Don’t Mess With Him   Leave a comment

A Montana wolverine hunts for its next meal. These solitary, elusive predators are rarely seen. Wolverines have five curved claws on each paw for climbing and digging. They eat carrion, birds, berries, and insects. Photo by Roy Anderson. Posted on the US Fish & Wildlife Service – Mountain Region’s Facebook page 8/3/17.

Posted August 8, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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From The Shop: I Have A Problem   1 comment

To do what I do in the shop, I buy lumber.

I have a problem.

When you buy wood, you’re buying a natural product that is not perfect. Wood has knots. Checks. Voids. Cracks. Part of the intrigue of the craft is figuring out what to do with each piece of wood: finding the perfect project for each piece. That sounds like fun … until you get a piece like this one.

Black Walnut, 8/4 stock, with a knot and void … on this side. Sapwood (the light colored, younger wood) showing on the right edge.

This is an end cut – the end of a big, long board that was left because it’s just a bit short. I primarily use 24″ lengths of “8/4,” or “eight quarter,” lumber to make large cutting boards. This end cut piece is … 23″ x 12-1/4.” If I use that with longer lumber, I just end up shortening the good pieces I pair it with into waste, so this piece has to wait for me to find another use for it. A perfect use.

And it’s been waiting a long time.

This is a financial decision, in part. This end cut board is 2 full board feet, so it cost about $20. You don’t just throw away $20.

The problem isn’t readily apparent on the front side of the board … but when you flip it over to look at the back, the challenge is apparent:

The small knot at the bottom doesn’t look too bad, though it goes completely through the board. However, the large knot at the top is a big defect that’s hidden inside the board and travels towards the other knot. I think. That entire chalk circle is waste … in the middle of the board.

When a cut off board is waiting for me to find inspiration, it lives in the shop in some nook or cranny until I can figure out what to do with it. The root problem for me is that I’m out of nooks. And crannies.

I have no space. No. Space.

That means boards that are waiting for me to find the “perfect use” sit out on the floor, leaning against a handy vertical, just waiting for me to trip over them. Or knock them over. Or have to move them so I can get at whatever is being blocked.

And then move them back again.

Yesterday, I’d had enough of this double defect board, and inspiration was not forthcoming. Doesn’t matter; time to cut it up and see what what’s what.  I chalked the outline of the board, and ended up with one long piece that’s 4″ wide. I got 2x smaller rectangular pieces that will end up as routed bowls. Or something. And, I got a little bonus piece that … will find it’s way into a nook or cranny along with many other walnut pieces that look just like it.

I need a new plan.




The Other Gold Rush   Leave a comment

In the last four years of the 19th century, over 100,000 prospectors flooded into the Klondike region of Alaska and Canada looking for gold. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park not only tells the stories of these pioneers, it preserves 13,000 acres of historic sites and stunning wilderness. Traveling the trails is like going back in time. Photo by C. Anderson, National Park Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/5/17.

Posted August 6, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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Drama From The Rain Forest   Leave a comment

Amazing view from the rain forest above Kīlauea crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo by Rick Vega. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 6/19/17.


Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Earth Should Not Steam, Right?

Hawaii Is Growing

Posted August 5, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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A Rainbow At Sunrise   Leave a comment

Rick Scalf and his dad were photographing sunrise at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado when a rainbow started to appear. “We began shooting the scene in true amazement as this complete rainbow unfolded before our eyes.” Photo by Rick Scalf. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/18/17.


Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake

Dream Lake

Fall Color

Hiking to Ouzel Falls

Prettier Than Fireworks

The Snow In The Pines

Posted August 4, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Vulture Peak   Leave a comment

Vulture Peak’s jagged profile glowing in the sunset light is a dramatic sight rising above the Arizona desert. Walking up the eroded remains of an ancient volcano, hikers are treated to stunning views and curious rock formations along the trail. If you’re thinking of conquering the summit this summer, park in the Bureau of Land Management lot and take plenty of water! Photo by Raymond Lee. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/2/17.

Posted August 3, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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Worth Stopping For   1 comment

The natural beauty of public lands can stop you in your tracks. When you see the amazing landscapes and stunning sunsets at Badlands National Park in South Dakota, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. Photo by Donna Schneider. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/17/17.


A Perfect Sunset

Posted August 2, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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The Birds Of Seedskadee   Leave a comment

Purple Food   Leave a comment

A Nevada bumble bee (Bombus nevadensis) feeds on pollen and nectar from a Rocky Mountain beeplant’s (Cleome serrulata) flowers at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS. Taken 8/11/16 and uploaded to Flickr by the US Department of the Interior.

Purple(,) Mountains Majesty   Leave a comment

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska is a true wilderness filled with mountains, glaciers, historic sites, and several living cultures. A trip here can be quite different from a park in the lower 48. Flexibility and patience are required – visitor services are limited, access can be challenging, weather varies widely – but the reward is worth the effort! Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/13/17.


Purple Mountains Majesty (6/28/2014)

Posted July 30, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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