“Post No Bills.”

Back in the day, many commenters wanting to keep people from putting up signs, posters and/or advertisements on fences, barricades, posts, buildings – buildings, even – put up “Post No Bills” signage. Stop defacing such surfaces, the signs admonish. A classic dilemma.

Didn’t really work well. One got the idea the “Post No Bills” signs attracted more and more company. Defiance or cleverness?

Get ready: Going to post some bills.Birds of Sage and Scree: Locals may recall some publicity about a year ago about a forthcoming book featuring paintings by artist Greg McHuron with accompanying words by me. An art book, not a true field guide, inspired by the birds, animals and habitat of sagebrush and rocky slopes. The book Birds of Sage and Scree is coming out this summer. The gestation period was a little longer than expected. As expected. Orders are being accepted now for this coffee-table book and for a limited edition. Please go to www.birdsofsageandscree.info. Preorder now to save, until March 6.•

At the National Museum of Wildlife Art: Greg McHuron’s paintings for Birds of Sage and Scree will hang in the National Museum of Wildlife Art from March 4 through April 18. So will my words. Pretty near the whole book, but you would have to make special arrangements to take it home. Come to the book reception, March 4 at 5:30 p.m.

What’s in the Backyard? The Backyards Project of Nature Mapping Jackson Hole is under way, asking you to contribute your backyard observations: www.naturemappingjh.org. Be an amateur naturalist. For additional instructions or information, please contact Chuck Schneebeck, 733-1582.

Moose Day: On Saturday, the second annual Moose Day will be held in Teton County. People are asked to identify every moose they see and its location on the valley floor or higher elevations. Steve Kilpatrick, of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, is heading this project. 733-8346.

Staying Safe: Jackson and Pinedale regions of Wyoming Game and Fish will host a free workshop, “Staying Safe in Bear, Lion and Wolf Country.” It will be held Thursday, March 18, in the Teton Room of Snow King Resort, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. It’s free.

Get good practical information from experienced biologists.

Wildlife Matters: Truly. Give them a brake.

Swan Count: Susan Patla completed the midwinter trumpeter swan count on Sunday. There were fewer wintering birds on the Snake and Salt rivers – a good sign, because it is hoped their winter range will enlarge. On the Green River, there was the same number as last year, 188. The total swan count south of Yellowstone National Park was 669 birds, of which 582 were adults and 87 were cygnets.Field Notes: It looks a lot like mid- to end of March on the valley floor out my window. Morning sun has a warmer look and feel. Unlikely to see many snow rolls having slid down hillsides this winter. There. That should bring on a big snowfall or two.

Four-footed large animals are having little trouble getting around on the valley floor. Deer remain largely on the tops of the buttes, a few small groups of elk meander the sagebrush flats, and the last I heard there were still pronghorn near the base of the Gros Ventre Mountains. Wonder if any of those pronghorn can survive the winter.

Very few Bohemian waxwings, but some substantial flocks of gray-crowned rosy finches (Hunter Marrow, Tracy Blue, Terry Amrein). No black rosies so far. A few Cassin’s finches only, rather more American goldfinches. Flickers overwintering and wandering about (Bru Wicks). A group of up to 20 Eurasian collared doves in east Jackson (Doug Eggers) but no clusters of starlings. Only a few evening grosbeaks seen (John Kerr), a few pine grosbeaks. Interesting winter observations.

Great-horned owls and boreal owls are active. Unfortunately, two great horneds were killed recently by vehicles south of town. A peregrine falcon was in Teton Valley, Idaho, on Sunday (Laura Brattain).

Jean Yurgalewicz spotted a hunting long-tailed weasel from a chairlift on Rendezvous Mountain. Nice to get an observation from a skier or snowshoer now and then.

© Bert Raynes 2010


Bert Raynes writes weekly on whatever suits his fancy with a dash of news on nature and its many ways.

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