Species Parade, Week Seven

Back in the day, bird identification came with a gun, not a pair of binoculars. Of course, the explorers and scientists didn’t have

Townsend Warbler

Townsend Warbler

a Peterson Guide on their desk. They quantified and qualified what would later make it into the Peterson Guide. Nearly two centuries ago, naturalist John K. Townsend was just out of graduate school and headed west on an expedition from Missouri. He found birds alright: “I think I never before saw so great a variety of birds. All were beautiful…and my game bag was teeming with its precious freight.”

Forty five species this week, highlighted by a Townsend Solitaire and Townsend Warbler.

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Mammals:

Black Tailed Jackrabbit

Cottontail Rabbit

Mule Deer

Coyote

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Rock Squirrel

Brush Mouse

Skunk

Birds:

California Gull

White American Pelican

Grackle

Townsend’s Solitaire

Townsend’s Warbler

Yellow Warbler

House finch

Red Shafted Flicker

Tufted Titmouse

Black Capped Chickadee

IMG_0960Mountain Chickadee

Bushtit

Common Raven

Scrub Jay

Magpie

Turkey

Dark-Eyed Junco

Ringed Turtle Dove

Rock Dove

Western Kingbird

Mountain Bluebird

Meadowlark

Rufous-sided Towhee

Broad Tailed Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Chipping sparrow

Song sparrow

Black Headed Grosbeak

American Kestrel

IMG_0980Turkey Vulture

Prairie Falcon

Red-Tailed Hawk

Killdeer

Starling

American Robin

Common Poor Will

Common Nighthawk

Alder Flycatcher (perhaps. See at right.)

 

We found great trail snacks

Here’s the thing with being outside and active: you get hungry. Read about getting out and cognitive decline.

And the more you tune into your body, the pickier you become about what goes down the gullet. If you listen, your body will tell you what works and what doesn’t.

pickybarsAnd, if research shows that being sedentary and eating fast food can become a destructive, self-fulfilling cycle (It does. Click here.), I’d like to suggest the opposite is also true: eating well and getting outside beget more eating well and getting outside.

So, I was happy to check out the food offerings at the OR. Here are two standouts:

Picky Bars might be the first bar I won’t get sick of. The Bend, Oregon company uses simple ingredients like dates, blueberries, almonds, rice cereal, and apricots. They’re flavorful without being too sweet. They have a balance of complex carbohydrates and protein that tastes good going down and doesn’t wig you out with a rush & crash or the sluggishness that comes from eating too much protein. We tried Blueberry Boomdizzle, Need for Seed (with sunflower butter), and Smooth Caffeinator (with hazelnuts and mocha. Yum.

I love oats. My horses love oats. My genes love oats (I’m fairly fit and trim, yet I still have high cholesterol. Doctors recommend Untitled-1oats.) So, I downright gravitated to the Munk Pack booth which featured single serving packs full of flavored oatmeal. I tried them on rides and hikes; they gave me instant and delayed satisfaction.

The instant element comes from yummy flavors (I tried raspberry coconut and blueberry acai flax.). The delayed satisfaction comes as you feel the nutrients begin to course their way through your system. No rush. No crash. All good.

Skeptics might balk at the packaging and texture. The Connecticut-based Munk Packs could be mistaken for apple sauce pouches for toddlers. But get over it! It’s what inside that matters. And you can tell kids it’s strictly an adult taste.

Pick either when you’re between meals and still have an hour’s worth of chores or three miles to go until you reach home. Your body will say, “Thanks!”

Read more about what we discovered at the Outdoor Retailer.

UtahOutsider braves Outdoor Retailer

IMG_8872Attending the Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City is a bit like heading to the mall on Christmas Eve: be prepared for nuttiness and overstimulation.

Read about snacks we discovered at the OR.

Read about last year’s OR visit.

That said, the OR presents much cooler stuff than any mall. Outdoor recreationalists who manage to acquire a pass (most of the 27,000 attendees are retail buyers, about 600 of us are media) can be seen drooling at the quantity and quality of goods packed into some 1,500 exhibits.

If you’re interested in the next big thing, you’ll likely find it here in a small budget booth on the outskirts of the Salt Palace. Of course, the heavy hitters are here, too, with mammoth booths and big

Altra booth featured elite athletes in action above the crowds

Altra booth featured elite athletes in action above the crowds

budgets. The Keen booth, decked with multi-levels of perfectly refashioned, reclaimed wood, must have cost $100,000. The Royal Robbins booth hired baristas to serve free lattes around the clock. The Altra running shoe booth featured a 50-foot long, elevated treadmill and hired elite athletes to churn out miles high above the masses.

Here’s a quick review of items and companies that caught our eyes:

Of the scores of knife companies, Kershaw continues to be a favorite. Why? They understand carrying a knife is something women do, too. Kershaw is virtually the only company with an entire line of knives appealing to women for their sleek design, slim fit, and utility. No testosterone here. IMG_8871Check out the Leek review.

We visited with SPOT exhibitor Jon Butcher (no relation) about the ease and fail-safe elements of SPOT, the satellite rescue service in a simple orange and black device.. The service easily exceeds the capabilities of any cell phone app and makes trail riding, especially solo outings, exponentially safer. Read about this California hiker-turned-wildfire-survivor here.

One of the niftiest items that caught our eyes was the new Tread, a bracelet by Leatherman. Yes, you read correctly: a Leatherman bracelet. Call it a mechanical aesthetics. Call it a conversation starter. Call it the Tread. It was developed by Leatherman CEO Ben Rivera, after he was escorted from Disneyland for having a multi-tool in his pocket.

The Tread has a tiny knife hook that’s perfect for cutting baling twine, a flat screwdriver head for those Chicago screws, and a Treadbottle opener, of course. You can design your own, customizing tools and wrist size.

We met with Caroline Duell of Elemental Herbs. Duell developed Goop (a fabulous blend of olive oil, beeswax, calendula, comfrey, plantain, lavender, and yarrow) while working on an organic farm in California years ago. From there, she’s grown the company and the All Good product line, which includes sunscreens, lip balms, and pain relief spray. Goop was great after the recent wreck.

We visited with the folks at ThermaCELL about their remote-controlled, rechargeable, heated insoles. These thin, orange pads have us looking forward to subzero temps spent mucking stalls and hauling hay. Bring it on, winter! We will review ThermaCELLSs as soon as the temperature drops.

All Good Goop

All Good Goop

We talked with Davis Smith, the CEO of Cotopaxi. The folks at this Utah company (which sells direct to consumer and gives generously to charities) have agreed to giveaway one of their Perfect Barn Coats to a lucky subscriber at the Equine Affaire.

Additional shout outs go to:

Crazy Creek. We’ll be offering one of the Montana company’s camp chairs in an upcoming giveaway.

Adventure Medical Kits – They’ve developed a new line for humans AND their canine companions. It’s a welcome item, since most of us horse owners have dogs. Stay tuned for that giveaway, too.

CLB2gvFWoAAoEBHZootility – They’ve just moved to a new facility in Maine. The young company makes cool multi-tools that fit flat in your wallet. We have the new Headgehog, a comb, wrench, screwdriver, and bottle opener. It’s the cutest tool on the market, hands down.

Darn Tough. Other sock companies are just playing. Darn Tough socks, made in Vermont, have brilliantly survived rigorous testing through four seasons of hiking and riding. Read our review.

MG_9889We need our feet to stay happy and healthy. Darn Tough’s seamless, merino wool socks make it happen, breathable in the heat, cozy in the cold.

Read about last year’s OR visit.

Read more OR related content.

Species Parade, Week Six

What can I say? I can be attracted to flash. So, it was quite fun to see the Western Tanager checking out the neighborhood as it did this time last summer. All bright orange and yellow, contrasted with black.

But I also love the dull-colored birds, like the Townsend’s Solitaire. Are they so named because they live seemingly solitary lives? Or, is it for the lone, plaintive song note?10303759_1534626430098002_9048411538769046290_n

Forty one species this week, highlighted be a Western Tanager and the successful ID of a Prairie Falcon (finally and we hope!). There was also a few first-ever sightings of a high elevation mountain birds, like the Say’s Phoebe and the Western Wood Pewee. Love them birds.

Follow our weekly updates to appreciate the outstanding opportunities for wildlife spotting ‘round these parts! Sign up for our newsletter.

Mammals:

Black Tailed Jackrabbit

Cottontail Rabbit

Mule Deer

Coyote

Rock Squirrel

Brush Mouse

Birds:

Townsend's Solitaire

Townsend’s Solitaire

Western Tanager

Say’s Phoebe

Western Wood Pewee

Grackle

Townsend’s Solitaire

House finch

Red Shafted Flicker

Tufted Titmouse

Black Capped Chickadee

Bushtit

Common Raven

Scrub Jay

Magpie

Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcon

Turkey

Dark-Eyed Junco

Ringed Turtle Dove

Rock Dove

Western Kingbird

Lesser Goldfinch

Mountain Bluebird

Meadowlark

Rufous-sided Towhee

Broad Tailed Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Chipping sparrow

Black Headed Grosbeak

American Kestrel

Turkey Vulture

Prairie Falcon

Red-Tailed Hawk

Killdeer

Starling

American Robin

Common Poor Will

Common Nighthawk

 

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