Jennifer Bresee

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since Oct 16, 2016
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Recent posts by Jennifer Bresee

Jennifer Bresee wrote:This reply is referring back to the unidentified track photos 1/3 of the way down the 4th page of this thread. IMG_1661.JPG, IMG_1669.JPG & IMG_1673.JPG.

Fred Tyler wrote:I finally remembered to bring down the Scat and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains to compare it to some tracks i had seen earlier. It's a good book but the tracks are so variable i'm still not sure on the ID's for these tracks. Any ideas?



First photo: This is a bounding animal because there are two tracks on the outside, and two tracks a little behind and on the inside. The fronts land out and forward, usually parallel each other, and the hinds land inside and to the rear, usually staggered.



Oops! I mistyped! It's the hind tracks that land out and forward, and the front tracks that land inside and to the rear.
3 years ago
This reply is referring back to the unidentified track photos 1/3 of the way down the 4th page of this thread. IMG_1661.JPG, IMG_1669.JPG & IMG_1673.JPG.

Fred Tyler wrote:I finally remembered to bring down the Scat and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains to compare it to some tracks i had seen earlier. It's a good book but the tracks are so variable i'm still not sure on the ID's for these tracks. Any ideas?



First photo: This is a bounding animal because there are two tracks on the outside, and two tracks a little behind and on the inside. The fronts land out and forward, usually parallel each other, and the hinds land inside and to the rear, usually staggered. You can tell they're rodent tracks because the front tracks (to the rear and center of the track group) have four toes each, while the hind tracks (to the front and outer edges of the track group) have five toes each. This toe pattern is only found in rodents. Then you can tell it's a squirrel because of size and general toe/heel pad shape. Finally it's a ground squirrel because the front tracks are asymmetrical and all the toes (front and hind) are curved inward. Folks around here would call it a gopher colloquially, though it's not actually a gopher (family Geomyidae), but a Columbian ground squirrel (family Sciuridae)

The second are chipmunk or mouse on the right (again, the bounding pattern tells us which tracks are front and hind, and the different toe counts between front/hind ID it as a rodent. Size, location and specific toe/heel pad shapes ID the species). The leftmost tracks are paired, as if the animal was bipedally hopping, and only have four toes (three in front and one behind) and therefore are a small ground-feeding bird, probably a sparrow or junco.

The third are really cool! These are very small tracks (about one inch wide), with no discernible pad, covered in fur (you can see the impression in the mud), very deep gripping claws, four toes and a lot of asymmetry in the toes. The outermost toes are much further toward the rear than the innermost toes. With this much asymmetry, and no discernible pad, just fur, it can't be a canid  like a fox or coyote. Red foxes do have furry feet but they're much bigger and have generally symmetrical feet. The only thing this could be, in my understanding, is the paired front feet of a cottontail rabbit in a bound.


3 years ago
Thanks for this thread! I'm fairly new in Montana and it's been great reading through and getting a sense for the seasons and the growing things here.
3 years ago
Hi all,
I just got back from Oceti Sakowin camp, and have a small report back from my point of view.

I just stayed for one day to bring supplies, and witnessed and was oriented in a few things that could use some clarification for those who may want to visit.

Firstly, there is a strong request to come self-sufficient. If you come to help, plan on bringing all your own food, water shelter and tools. Don't arrive with the assumption that others will take care of you if you come to help, because that's not helpful! Of course the camp takes care of people in need, and everyone in camp will extend hospitality if you are in need. And this camp is here to protect the water, not to take care of travelers. The best help we can be as guests is to give more than we take. Water, food, shelter, firewood, electricity and tools are particularly scarce resources.

Secondly, there is a strong need for more help in winterization! When I was there it looked like about half of people in camp were still in their summer tent accommodations. These are rapidly becoming risky, so if you go make sure you can connect with a camp that has access to tipis, wall tents, and other heated indoor spaces for sleeping. I know that RMHs will help with the winterization effort, and I think the priority is to put up enough structures that can be heated in the first place. If you want to go and help with RMHs, ask what the immediate need is first, so that winterization efforts can be coordinated well.

Thirdly, it's a native-led space. We all have lots of cool ideas of how to help, and there are lots of really knowledgeable native elders here who have heard cool ideas from lots of people as well. It's their space, so follow their direction so that all our efforts to help can coordinate well and actually be helpful. If you go, first ask what the need is rather than assuming they'll need your expertise. As an example, I have a friend who's a skilled paramedic and intended to go as a field medic, but turns out that they have the medics that they need and he was most helpful in winterization efforts, building a bunch of stuff. He happily worked his tail off for a week instead of practicing medicine, and left the space much improved. Also, ask permission from the local native people to build stuff, dig clay, cut plants, or use any on-site resource. The camp is here to protect the land and the water, because the US government and DAPL didn't ask before building their pipeline. We are there as guests of the local people. Always ask before taking, digging, chopping, or building something!

Finally, there is an issue with half-finished projects in camp. It is awesome to have people with specialized knowledge come in to camp and donate their time and effort to improve the place. And if those people can't stay long enough to see their projects thru, oftentimes no one who stays in camp has the specialized skills to finish the project. For example, they are building sheds to house their medical supplies. Due to a lack of tools, the build went slower than projected. The carpenter who designed and was directing the build had to leave before the roof was on, and the building sat for three days without a roof or a plan, until another carpenter arrived in camp who could teach people how to build the roof. There are a lot of unfinished projects like this around camp, waiting for a specialist to come along. But again, ask what the need is before jumping in on an unfinished project!

I hope lots of people can go. This is a beautiful community of people from all backgrounds. Everyone is super welcoming and respectful. This is probably the first time I've been in a native-centered space where I felt completely welcome as a white person. It was such a great experience to come to camp and be greeted by smiling strangers of all backgrounds. Water is Life!
3 years ago
Hey all,
Thanks for all your replies and help! It's drying out, and drawing beautifully now. Yay for rockets!
3 years ago
Wow cool. Why do you think your stove was acting up in the first place, and why did the chimney cap fix it?
3 years ago
Do you have high winds where you are? Ours here are not generally remarkable, so I thought I could just do the little rain hat thingy instead of a wind blocking chimney cap.
3 years ago
Hi, thanks for the replies!

Measurements: 12" feed tube, 21" burn tunnel, 42" heat riser. Brick channels are 5"X7"X6', 4"X7"X5.5', and 3"X7"X5'.

Here's what it looked like without all the stuff on it:

3 years ago
Hi all,
I just built a new RMH, first build, in order to live in a tipi in Montana over the winter.

Specs: It's a small brick and cob mass, probably 1 to 1.5 tons. Firebrick J-tube, perlite-insulated firebrick heat riser. The feed tube is 7 wide X 6 long X7 deep, and the burn chamber and heat riser is 7x7. There is a big manifold (about 90 square inches total) that leads into 3 brick flues running thru the bed in parallel, about 7 ft long each, with a cumulative cross-sectional area significantly bigger than 7X7. All flues come together in another big-ish space before the flue exits into the chimney. There is a 12ft rise on the chimney, venting outside the tipi. The mass is currently wet, and temperatures outside are below freezing. I've been burning a lot of fires to try to dry out the mass.

The problem is that if I stack wood vertically, the rocket effect fails and the flow reverses. It starts with a quieting of the roar, then a wisp of smoke, then suddenly the flames are crawling up the wood and out the feed tube. It looks like there isn't enough draft to fully burn all the coals and the burn tunnel gets clogged with coal, interrupting the flow of air. I think it may also have something to do with heating up the feed tube and it acting as a chimney, but with such a short feed tube I thought I designed against that happening. If I feed it super short sticks (about 6") directly into the burn tunnel it burns great, but it's a ton of work to chop all my wood that short and hand-pack the burn tunnel every time I need to feed the fire.

What's up with the stove? Some of my friends who helped design this thing said they think the problem will work itself out when the mass dries and warms, adding enough draw to fully burn the coals. I'm not sure, since I burned the thing for 6 hours straight yesterday and still had the problem at hour six, when things should've been quite hot. Everything is still wet, though, and the chimney never got much more than warm to the touch. Please help me understand my rocket!


3 years ago
Hi Thomas,
Thanks for the info and the generous offer to check out your system! The photo is great. I live in Whitefish, about 3hrs NW of you, so it'd be a bit of a trek to come out, but thanks!

So it sounds like building an 8" system is totally feasible. Great! I'll do some redesigning and see how an 8" works in my space, at least on paper. It still sounds like the rule of CSA consistency holds, more or less. What about my friend's systems that go from 8" to 6" flue? Any idea why they work?

Thanks!
-Jennifer
3 years ago