Saturday, May 29, 2010

RFVD barbeque today!

Redway Fire Department Barbeque Today!
Deep pit, beef & pork, all you can eat.
Noon 'til 7:00 pm. May 29
Behind Shop Smart, 155 Empire, Redway,

Y'all come, ya hear?

Music, food, desserts, beer, charming firefighters and spouses to entertain and feed you.

Politicians will be there. You can ask them that burning question that you've always wanted to ask.

Beto will have a quarter pitching contest. Anybody that can throw money can be a winner!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Suzy Blah Blah

OMG!!! Today is Suzy Blah Blah's Birthday! It is the 28th day of the merry month of may.

Happy birthday Suzy!

Thanks for the reminder OMR

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nightfish, and surf-fish.

One of the things that I like about this blog is we don't stick to the subject. But, we go where our hearts and minds take us. So I'll jump in here and take us surf-fishing.

Some of you may be confusing the Columbia River Candle Fish with the Usal Night Fish. When my wife and I first started dating and she starting acting like she was interested in the things that I did, I invited her to go night fishing in Usal. She wanted to know if it was anything like “snipe hunting”. I assured her that there was nothing “irregular about it”, and it was real fishing for real fish. She still looked a little suspicious but she consented to go night fishing with me. Her guard came down a little bit after I hand made her a dip net.

A "night fish net" has smaller woven netting because the night fish are only four inches long. When a wave hits it, it pushes you back a lot harder than a “day fish net”, with larger netting, would. Night fishing is pretty much fish by brail, because they only run at night. It's dark and lonely fishing at night. Nobody turns on a light unless you have to, because people want to keep their eyes accustomed to the dark. It was usually quite surprising to see how many people were out in the surf fishing next to you when somebody turned a light on. Everybody would look up and down the beach to see who was there and holler to “turn the light off!”

Day fishing was simply called surf-fishing. Surf-fish were 6-8 inches long. Usually you would catch about a dozen fish to a dip, when they were running. If you caught fish in a incoming dip you would turn around and back-dip the wave as it washed back to sea. You can see the fish in the back wash and you try to dip in front of the biggest school of fish. The fish try to avoid the net, and a lot will swim around it. On a good day you could catch a five gallon bucket full, which is about all that you and your family can clean and eat. Often a person would take a batch of fish to a friend or a neighbor. It was quite common to share your bounty. Most end up cleaned and frozen in water filled tupper-ware.

Now, I don’t know what the heck a hooligan fish, or a Columbia River fish, or a candle fish is. The small fish that we called “night fish” were about four inches long and the spawned in the surf at the mouth of a creek. They didn’t got up the creek, they didn’t leave the ocean, other that the ones that got caught. The were oily, and some people did call them candle fish.

I would clean them with a pair of scissors. One snip behind the head, just through the backbone, then flip the head away and the guts would pull out with it. Then they would be rinsed and dried on a towel. Then dipped in lemon juice, just enough to wet them, then dumped in a plastic bag full of flour seasoned with salt and pepper, shaken and removed from the bag when fully floured, fried in deep hot oil, and drained on a paper towel. They were eaten just as soon as they cooled off enough to eat. One person usually keeps the fish frying in batches and puts them on the table hot. You eat the whole fish, bones, tail, and all. The bones are too small to notice. Some like to add more lemon, others are too busy eating to put lemon on them. Yes, they are good!

Day-fish, or surf-fish are prepared the same way, only they are hand split down the back bone after cooking and the bones are removed in one whole piece. They are not oily at all, and just thinking about them is making my mouth water right now. I like surf-fish better than trout.

Both fish are good cleaned as noted above, and laid on wire racks in the smoke house, and smoked for two or three days with a very mild smoke, until they are cooked and dried. They are died-and-gone-to-heaven good!

I don’t think that I ever went surf-fishing without somebody quite a bit smarter than me telling me that, “those things are really smelt. In Los Angeles they call them grunion. Only grunion are different, and you have to catch them by hand.”

Now… To get to the thing that is really bothering me. I spent the last two days trying to figure out if what I call “night-fish” are what other people call “hooligan” or “eulachon” that swim up the Columbia River to spawn and die. I don’t think that they are, but I don’t know. The ones that I caught never left the ocean to spawn, they spawn right in the surf. I know that there must be somebody out there that is smarter than me (there always is!) that knows if they are the same critter….

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lamprey Eel & the South Fork of the Eel River.

Photos from Wikipedia

Just like every thing that I post here, I’m just as interested in the story that goes along with the plants and critters that I write about as the plants and critters themselves.

I was born and raised in the South Fork of the Eel Canyon, I have often mused that if the “scientists” want to know anything about this river or canyon, they should just ask me. Well, the other day one of those scientific types emailed me explaining that he was working with the local Indian tribe researching the Lamprey Eels on the north coast of California. I thought “Wow, finally”! All of my “knowledge” of the South Fork is going to come into play.

He said that he was interested in anything that I knew about the South Fork related to the eels. He said that folkloric evidence was okay, and layman terms was okay. He said that at the conclusion of the study that he would send all of the participants a copy of the final report. He went on to ask me what I knew about the “Ammocoetes” and the “macropthalmia”. Ummmm… I knew that an “ammocoetes was a hatchling eel, but I didn’t know what a “Macropthalmia” was. He asked about the baby eels before, and after, they grew their eyes. Whaaaa…. They get eyes later??? He asked about the “redds”. I knew that those were the spawning nests and as a little kid I watched the eels spawn and move big rocks with their mouths. I knew that the baby eels lived in the muck in the river bottom. I thought that they would go to the ocean in the fall of the year, just like the salmon and the steelheads do. I soon had to admit to myself that I was “not knowledgeable at all”.

I wrote him a nice email describing the changes that I’ve seen in the river through the years. About how we have lost all of the nice deep holes that were filled with real nice eel muck, and I thought that had a lot to do with the decline. That and that fact that we no longer had and deep, cold water pools, that we had before the two floods probably had a lot to do with the disappearance of the eels. I told him that any place that had a sandy / silty / mucky bottom had eels in the muck. I related that as kids we would scoop them up out of the muck with coffee cans, throw them on the river bank and put them in gallon jars full of water, so we could watch them. I told him about all of the dead eels tangled in the willow brush along the stream banks, and how we had to choose where we went swimming to avoid the dead eels that seemed to be everywhere. I offered my services to connect him with other people that had lived here before the eel pretty much disappeared. I offered to help on any surveys that I could help with.

Apparently my vast reservoir of knowledge and history about the river didn’t impress him that much. I didn’t hear back from him, and my hopes to be part of saving the Eel from oblivion slowly faded away. I was too embarrassed to try and re-contact him. So much with my expertise on the South Fork of the Eel River. I feel like a failure.

However, recently Ross Sherburn asked me to do a post on the Eels, so I decided that I would try to find out a little bit about them. As I researched them, I discovered that studying the Eel takes a more scientific approach than catching them in a coffee can and watching them try to bury themselves in the silt in the bottom of a glass jar. The Eel is a very intricate creature. First, as I’m sure you already guessed: “They are not really eels, you know. They are Lampreys”. That’s always a given, no matter what I call things, it’s always wrong. Lampreys are really a fresh water spawning fish, but they lack the jaws and fins of a true fish, so no matter what I would call them it would be wrong. About the only thing that you could call them that wouldn’t start and argument is “Pacific Lamprey”.

In the ocean, they survive by sucking onto a salmon, flat fish, pollock, or other kinds of fish. They have a round suction cup mouth with several rows of very sharp teeth around it. After they suck onto a fish they use their teeth to make the fish bleed and they suck the host fishes blood to live on.

After spending one to three years in the ocean, when they are 15-25 inches in length, they travel up a fresh water stream to spawn. They spawn from March to June, so if you want to see one, that is the time to observe them. It is unknown if they home in on the area that they were spawned, like salmon do. They seem to choose areas were there are lots of baby eels living in the muck. They spawn in the gravel at the upstream end of a riffle, similar to salmon. They move rocks to get down to the perfect size gravel for their eggs. The male sucks onto the female and wraps his body around the female, she is excited into laying her eggs and he is excited into spraying his sperm on the eggs. The eggs are fertile and settle into the loose bottom. They hatch after 19 days at 59 degree water temperature. They float downstream and bury themselves in the bottom muck, were they live for three to seven years! They live as filter feeders on diatoms and algae. After spawning the adults die. The river used to be quite smelly in the summer from all the dead eels.

They really don’t know much about their hatchling stage, (ammocoetes) were they live in the silt and muck. They think that they might actually move around in the muck. But, they know that they do move downstream and rebury themselves during periods of high water.

During their hatchling sub-muck stage they have no eyes. It’s only later that they grow eyes and teeth and swim out of the muck and move to the ocean. They actually Metamorphosis to macropthalmia, the juvenile stage, like a tadpole changes to a frog. Then they free swim to the ocean.

The habitat of the Pacific Lamprey is the northern Pacific rim, and the and the fresh streams found there.

How much of this did you know?

More reading:

The Lamprey Eel should not be confused with the Sacramento Sucker fish, that we have here, that was also once common.
Sacramento Sucker fish by Photo and text by Pat Higgens

The Sacramento sucker is the species found from Redwood Creek south, while the Klamath small scale sucker (Catostomas rimiculus) occurs in drainages from the Klamath River north. Suckers prefer the lazy current of mainstem coastal rivers to steep, tumbling headwater streams. The profound changes of north coast rivers in response to sedimentation from the 1955 and 1964 flood lead to a large increase in sucker populations companion with the decline of salmonids (German, 1968). In cases where there are chronic high levels of turbidity and bedload movement, suckers may decline or disappear, such as in the Gualala River (Higgins, 1997).


Friday, May 21, 2010

Wild Cucumber

Photos of wild Cucumber Marah Oreganus from Wikipedia
When I was a little kid I was always warned not to eat the Wild Cucumber because it was poison. Now Ekovox tells me that the Chinese guard lizards taste like Wild cucumber. Either he has never eaten a wild cucumber, or never eaten a Chinese guard lizard. But, Ekovox is known as "Eko The Truth teller" so it must be true. He would never try to trick us.

Just like all plants on the north coast the Indian people had a use for wild cucumber. It has some of the same saponins that bear onion has. The Indian people would crush it and throw it in a creek to stupefy fish. Then they would catch them at the riffle as they washed downstream.

Other uses from Wikipedia: "Marah oreganus was used by Native Americans for various problems. The Chinook made a poultice from the gourd. The Squaxin mashed the upper stalk in water to dip aching hands. The Chehalis burned the root and mixed the resulting powder with bear grease to apply to scrofula sores. The Coast Salish made a decoction to treat venereal disease, kidney trouble and scrofula sores."

The seeds of Marah fabaceus, another wild cucumber that will cross with oreganus, are also rumored to be hallucinogenic. I have some of this same plant. It grows in my front yard, so if you don’t mind risking death to try some I’ll save you some seeds this summer.

When my dog Twizzel was a puppy so got so sick that we thought that she had been poisoned. In her barf we found a seed that we concluded was from the wild cucumber. We took her to the vet but she came out of it on her own. We still don’t know if she ate some. But she didn’t appear to be enjoying herself, so if she was high on wild cucumber she was on a bad trip.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Alligator lizards and others.


Horse Lizards, Northern Alligator Lizards, or Elgaria Coerulea.

I was just wondering what I might talk about next when Cousin Penny asked when we were going to talk about Horse Lizards.

When we first built built our house in Benbow, I went down to clear the bush piles off of our lot. Near the bottom was a large pile of fir limbs. I took my chain saw and cut them up as fire wood. I encountered maybe ten alligator lizards in the pile. I still stack my fire wood in that same place. Every spring I find three or four alligator lizards in the wood, and usually find several shed skins. I have never really gotten used to them and they still give me a fright when I run across them. I find that it is easier to ignore them and let them crawl away to scare me again another day.

Most every little kid gets a good lesson in lizards when they first try to catch an alligator lizard. They are mean, they don't like to be messed with, and they bite!!! When they bite they don't like to let loose. This sweet little thing in the hand, in the photo, is probably close to frozen to be so docile. Also, they shed their tails very easily. It flips around for a few minutes after the lizard releases it. A cat will immediately play with the tail while the lizard makes it's escape. Nice diversion but then it has to grow a new tail which it does so readily. Wouldn't it be nice if a human being could grow new body parts after loosing them?
When bitten by an alligator lizard, if it breaks the skin, it will usually cause a small wound infection, but if kept clean and cared for it heals right up. Most people flinch and cause the wound to be much worse that if you just let it release itself. Do you think that you could just calmly let it quit biting you? Some people don't seem to mind being bit, and they will let themselves get bit on purpose just to show how brave that they are. Myself? I not one of those. Snakes and alligator lizards give me the screamin' bejabbers.

Western Fence Lizard, or what we called "the Blue Bellied Lizard.
The blue bellied lizard is a lizard that most kids play with. It is very common in our area. It is docile, but hard to catch. We would try to catch them an put them in coffee cans because they couldn't climb up the slick wall of the can. The baby lizards were even less scary and they were fun to catch and play with, then release. After being played with for a while, they stop feeling threatened, then they would run all over you without trying to run away. Great pets, but hard to care for. They tame right down, so we would catch one play with it for a while and turn it back loose. Very common in south fork canyon.

Thank-you "Anonymous" for the photo!

Another lizard that is common to the South Fork canyon that not many people have ever seen, is a very slim lizard about 6-8 inches long. It is subterranean. It has a brilliant blue tail and short legs. The reason that I have seen so many is from working in the woods. The Cat would blade them out of hillsides when building skid roads. We called them “Blue racers”, but I doubt that is the real name. If I can find a photo or some identification of what it is I'll post it here. It is a most beautiful critter.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Betcha' didn't know

Photo and text from Wikipediaa
Only two genera of Lumbricid earthworms are indigenous to North America while introduced genera have spread to areas where earthworms did not formerly exist, especially in the north where forest development relies on a large amount of undecayed leaf matter. When worms decompose that leaf layer, the ecology may shift making the habitat unsurvivable for certain species of trees, ferns and wildflowers. Another possible ecologic impact of greater earthworm numbers: larger earthworms (e.g. the night crawler, Lumbricus terrestris, and the Alabama jumper, Amynthas agrestis) can be eaten by adult salamanders, and when the salamanders do consume the earthworms they are more successful at reproduction. However, those earthworms are too large for juvenile salamanders to consume, which leads to a net loss in salamander population.
Currently there is no economically feasible method for controlling invasive earthworms in forests. Earthworms normally spread slowly, but can be quickly introduced by human activities such as construction earthmoving, or by fishermen releasing bait, or by plantings from other areas.

Text from me:

While I was in the back yard eating worms to repent for stealing Olmanriver’s words, I got to wondering which ones were the newcomer worms and which ones were the natives. From what I can determine, the larger worms are the newcomers.
I'm hoping that Olmanriver might share how that Indian people of Covelo ate them. Maybe they boiled up some pinole and wrapped them in pinole and seaweed and ate them like sushi. They are probably very high in protein. Or maybe they just ate them ala-carte.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Andy Bowman

Oldman River emailed me with a revelation:
"hi ernie, i spect your eyebrows have gone up at the mention of andy bowman being on those indian raids?! given that he was born in 1857,

Well, no, it doesn't suprise me a bit. Thanks in part to Cousin Penny's research, and thanks in part to your own research, I can guess where the story came from. Andrew Bowman was born in Sonoma County August 24th 1857. Andy's mother, Eliza Bowman, was a widow. She moved her kids to a place "near Hydesville" according to bullshistory, but some other stories that I've heard puts her Cabin and land near Camp Grant on the main Eel River. That's probably why she fled south when she was attacked by Indians. and not north towards Hydesville. The tribe that atacked her was supposedly from Klamath. The attack took place march 25th 1869. Andy would have been about 10 years old. Andy's and his mother rounded up the other six kids, all younger that him, and took them to the Dave Ward place were they where able to stand-off the raiding party. Andys mother was shot in the hip during the raid. Andy hiked south for help and brought his mother a Doctor. They left the ranch and moved to a place about ten miles north of Laytonville.

Not knowing how else to do this, I put a link here. If you look at the lower Right hand corner of the map there is a piece of property owned by one Ethel C. Bowman. I have no idea if there is any connection, but it is in the right place to be eliza Bowmans place.
Camp Grant on the Plate #2 of the Belcher Map of Humboldt Co.

A trip to California

Spyrock and I have figured out how to paste his aunts story into this blog. I'll add pages as soon as I see how well this works! Move your curser over the page and Left-click. It should enlarge the page, to make it larger, left-click again. Good reading!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Garberville Farmers Market.

You can tell by the length of the shadows that it is High Noon in the park. Well, I guess that you would have to know what day is was. The park is oriented ... Never mind, Country people are a little differnt from city folk... I guess I just should have said that the farmers market was just getting started.

I went over to see if I could find Ram & Marissa Fishman, they weren't there. The consensus was that it is too late for scions and too early for apples. Plus, not many people have their horses shod at the farmers market.

The above paragraph would make sense to anybody in Garberville, because in a small town everybody would know that Ram and Marissa have and apple orchard and shoe horses. But, the paragraph makes as much sense as anything else in Garberville.

The above bus is a group that they call "Grass Roots Radio" They were here representing Grass Roots Radio. I ask several people, that seemed to be connected to the "event", what was going on with the radio bus. I say that they seemed to be connected, because they were all wearing name tags saying "Grass Roots Radio". The first lady that I talked to said that "This is a really big deal for Garberville!" "Do you know that there are four radio stations here today?" I ask what frequency that they were broadcasting on. She said:"Gee I don't know, maybe you can ask in the bus". I thought "That's a good idea",

On my way to the bus, I stopped to talk to another lady that I knew. I ask her what the bus was all about. She gave me the standard answer about "Big Deal" "Grass Roots" Etc. But she added that they were very environmentally aware and conscious. I thought "that's good", if you're on the radio, it helps to be conscious. As I got closer, another person told me about how really great that they were, and that they powered their radio with solar power panels that they strap to their roof when they get where they are going. And, that they power the bus with bio-diesel. That way if they are driving through a corn field to get to where they need to be with their radio and run out of fuel in a corn field, they can just squeeze themselves some more fuel right out of the corn field. I got kinda' jealous hearing that, I usually have to call my wife and have her bring me gas when I run out.

I finally got to the bus. I got to looking at things and discovered that everything was covered with a fine yellow powder. I asked the man in the side door what happened, and said that it looked like fire extinguisher dust. He said “nope, that's Black Rock Desert dust. We do Burning Man”. Well, that explains everything... They “Do Burning Man”. I asked another person if it could be washed off. He looked incredulous, like the dust was a badge of honor or something, and besides "they are going to be right back there next year, then they would have to start washing all over again."

I was still a little confused about what "Grass Roots Radio'' was all about. I went back to the store, and Brian the clerk at my wife's Radio Shack asked me what the heck "Grass Roots Radio" was all about. I looked up at the counter and there was a lady there buying something, she had a Grass Roots tag on. She seemed very pleasant, intelligent, personable, and articulate. So, I started chating with her a little bit, I asked her where she was from. She told me that they had just come down from Oregon to be with the Grass Roots people. Brian asked her what she was doing here. She said "Well I just had the most wonderfull bowl of soup at Chautauqua. It was absolutely delicious, but the potato was raw" I could see that he had another question forming but he saw my grin and gave up.

All I could figure out is that they were just a group of very nice people having a really great time. I confess that some things just can't be "reasoned out".
Above: The guy in the white pants is Chris McCurdy an outstanding guitar player and singer. He once played in the Norton Buffalo Band.

Above: Dogs are not only allowed, they are required!

Above: An Ol' friend giving the universal South Fork of the Eel canyon high-sign for "Deer!" The spread fingers denote the exclamation mark. This sign is usually followed by a number of fingers held out in front denoting how many deer, then a nod in the direction that you can see the deer.
The sign can also be used generically, in this particular case he was saying "Oh deer, the road is closed!" (note the exclamation mark)

This is the local war protester. He is very late to work today because he got side-tracked with the Grass Roots people. He wears pink pants,striped socks,and if he was facing you, you would see that he wears a red ping-pong ball on his nose. He does his protest while playing gay music on his accordion. He wants you to know that he is serious! (Note the widely spread fingers) His sign says "No More WAR!" He used to write out which war he was protesting, but it got tedious, changing it all the time when the wars kept changing. Someday his sign will just say "Frickin War". But, he is a decent person with an honorable cause, so in that respect I support him. If he stops the war(s) tomorrow, I will be the first to apologize for funnin' him.

Another day in the park!

Teaser page on Simmerly history

Spy rock and I are trying to make a post out of the Simmerly trip to California story, but the technical difficulties appear below. It is several pages long and I CAN make out some of the story on Page 2, but still not readable. DRAT!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Early Laytonville Indian History

The stories that I heard growing up in Laytonville led me to believe that the white settlers of the Long Valley were good to the Indians. Some of Olmanriver's research for original stories belies that theory. I've always suspected that the whites weren't all That good to the Indians, otherwise why did the "Battle of Bloody Run" happen where many indian people were killed.

The other day when Olmanriver was in my office, he told me that he had an original story about how the early settlers of long valley weren't very kind to the Indian people. He told me about a man by the name of "W" that he assumed to be Mr. White. I thought that he meant "White" like in "Simpson and White" who ownd a sawmill west of Cahto in Laytonville. After reading his acount, I can only assume that the "White" was George "Cattle King" White of Covelo, who is widly and notoriuosly rumored to have killed many Indians. It is rumored that not only did he kill indians, but he killed white settlers who's land he wanted, or paid them a pitance for their land and told them to leave. All left, some in a box. I have not heard one story defending White's honor.

So, from that standpoint I'm not insulted, or hurt, by Olmanrivers story that he has allowed me to place here:

A military man named Tassin was in Round Valley in 1874 and gave his accounts in the 1887 Overland Monthly in a series called the Chronicles of Camp Wright. Amazing early perspective. He gives a history of the problems and mentions the Lt Carlin who was at Ft. Bragg and investigated the Shelter Cove incidents of 1860 (The Indians in Shelter cove were masacred) that I posted on Joe Writes Home. You and I have added to the storyline that the Long Valley animal depredations, were caused by the Yuki being driven that way by Jarboe's efforts. (Captian Jarboe was the head of the Eel River Rangers, hired by the U.S. Govrnment to round up the Indian people and put them on resevations. Those that resisted were killed)  I had surmised that the Woodman place had over one hundred animals slain because of its proximity to the heavily inhabited valleys to the east, and because he was running a slave business. Here we get the real story:

"The operations in Round Valley, effectual as they were in removing the Indians from it, and from its immediate vicintiy, had a somewhat bad effect on teh neighboring settlements. Lieutenant Carlin, then at Fort Bragg, wrote to his general in San Francisco, that he had been talking with gentleman from Long Vlley, who attributed all their trouble there to the exterminating war against the Indians of Round and Eden Valleys. 'The Indians that escaped death, fled westward toward Long Valley, some twenty miles from the two other valleys, and believing that all the white were leagued against them for the extermination, they felt that they had but a short time to live, and that for that time, they might a swell live on the cattle of their enemies. In fact, they had nothing else to live upon, having been driven, hunted, and slaughtered, until no place afforded them shelter but the barren greasewoood mountains, and even there, they are now found and slain'."

the Carlin letter goes on... "'Mr W.... thinks that the Indians are now driven back so far from the valley, and so frightened, that they will probably not disturb the settlers again soon. I think so too. If the settlers will let them alone, there will probably we no further trouble'".

Had to be White, it was great to find the original citation in military records of this key point. Another addition for the files.

Best Wishes, Olmanriver
Plus and interesting sidetrip about the evil "Cattle King. " Story about Cattle king white's conversion to spiritualism


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Naoma is looking for "Tracker".

Naoma emailed me again, to see if I know "tracker" or where to find him. His email address is no longer working. Way I figger is, he tracked the wrong critter! Maybe got eaten.( bad Joke) Anyway I found the letter to be of great intrest to all of us. It's just a little more history about panther Gap and why it's called that. Interestingly, Naoma also lived at Bluff Creek, Siskiyou Co.! Got any bigfoot tales for us Naoma?

I am forwarding this E-mail to you. Maybe you know of "Tracker" The letter explains my reason for trying to contact him. I have not had any reply to my query. Both Joe and I thank you for your blog. I have really enjoyed reading it.
PS. I called Bull Creek in error Butte Creek. That was a creek I lived close to in Siskiyou Co.

Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 18:01:32 -0500
Subject: Panther Gap
 Hello...i saw your e-mail site as I was trying to go down "Memory Lane" to Panther Gap and the road that came from Butts Store at Butte (now BULL) Creek & up the mountain to Panther Gap. And then down into Honey Dew . Yes, a map is hard to find. There was a time....that the mail from South Forkw was in Leather pouches, and hung on a post at the side of the dirt and gravel road at Panther Gap. The mail carrier, if one made the long walk in time to catch the carrier on the way back to South Fork, was kind enough to give a person a ride on into the store to get supplies. The original trail went from Panther Gap across Panther Opening and then down into the Mattole River. I understood the trail was made ( with blazes ) to guide the trappers. At Panther Gap, a Widow woman was living alone....about dusk she was looking out her window and below her a deer was feeding. As she watched it, a mountain lion crept to the rise of the gulch....and leaped down onto the deer and killed it. She had been very content at the cabin there, until she saw how close the cougars were. The reason for the name as it was a regular route for the animals. She had heard them scream often,but it had not bothered her. She sold her place shortly after that. Thank you for the animal track information. I am still searching for the roads running West from Panther Gap.

Reason for the oil spill in the Gulf.

The following information is from Bunny, who it appears has giving up on me and not reading my blog, but she is sending a lot of very pertinent email information on the oil spill. She is focusing on her theory that this whole thing starts at Bushes feet.

Careful reading will clue you in that what is happening to America right now is a failure of our government. There is an old expression that “We get the Government that we deserve”, meaning that if we don’t know what’s going on, and we go with the flow. The people in office will take advantage of us.

If what just happened in the Gulf of Mexico, with the oil-well blow-out doesn’t wake you up nothing will. It appears that our government regulators are having an absolute orgy (very literally, an orgy) while America is burning. (very literally, burning)

I clipped out all of the politics from bunny email so you might read it and know that mechanics of what happened, but I included the whole context, below the bold printed part, with the hopes that you might read it. It is another real eye opener.
The absence of an acoustical regulator -- a remotely triggered dead man's switch that might have closed off BP's gushing pipe at its sea floor wellhead when the manual switch failed (the fire and explosion on the drilling platform may have prevented the dying workers from pushing the button) …Acoustic switches are required by law for all offshore rigs off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea operations. BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players like Holland's Shell and France's Total. In 2000, the Minerals Management Service while weighing a comprehensive rulemaking for drilling safety, deemed the acoustic mechanism "essential" and proposed to mandate the mechanism on all gulf rigs.

In 2003, newly reconstituted Minerals Management Service genuflected to the oil cartel by recommending the removal of the proposed requirement for acoustic switches. The Minerals Management Service's 2003 study concluded that "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."
The acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. Estimated costs of the oil spill to Gulf Coast residents are now upward of $14 billion to gulf state communities. Bush's 2005 energy bill officially dropped the requirement for the acoustic switch off devices explaining that the industry's existing practices are "failsafe."

BP's confidence in lax government oversight by a badly compromised agency still staffed with Bush era holdovers may have prompted the company to take two other dangerous shortcuts. First, BP failed to install a deep hole shut off valve -- another fail-safe that might have averted the spill. And second, BP's reported willingness to violate the law by drilling to depths of 22,000-25,000 feet instead of the 18,000 feet maximum depth allowed by its permit may have contributed to this catastrophe.

Halliburton may emerge as the primary villain in this caper. The blow out occurred shortly after Halliburton completed an operation to reinforce drilling hole casing with concrete slurry. This is a sensitive process that, according to government experts, can trigger catastrophic blowouts if not performed attentively. According to the Minerals Management Service, 18 of 39 blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico since 1996 were attributed to poor workmanship injecting cement around the metal pipe. Halliburton is currently under investigation by the Australian government for a massive blowout in the Timor Sea in 2005 caused by its faulty application of concrete casing.

Complete context:
A common spin in the right wing coverage of BP's oil spill is a gleeful suggestion that the gulf blowout is Obama's Katrina.

In truth, culpability for the disaster can more accurately be laid at the Bush Administration's doorstep. For eight years, George Bush's presidency infected the oil industry's oversight agency, the Minerals Management Service, with a septic culture of corruption from which it has yet to recover. Oil patch alumnae in the White House encouraged agency personnel to engineer weakened safeguards that directly contributed to the gulf catastrophe.

The absence of an acoustical regulator -- a remotely triggered dead man's switch that might have closed off BP's gushing pipe at its sea floor wellhead when the manual switch failed (the fire and explosion on the drilling platform may have prevented the dying workers from pushing the button) -- was directly attributable to industry pandering by the Bush team. Acoustic switches are required by law for all offshore rigs off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea operations. BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players like Holland's Shell and France's Total. In 2000, the Minerals Management Service while weighing a comprehensive rulemaking for drilling safety, deemed the acoustic mechanism "essential" and proposed to mandate the mechanism on all gulf rigs.

Then, between January and March of 2001, incoming Vice President Dick Cheney conducted secret meetings with over 100 oil industry officials allowing them to draft a wish list of industry demands to be implemented by the oil friendly administration. Cheney also used that time to re-staff the Minerals Management Service with oil industry toadies including a cabal of his Wyoming carbon cronies. In 2003, newly reconstituted Minerals Management Service genuflected to the oil cartel by recommending the removal of the proposed requirement for acoustic switches. The Minerals Management Service's 2003 study concluded that "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."

The acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. Estimated costs of the oil spill to Gulf Coast residents are now upward of $14 billion to gulf state communities. Bush's 2005 energy bill officially dropped the requirement for the acoustic switch off devices explaining that the industry's existing practices are "failsafe."

Bending over for Big Oil became the ideological posture of the Bush White House, and, under Cheney's cruel whip, the practice trickled down through the regulatory bureaucracy. The Minerals Management Service -- the poster child for "agency capture phenomena" -- hopped into bed with the regulated industry -- literally. A 2009 investigation of the Minerals Management Service found that agency officials "frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives." Three reports by the Inspector General describe an open bazaar of payoffs, bribes and kickbacks spiced with scenes of female employees providing sexual favors to industry big wigs who in turn rewarded government workers with illegal contracts. In one incident reported by the Inspector General, agency employees got so drunk at a Shell sponsored golf event that they could not drive home and had to sleep in hotel rooms paid for by Shell.

Pervasive intercourse also characterized their financial relations. Industry lobbyists underwrote lavish parties and showered agency employees with illegal gifts, and lucrative personal contracts and treated them to regular golf, ski, and paintball outings, trips to rock concerts and professional sports events. The Inspector General characterized this orgy of wheeling and dealing as "a culture of ethical failure" that cost taxpayers millions in royalty fees and produced reams of bad science to justify unregulated deep water drilling in the gulf.

It is charitable to characterize the ethics of these government officials as "elastic." They seemed not to have existed at all. The Inspector General reported with some astonishment that Bush's crew at the MMS, when confronted with the laundry list of bribery, public theft and sexual and financial favors to and from industry "showed no remorse."

BP's confidence in lax government oversight by a badly compromised agency still staffed with Bush era holdovers may have prompted the company to take two other dangerous shortcuts. First, BP failed to install a deep hole shut off valve -- another fail-safe that might have averted the spill. And second, BP's reported willingness to violate the law by drilling to depths of 22,000-25,000 feet instead of the 18,000 feet maximum depth allowed by its permit may have contributed to this catastrophe.

And wherever there's a national tragedy involving oil, Cheney's offshore company Halliburton is never far afield. In fact, stay tuned; Halliburton may emerge as the primary villain in this caper. The blow out occurred shortly after Halliburton completed an operation to reinforce drilling hole casing with concrete slurry. This is a sensitive process that, according to government experts, can trigger catastrophic blowouts if not performed attentively. According to the Minerals Management Service, 18 of 39 blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico since 1996 were attributed to poor workmanship injecting cement around the metal pipe. Halliburton is currently under investigation by the Australian government for a massive blowout in the Timor Sea in 2005 caused by its faulty application of concrete casing.

The Obama administration has assigned nearly 2,000 federal personnel from the Coast Guard, the Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, EPA, NOAA and Department of Interior to deal with the spill -- an impressive response. Still, the current White House is not without fault -- the government should, for example, be requiring a far greater deployment of absorbent booms. But the real culprit in this villainy is a negligent industry, the festering ethics of the Bush Administration and poor oversight by an agency corrupted by eight years of grotesque subservience to Big Oil.



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More Kelsey-Beale history

Hello Ernie,
Just ran across your blog while googling for genealogical or historical references to my 4G-grandfather Charles Beale. In doing so I found a reference to him in the article entitled “The Kelsey's, "Bad Guys". “This charge of attempting to secure the rights of preemption from their neighbors resulting in an 1841 lawsuit in Henry County against Andrew Kelsey and Charles Beale. Two years later both men headed for Oregon in Jesse Applegate's Cow Column.”

I know that the claim is made in The History of Henry and St. Clair Counties, Missouri, 1883, that “Beal and his sons subsequently went to Oregon.” Several of his sons did in fact make the long trek west to Oregon, but not the patriarch Charles Beale himself. He apparently returned to his former home in Virginia in 1842 and died there on 10 Jul 1842. So states The Genealogy of the Beale Family 1399-1956 by Frances Beal Smith Hodges, 1956.

I also have some Alleghany Co. VA settlement of estate documents dated in late 1842 which indicate that Charles Beale was living there when he died earlier that year. The exact, or even approximate, date of when he left Missouri for Virginia is a bit of a mystery. So, I intend to try to track down the 1841 lawsuit your mentioned in your article to see if it might shed some light on when he left (or hopefully a specific date in 1841 when he still was residing in Missouri).

Charles Beale’s grandson wrote his Byogopy of C. W. Beale in 1923. You can find this family history online at Oregon Pioneers Keep in mind that this was written many years after the events depicted and that the author was not born until 1842. So, he was much too young to have been a direct witness to events described about his grandfather or some of the other family members.

For instance, he says that my ancestor, my 3G-grandfather James Beale died in 1868. In point of fact he died in Feb 1854. However, the final settlement of his estate in St. Clair Co. MO did not take place until 1868. So, the nephew’s family may not have been notified of his death until then, when they were contacted about the settlement.

In any case, this “biogopy” is a very interesting read about this family’s migration from Missouri to Oregon.

Sorry for rambling, but my primary intent in contacting you was to express my appreciation for posting the detail about the 1841 lawsuit on your blog. Without that I might never have known that there might be a court record in Henry Co. MO relating to my ancestor Charles Beale.

Thank you very much!
Respectfully, Kevin (West)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Gulf Oil Rig.

My good friend Bunny and I, who are really great friends, but we like to quibble a lot, have found something else to disagree on. She claims the Gulf disaster was the fault of that Damn Bush that allowed the rig to be built in the first place. I claimed it was the fault of that damn Obama who was caught asleep at the switch again. Some claim that it was neither of their fault, but the problem lies with Eco-terrorists, or maybe even international intrigue. Could a submarine's missle have taken out the rig? All that we know for sure is that nobodys taking, which usually means that somebody knows exactly what happened. I've tried to research a few theories and post links here for those that like mystery stories.

It appears that both Bunny and I are right, that damn Bush okayed the off-shore drilling, but the drilling rig was built recently, the well was drilled recently, and it all happened squarely on that damn Obama's watch.

I have been able to find some information on the rig:
"On location in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon recently concluded exploration drilling on the Macondo prospect. According to the Minerals Management Service, BP filed a permit to temporarily abandon the well, which commenced drilling in February 2010.
According to RigLogix, the Deepwater Horizon, an RBS-8D-designed dynamically-positioned semisub, is rated to work in water depths up to 10,000' and with a rated drilling depth capacity of 30,000'. The rig is under long-term contract to BP through September 2013 and its current dayrate is $502,000. The Deepwater Horizon was built in Ulsan, South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries at a cost of approximately $365 million and entered service in 2001"
link to full article

The rig was built in South Korea by HYUNDAI, all three-hundred-sixty-five million dollars worth! Hell, if they had spent just a million dollars more they could have instituted a few really good safety devices.

Sorry. Obama is not off the hook on this one. My only questions are: Who controls the drilling in the gulf? Are they international waters? And we have nothing to say about it?

Sabatage? One theory on "Dakota Voice"

Engineering specs on the Deepwater horizon


Monday, May 3, 2010

Environmental Disaster of Enormous Proportions!

This oil spill clean-up boat in the Gulf of Mexico stands about the same chance as a piss-ant in a Texas Hail storm.
Sorry folks this post is x-rated. Little kids go away!

Sometimes I rant, it seems like the only thing that I can do. When talking about the environment or politics I usually try to talk in soft logical phrases. I know full well that a lot of folks don’t agree with me, even when I know that they don’t know diddley about what they are talking about, I give them the honor of being “entitled to their own opinion.”

Now is the time for all of you self-righteous do-gooders that are still ranting about what the early settlers did to the Indians a good cause to stand up for. They see themselves as being oh-so-much-better-than-thou, knowing full well that they would have protected the Indian people. I usually try to stay calm, when I know full well that they would not have survived even one day in 1860, even without trying to save Indians.

Now is the time to stand up and show your self-worth and scream bloody murder. I just found out, thanks to Kim Sallaway, that the oil well in the Gulf Of Mexico didn’t have an ocean floor shut off valve. They saved a ½ million dollars by not installing one.

Who was watching these bastards, the same people that was watching Bernie Madoff steal millions of dollars from stock market investors? How in the hell did someone move that much money without being caught? Are you really stupid enough to believe that somebody wasn’t being paid to look the other way? He was busted once, but it was all swept under the rug and it was over for many more years. After a while even the people that can see what is going on will give up, and say “What the hell I tried.” Are those the same kind of people that tried to save the Indians? “What the hell, I tried”. Then gave up?

My friend Sallaway placed the blame directly on Dick Chaney. I think it goes much deeper and wider than that. Sallaway’s statement:

The oil disaster in the Gulf could have been prevented by the shut off mechanism that was not installed on this and many other wells drilled during the Cheney administration. The device cost 500K and somehow the government gave BP a pass on including the shut off on the wells. The entire world requires such devices to be installed on the deep sea oil rigs. BP, the 4th richest corporation on the planet, with assets in the billions, should be made to pay for everything involved in the cleanup. The fishermen, the tourist places, the entire eco system are going to pay heavily. The thought that there are so many more wells built of this way scares the @#%* outa me.

Not everything has been revealed about what happened to the huge floating oil rig. It was so big and anchored so securely that supposedly nothing could harm it. Those that pay attention should hear bells going off in their head when somebody is telling you that “nothing can happen to it”. the Titanic disaster should have taught us something about not believing everything that we are being told.

Realizing that America needs to provide it’s own independence, and be able to supply their own energy I was all for offshore drilling. I smugly though that with the very elaborate, and almost foolproof shut-off valves installed at the seafloor that we would be almost perfectly safe from any disaster. Somehow I forgot my distrust for major corporations and very, very crooked politicians. This is my wake up call!

In the back of my head I remember that the major factor in being able to defeat Nazi Germany was that the Nazis ran out of energy to supply their war machines. Had they not ran out of gas, we maybe would all be speaking German right now, and be ruled by REAL Nazis instead of accusing everybody that disagrees with us as being a Nazi. It’s a serious thought folks! Energy independence is crucial.

Now is the time to stop pointing fingers at each other. We need a grass-roots movement to take back the control of our country. This is just one time that I would ask you to open your mind and really listen to what I’m saying. Our “patriotism” is our worst enemy. We are not truly patriots until we become concerned enough about our country and future that we stop accusing each other of being “Republicans” or “Democrats”, Conservatives or Liberals, and start acting like Americans.

An example of what I say is as simple as looking at The Tea Party. It started out as a pure grass roots movement of people concerned about our government being out of control. Soon, it was suggested the Tea Party was “awfully radical and conservative”. Most of the Liberals jumped ship like fleas off a dead dog. They wanted no part of being associated with a damned conservative. Soon after the liberals were split off, the racist comments started. Well some people won’t have anything to do whatsoever with a damn racist. More ship jumping ensued. I’m just curious how long it will be until the Tea Party is no longer a factor. Does it come to any of you that what is happening to the Tea Party is being controled and manipulated? But wait, having a weak, easily defeated group around is a real advantage, so I expect that there will be little more division in the Tea Party. Plus it’s needed now, to keep everybody side-tracked while it is “Crooked Government as usual”.

Now, I don’t know how many people realize what just happened in the Gulf. The oil rig catching on fire and sinking should have been just another disaster. Because they failed to install a shut off valve, this leak will go on for maybe months. The gulf of Mexico can handle a hurricane like it was just a sneeze, but oil permeating everything may be the ultimate disaster to the people and wildlife in the gulf. The birds, shrimp, seaweed, sea grasses, the turtles. The coral, the beaches, the fish, the dolphins the… Take the time do your own inventory. This disaster is insurmountable.

You people that still want to blame each other for your stupid political partisanship can just go square to hell, you are the blame for letting our government get this far out of control. You played politics while Rome burned. Where is the Government oversight that we are supposed to have? How in hell can we trust our government or big business ever again. And the bigger question: What are you going to do about it

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Remember how cold it was back in the 1930's?

Well, our new friend Naoma has written me another email. She doesn't seem to get the hang of how to make a comment, but she knows things that the rest of us would never know if it weren't for her telling us. She saw the harsh winters of the 30's that the Old-Timers, that were here then, still talk about.

My mother lives in our downstairs apartment. She has been reading Naoma's stuff. It's been a new source of interest to her, but she doesn't comment on my blog much. She knows how to, but claims it's too much trouble. I just went downstairs to ask her if she remembered how cold it was in the 1930's. She was born in 1923, so she remembers in well. I ask her if she remembered what year that Gramma Ruby Branscomb said that Grampa Roy drove the model “T” up the slough to Great Grampa Ed Branscomb's place. It was so cold that the slough froze over. As I recall gramma said that it was around 1933. My mother said that she remembers one winter when she was in high school, that it got down to -4 deg in Laytoville.

My cousin helped produce the book “Through the Eyes of the Elders”. The students all remarked that they had no idea how cold it got back in the '30's.

Naoma's latest post has to do with how cold it got back then and sent it to me. I posted it below:

Thank you so much for the instructions.  It sounds so much simpler and
maybe I can do it.  It has be so wonderful (,a word Joe likes :-0 ) to be
able to read in your space "ernies place" and the other comments.  So
much I have learned about the place I loved so much as I was growing up.
There is one more story I'd like to share....Tho ' it is spring here and
snow is far off yet, I remember back in 1935 or 1936 we spent
Thanksgiving vacation at the Circle E.  Dad was an Advertising Salesman
for Alexander Film Company out of Colorado and he had to travel a lot, so
he had taken the family up to be with grandma and Grandpa.  The weather
set in and we had the biggest snow we had ever seen.  On the flat the
snow kept coming down...not that the fence was covered and
the cows could walk over into the yard.  It was a bad winter, as some of
the stock was lost....any way, dad tried to come in to get us to get us
to school .  He could only drive as far as the Butts Store on Bull Creek,
as the one way road up to Mottole and Panther gap was snowed in.  ( in
those days that road was one narrow curvy track...only one car at a time)
 as one got to a curve the thing to do was to honk the horn to let anyone
coming in the opposite direction. know that there was someone there.
Then one car had to back up (up hill, as it wasn't safe to back down
hill) until there was a place wide enough for a car to get pass ., bought a pair of skis and poles.  He had never been on skis
, put a pack on his back ( Xmas presents , food etc.) and started up the
Motolle road.  I really don't know the distance he walked on those skis,
but the folks always said it was 20 miles to South Fork.  I don't know
the distance to Butt's Store...nor do I remember how long it took, but I
know he started out early and it was late afternoon when he got to my
Grandparents House.  He called out , as we always did , when we came
close to the house , and just as he was feeling very proud of himself and
everyone rushed out to greet him the skis slid right out from under him
and he fell flat on his back.  He told us later that he had not fallen
once on the whole long trip up hill until he had called out to us!!!  I
don't know where Gramps got the mules, but some time later dad walked
back and caught the mail carrier to take him down the hill.  The road had
been cleared of snow by that time.  Dad got the car and brought it to the
spot where the trail met the main road...and we rode the mules out to the
car.  If I walked .still, as much as we did in those days , I might live
to be 110 !!   Thanks for the conversations.  How I would love to be able
to sit down at quiet bench and listen to all of you tell of your

THIS JUST IN, EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA, Naoma knows how to comment. As evidenced below!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Help for beginning bloggers


I know that you must be reading the comments from your replies. If you want to place your comments with the rest, the very easiest way is to type your comment into the comment box provided for that purpose, then scroll down near the bottom, click on "Anonymous". then all you have to is copy the squiggly word into the word box, then go down to the bottom left and click on "Publish". Your comment will then appear in the section that you want it to be placed.

However, if you have any trouble whatsoever, just send your comment to me, and tell me which post you want it placed under. I don't mind if you want to practice on this post, so go ahead.

Maybe others will have tips for you to make it easier. If anybody else wants to practice, go ahead. I want to talk to people like Joeseph and Naoma that have information that we would never know if it werent for them. I don't care about spelling, punctuation or typos. If we can make it out we will. Otherwise we will ask.


Kentucky Derby Day!!!

Photo of "Ice Box" winning the Florida derby (#8)

Our new found friend and old time Panther Gap resident, Joe Erwin is as close to a horse racing expert that I know, but he didn't give me any betting tips. Being left entirely to my own hunches and instincts, I'm going to bet on “Ice Box”. With a name like that, he can't lose.

My wife is going to bet on the only filly in the race, "Devil May Care". After all, a filly won the derby last year.

Photo of "Devil May Care"