By on February 17, 2015

Eyes on the skies 

All eyes were on the skies last weekend in Jackson Hole.

Grand Teton National Park’s spokesperson Jackie Skaggs snapped a few photos of a unique cloud formation over the Grand on Thursday. She called the wispy winged formation a lenticular cloud. We aren’t atmospheric scientists so we’ll take her word for it. Whatever it was, the “cloud dance,” as she referred to it, was pretty cool.

Facebook was popping off the next day on Valentine’s Day eve when several users posted shots of the Friday night sunset tailor made for lovers. Tina Rene Seay and James Moser shared a couple of beauties.

Cain was able

Wyofile’s Angus Thuermer Jr. did a nice job with Steve Cain’s exit statement. Cain retired as GTNP park biologist after 25 years with the park.

Cain’s research data could be invaluable in anticipating the spread of brucellosis among elk, grizzly bear population growth, and the role carnivores play in the ecosystem. At one time, the Grand Teton’s wildlife biologist owned the only computer in the park.

Despite countless days in the field, Cain recalled only two instances when he had scary run-ins with his subjects.

“In both cases I thought for a few seconds ‘This might be the end of me,’” he told Thuermer. A mother moose chased him through willows and was ready to trample him after he tripped. She turned back to check on her calf at the last moment. And a bison charged “full speed” from 100 yards. A second before he was going to sacrifice his expensive Zeiss binoculars as a distraction, Cain reached his vehicle.

According to the Wyofile story, Cain received the Park Service’s regional director’s award in 2009 for monitoring and studying grizzly bears, introducing non-lead ammunition to the park hunt and inspiring a $500,000 donation to monitor wolves.

Cloud formation above Grand Teton. (Photo credit: Jackie Skaggs, GTNP)

Cloud formation above Grand Teton. (Photo credit: Jackie Skaggs, GTNP)

Live, from the Elk Refuge

Jackson’s Screen Door Porch took refuge with the USFWS recently. The soulful Americana group asked to shoot a video for their new release Modern Settler, which dropped February 10.

The idea was to stage the band on a winter sleigh as it was being pulled through the Elk Refuge. Outdoor recreational planner Lori Iverson denied the permit, worried about how the Refuge’s boarders would react to live music. She did, however, suggest the band shoot at the historic Miller House. The band accepted.

“We loved the site as soon as we saw it,” said Screen Door’s Aaron Davis. “When you think about the name of our band and the title of the CD and song, it was a perfect fit.”

The video for “Chasin’ Homestead Blues” is currently in post-production and should be ready soon.

Put another log on the fire

Congressman Cynthia Lummis had us in stitches with her latest installment of “Cattle Call – This week’s dose of common sense.”

“I think we have all seen this exploding trend at the EPA to control and regulate anything it can get its hands on,” Lummis wrote. “But I believe this latest move shows just how desperate to expand its authority the EPA is.”

Lummis took issue with the EPA’s campaign to target wood stoves as a perceived threat to the global ecosystem. A newly minted rule would restrict manufacturers to add a seal of approval from the government agency after passing stringent soot emission control standards. Is wood stove smoke that dangerous?

“Well, I suppose if you stuck your head down a chimney and breathed nothing but smoke and soot, then that might pose some problems … but that’s why we don’t do that,” Lummis sneered.

She continued, “Wood stoves are one of the most dependable, independent, and effective heaters in the market. If you can find wood you can find fuel. And in harsh Wyoming winters they are especially critical. I think the EPA has simply grown out of control and has overstepped its bounds again by reaching into our homes and telling us what we can and cannot purchase to keep our own families warm.”

Attaboy, Attaway

Kip Attaway stepped up yet again when the Shriner’s were forced to call off their annual cutter races. The comedian/musician played a benefit concert at The Virginian last Saturday night to help the Jackson Hole Shrine Club raise at least a little something for children’s hospital in Salt Lake.

Kip Attaway (Photo credit: Kip Attaway)

Kip Attaway (Photo credit: Kip Attaway)

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