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January '11

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Past Month's Moccasin Telegraph

February 2011


I'm surprised there haven't been any bills introduced in the Montana Legislature to mandate that February have at least 30 days in it!

That makes at least as much sense as some of the other things being proposed. And, I suppose we're similarly better off leaving well enough alone. No one ever seems to rave about the weather in February around here, although yesterday we came close...

In fact Kim declared it the First Day of Spring! She even started some seeds. Personally, I'm going to wait at least a month or so, although I do have some winter wheat and camelina already in, & hopefully ready to take off when the glacier melts. It'll be interesting to see, especially the camelina. It came up fairly decent last fall, which is a death sentence, according to the experts. The experience of some farmers runs contrary, per usual though, so we'll see...

The learning curve on this oilseed stuff just doesn't let up! We "cold-pressed" (moreso than usual) some camelina back during the brief balmy spell just prior to the more recent ice age. In fact we're kinda pleased with our improvised pre-warming system for the seed, that gets it up to summertime temps at least, 70 to 80 degrees F. Plus we learned a few more tricks about running the press. I've compared it to playing the violin, which might not even be exaggerating!

Plus we now have a functional induction foil sealing system for the oil bottles, which means the shipping folks can juggle them to their heart's content, and we can ship them around the country with impunity!

Except that's not quite the right word. We're going to be sending sample/sales info packets for BiOmega3 all over, and I think eager anticipation more accurately describes our vibe.

That photo was from yesterday. Actually got out for a change, just for a late-afternoon skinny ski venture here on the west slope of the Bridgers. I'd been thinking about breaking out the Alpine Touring gear, for a venture up to my private ski resort, the one with quite minimal avalanche exposure. Yesterday I was kind of surprised, though. I thought I was in at least sorta halfways decent shape, but hiking all the way up Pyramid Peak would have been out of the question.

Oil pressing (at least with our current set-up) involves near-constant motion, plus wrestling all kinds of heavy stuff around, but it seems to be a different set of muscles than backcountry skiing. I still want to make it up there this winter, so maybe I better make time for at least a couple more of these preliminary ventures first.

Let's see, what else happened in February...?

A fair number of meetings, for one thing. Among others, a "population objective" subcommittee meeting of the Madison Elk Working Group. Which I think we were all tickled with, since we decided not to arrive at an objective! But came up with reasonable hunting regulation suggestions to propose anyway.

And then we brought our eminently common-sense, win/win bison bill to the Legislature yet again, except the third time wasn't the charm. Tsk...

But maybe we can get it done in the recently formed Citizen Working Group for the bison situation. In fact if you click on that link, and then on the newscast video, a few seconds in the camera sticks momentarily on this redhead guy that I'm told looks a lot like me. Good thing I got a haircut a while back!

The moderator for this group, Ginny Tribe is a expert at this, and if anyone can pull it off, it's her. She did an outstanding job with the Madison Elk Working Group, and has generally been successful at this sort of thing. Let's hope...

Plus, since the month of February is shorter than normal, I believe I shall decree that this column can be also! Luckily I don't have to get that through the legislature.



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