BzzzZZ Off!

Over this last weekend [July 19-21] 30+ of us had our yearly hammocking “hang” down at the Harold Parker State Forest outside Boston. Our sites were right on a rise above a quiet pond and there had been rain… so, 8:22pm and the BUGS CAME OUT!

This year, Moosenut Falls was able to contribute the “Bug Juice Buffet” shown above. The folks attending and visiting with us were able to try out a wide selection of insect repellents of all types… DEET, picariden, IR 3535 and any number of “eco-friendly” botanicals.

“As the box sez, “Try What You Want~~ Find What Works For YOU”.

[My many thanks to the vendors who donated so generously. I will be doing a post featuring the donated products ASAP]


Hmmmmmmming Birds

One facet of life here in Moosenut Falls that often gets passed over too easily, is the wildlife. We are just rural enough, and remote enough, that I do get to see a wide selection of critters on a regular basis.

For years now, I have hung out a hummingbird feeder early on every May. Back in 2015, within only a few hours of my putting it up, I found this little fellow latched onto the side. I call him Numbert.

He hung on in the same spot for over twenty-four hours. He would take a few sips of the sugar-water, close his eyes, and just sit. He was obviously pretty badly exhausted by his journey

I was able to get up within a few inches to take this photo. I don’t believe he was actually capable of moving at that time. He would blink at me and simply hang on.

Ever year since then, I have had one hummingbird who will come and perch on the feeder to drink. All the others will only hover to feed, and if I’m within any kind of distance at all, they won’t even stop to drink… they just “hmmmmmmmmm” off until I am gone, or have moved away. This particular one however will settle in, drink, poop right off the perch and is totally nonplussed by my presence only a couple of feet away smoking my pipe or admiring the scene.

I have had my suspicions that it might be the exact same bird. He had figured out that I was no threat, and could return every year with the same assurance. I got curious earlier in the week and looked up hummingbird migration factoids on the net.

To whit: “Banding studies have shown that migrating hummingbirds make the same stops year after year, often on exactly the same day. And just so you know, the bird you called a “he/she” was a he. The males are the first birds you will see, followed by the ladies about ten days later.”…

I freaking LOVE Mother Nature…..


Git That Chow Up In a Tree For the Critter’s Sake

{{A RANT }}

Until that night when some critter raids your campsite, shuffling around and making critterish noises, and then actually paws at your tent,  you may not feel the need to hang your food up in the trees. I do. I have for years. …. It all started that night back in ’72 at Smokemont camp ground when the skunk walked out from under Philip’s chair and casually picked up the bag of marshmallows FROM RIGHT NEXT TO THE FIRE…

Anyway, I think it’s good practice, and sound bushcraft. It doesn’t take but a minute, it’s good for your peace of mind, and it’s better for the critters. The creatures of the night don’t need to be building a taste for mesquite barbecue potato chips, Budweiser, Pack-It Gourmet freeze-dried Gumbo, and M&Ms. You don’t need them tearing up your gear looking for midnight snacks.

Well Ninja Grasshoppers, just recently I came across the high tech version of tying a rock to a piece of paracord to toss your line over a branch.

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[  In a display of a total lack of any shame whatsoever, the Chinese site pirated an entire screen clip from the site of the people originally producing and marketing this product in titanium. That clip is what is reproduced above in a redacted form.  Since I am planning on negatively reviewing this product as a ridiculous waste of your money,  I will not be referring to the original site. In fact, I have made every effort to remove references in the above photo. ]

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THIS is [the Chi-clone of] an $85 titanium throwing star for tossing your bear-bag line over a tree branch. The clone only costs $20 in stainless, and does come with the bear-shaped thingy that goes for an additional $40 more bucks [in titanium] on the original site. [Bear-thingy seems to be some kind of guyline tensioner… not really sure what good one alone is gonna be. I’d want eight for all the lines on my tarp, cute, but $320 seems like a little pricey]. The other gateless-carabiner piece seems to be something to hook your bear-bag to, but I’m clueless as to how it is supposed to help. I am also pretty much clueless as to why you want four stainless steel shepherds-hook stakes… I always just tie off to the tree.

Folks, this a a chunk of metal with holes in it and 24′ of line for $20… or $85!!

Did you notice that this lil ninja star puppy is a hugemongous 4 1/2″ square and goes 5.75 oz [alone, all by itself… and that’s in the titanium]? Who knows what the Chinese SS-version weighs. All just in order to toss one end of an eight or 10 yard length of line over a branch.  I suppose that if you have one of the $69 bear-proof bags in that bulletproof Spectra fabric [another 8oz., gram-weenies!] … ??  …. you good for $20 more…? …let alone for the full original price of $85 ? …it’s that sexy, irresistible titanium, isn’t it?    Forget it. No, no, no, no. 

To my mind, not only is this a ridiculous waste of money for a needless product to simplify an already mindlessly simple, one minute task, but the idiot thing looks like it’s just asking to get tangled around a branch or twig and actually create a problem. Either a $20 problem, or an $85 problem… you takes yer choice. Add to that the fact that it’s all just needless extra weight to facilitate a momentary chore, and I’m not putting this in my pack.

My own, personal solution for a long-time, test proven, critter-beater food-bag system is 25 feet of 90 pound test paracord tied onto a  2″ washer off the axel of an old yard tractor[one oz.] and a brand-new-from-the-store-each-trip-when-I-bought-my-chow-to-go-camping plastic shopping bag.  Fling the washer and line over a branch 8-10′ out from the tree and 12-15′ up, hang the bag in a larkshead through the hole in the washer, and pull it up 8-10″ high. [I actually use two shopping bags, one for food, and one for trash] I’ve never had animals bother with them yet.   [Since I always have extra line] Cost: $o.00

But… you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do. It’s your money.

As our old friend, Harry Anderson once reminded us, “A fool and his money… Well, they were lucky to get together in the first place.”