Spring 2016

Winter is still haunting with 10’s and 20’s nightly temperatures and a dusting of snow most mornings despite the 50’s+ sunny days and spring rain showers we’ve experienced for several weeks now. Nearly all of the snow has melted to 7,000′ or higher except where it was piled. Though the property sits at only ~5,100 feet, the low winter sun is blocked by the ridge to our south. At its lowest, we saw only two hours or so of direct sun in the valley. In March, we don’t see the sun until almost noon but we are already up to five hours of direct sun. This lack of sun has caused our snow to stick around weeks longer than anywhere else in the upper Rock Creek drainage. Albeit late, we are slowly seeing the ground in places. During the small overlap between Brandon’s week off and my spring-break, we took a few short hikes around the forest land to our west and explored melted ridge top in a spot we hadn’t been before.


Tail end of winter.


A trip up to Delmoe finished with the Subaru getting stuck for the first time this winter. An hour with the shovel and a good push was all she needed.


Brandon adventured on his own up the valley and came across a few wolf tracks. The above picture is the 40-lbs Rhett print for comparison.



Though the ridge tops are mostly melted, Rhett found the best spot to rest.




Next is a prominent lighting-killed tree on our hill. It was fascinating to see it up close.



The adjacent property receives even less sun than we do. Almost no direct sun comes through in winter due to the dense trees. It shows by the ice depth that still remains.


Our resident Pileated Woodpecker found this beauty to work on over the last few weeks.


Finally to the property, we are mostly melted except where it was packed. A few more weeks and we should be totally thawed. Though the top is melting, it is still frozen underground causing a pretty wild mud slick at the moment.


The creek is just starting to run when the sun comes out.





While the frame was exposed all winter, it has picked up some kind of mold. We aren’t sure what it is or what to do about it, or if we even need to do anything about it.


That’s all for now of the property. In a few more weeks we’ll bring out some good soil to amend the current garden spot and get something going. With out nights remaining sub-freezing, we will bide out time until the temps look more optimistic for planting whatever it is we decide to stick in the ground

Butte is no winner of America’s Finest Small Cities awards, nor is it to be found on any travel destination list (unless super-fund projects get you off), but with the CDT within a ten minute drive and plenty of cheap rentals on the outskirts of town… it can be tolerated for the next three years.


I took this in Lab recently. Below is fetal pig intestine. We were specifically looking at the lymph nodes and duct at the base of the mesentary. The red arterioles can be seen travelling to the small intestine where they will pick up the nutrients extracted in digestion.


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