the headlights off until I hit the blacktop. Once upon a time I'd have to use drugs to get into that kind of state. Thrills come easier with age, I think.
Felt the same way nestled into the brambles and picking raspberries yesterday. Watching the little spiders that look like raspberry blossoms perched and waiting for their prey. Examining each shoot from several angles to find the ripe fruit hidden beneath the glossy green leaves. Admiring the beauty of our native humble bees as they worked the blossoms, unrolling their tongues to sip the nectar. Moving slowly so the thorns ride over my hide instead of digging in. Wow. Life is good.
As for beer, I believe in the aphorism, "Moderation in all things. Including moderation." I'm usually happy with one or two 12-ounce American Budweisers. But with the right group and inspiring conversation/celebration, I have a thirst for 3 or 4 pints of IPA. The combination of high-alcohol and mildly psychotropic hops is marvelous. I guess I'm more careful about eating too much than drinking too much!
Back at work today, trying to wrap up a letter from scientists to the US Fish & Wildlife Service re: fluvial Arctic grayling (i.e. "Big Hole grayling"). Bush regime has sent word down that there shall be no more ESA listings. This means the lackeys at FWS have to figure out a way to remove "Distinct Population Segment" status away BH grayling. DPS status is overwhelmingly supported by the genetics and field studies. If some prominent grayling biologists weigh in, it might prevent FWS from tying itself into a pretzel to deny the science.

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