Friday, July 30, 2010

An article about “Deadly Cow Attacks in Switzerland Trigger Fears on Hiking Paths” triggered a memory an event from my distant past.

I grew up in a house on Blackhorse Hill Road in Coatesville. Through the woods and over the hill from my house was our “baseball field”. We shared our field with steers from Spackman’s farm. We had special rules for ground balls. The steers were docile, maybe because they were around people a lot and it because they knew us and we didn’t bother them. Ok, my collie dog herded them a little too. I knew that bulls were dangerous but I regarded steers as docile.

I was a student at an art school in York, PA. In a field near Stewartstown, PA I sat down in a pastoral setting to sketch an interesting tree that would go into a painting later. There were nine young steers or yearlings about one hundred fifty yards away on a ridge. I was there about twenty minutes when one of the steers, who assumed leadership of the herd, made a sort of high pitched moo while holding his head up and back. And then the group of them charged down the hill. Just playing, I thought.

It began to look more serious when they came to a stop about fifty yards away and spread out in a line like cavalry getting ready to charge the enemy.

I still did not get out of my position seated on the grass. I thought, I'm less threatening that way and they’re only playing.

They walked slowly towards me still in their cavalry charge formation then some of them fanned out behind me. They formed a circle with me in the center and then slowly walked towards me closing the circle. The cavalry lieutenant leader steer stopped now and then to paw at the earth and snort.

I thought it was time to go to the fence. The fence was about thirty yards away. By the time I started to pick up my stuff the circle of steers closed and they were about five feet away, still moving towards me. There was only about three feet of space between each steer. As I was completely surrounded I chose to slooowly walk between the cavalry lieutenant steer and one of his more docile looking troopers. I moved through them at a controlled slooow pace being careful not to touch them. Once I got past the steers I could feel them breathing behind me. When I climbed the fence their leader who was close enough for me to touch, gave another high pitched moo and short. I turned to watch them gallop off.

I was in a fairly deserted area. There was no one in sight. It was a little scary but I didn’t feel that threatened. Maybe I should have.

Deadly Cow Attacks in Switzerland Trigger Fears on Hiking Paths

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Preserving “chasing the hounds” and preserving “open space”

Some people say what the Chester County Republicans really are doing with land conservation efforts is preserving fox hunting for their wealthy benefactors. Maybe that’s what it is; but as long as the land is preserved as open space, especially the land surrounding waterways, its fine with me. Just remember that everybody living in Chester County benefits.

Even if the only people that actually use it are billionaire horse people living on endowments from their ancestors us “commoners” have a real “trickle down” benefit from cleaner air and water.

The recreations of 18th Century bucolic English countryside are very nice to look while driving through the Chester County countryside.  You might even catch the billionaire endowmenteers accompanied by their social climber groupies “chasing the hounds” in red jackets.  

If watching billionaires playing let’s pretend we’re  English Lords and Ladies makes you feel like a member of the “great unwashed” keep in mind that the alternative is watching suburban tract housing.

Daily Local News
Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good post on fishing the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone

The photo of me fishing at the top of the blog is on a tributary of the Lamar Creek in the Lamar Valley. It's not far from the area described in the attached post. The fish is a cutthroat that came to a size 12 beaded nymph. We saw hikers and horseback riders on the trail that goes by the creek. My nephew, brother and me saw no other fisherpersons in the Lamar Valley that day. It was late August. The major tourist season was just over.

Below is a good post from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
Paradise found

Vice President Joe Biden in Gallatin Valley today and Yellowstone Monday

Biden to tout stimulus projects in Yellowstone

Are RoRos for USA?

The article below is about the Department of Transportation increasing commercial shipping traffic and introducing new shipping traffic on inland waterways.
European shipping lanes on inland waterways are compared to inland waterway shipping in the USA.
The Ro-Ro roll on roll off small transport ships caught my eye in this article. It looks like a good idea, for the Pacific Coastal Waterway.
I can see one major difference in operating Ro-Ro ships here and also in increasing general ship traffic on waterways here in the USA. They don’t have the extremely violent weather in Europe that is common on the Atlantic Coastal Waterways of the USA, the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Valley. And Climate Change will gradually bring even more violent weather to those areas.
DOT to Turn Underused Waterways Into Marine Highways