January 29, 2011

Colorado Seeks Duck Stamp Artist

News release:

DENVER, Colo. - The Colorado Division of Wildlife is soliciting original artwork entries for the 2011 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest. This year's species of focus is the green-winged teal (Anas crecca). The deadline for artists to submit entries is 4 p.m., Friday, March 4.

"It is amazing every year to see what the artists come up with and to see the new artists that are starting out in this specialized category of art," said judging committee member Tilman Bishop, a former state senator who sponsored the legislation that created the waterfowl stamp in Colorado.

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp program was implemented in 1990 and provides funding to conserve wetlands for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older are required by state law to purchase a waterfowl stamp validation annually before hunting. In addition to hunters, many collectors aid in wetland conservation by purchasing collector stamps and prints that are created from the winning entry.

"We are all beneficiaries of the Waterfowl Stamp," Bishop added. "Whether you are a hunter, a bird watcher or just a citizen that likes seeing birds around the house, every one of us gets the benefit of this terrific program."

The green-winged teal is a colorful duck found in Colorado primarily during fall and spring migration, with lower numbers during the breeding season and winter. The vocal and often noisy duck is the smallest North American 'dabbling duck', which feed on the surface of waters instead of diving for food. It is one of the most frequently harvested ducks taken by Colorado waterfowl hunters, and is known as excellent table fare.

Artists must submit a 13-inch high by-18 inch wide, full color original artwork for the contest. There is a $50 fee for each entry. Complete requirements are explained in the application packet.

January 28, 2011

Ski Troopers of 1941—And Re-creating the Look

In January 1941, before the United States entered World War II, before there was a Camp Hale, Colorado, or a 10th Mountain Division (over which some Coloradans wax nostalgic), there were infantry "ski patrols" practicing on Mount Rainier, Washington.

This drawing is from a Life magazine article from its Jan. 20, 1941 issue. Those are GI canvas leggings, not "puttees," which were even more evil—something the Brits picked up in northern India and which we copied from them for World War I infantry battledress.

These are puttees.

I had wanted to be the last cross-country (Nordic) skier in Colorado with bamboo poles, but I broke the tip off one last winter.

Googling around, I find antique poles sold at high prices as decorator items. (More reasonable prices on eBay, however.) Various firms offer high-tech carbon-fiber poles wrapped with bamboo for an antique look.

But people are discussing how to find or replicate 1930s ski clothing! On the Internet, you are not alone.

January 24, 2011

Can a Felon Hunt with a Muzzle-loading Gun in Colorado?

 Short answer: No.

The question came up in recent conversation whether a someone with a felony conviction in their past who is barred from firearms ownership could still hunt legally in Colorado with a muzzle-loading gun that used black powder.

The argument was that under federal law, such guns are not "firearms" in a prohibited sense.

The short answer is no. And don't ask about archery either.

Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton discussed the law as follows:
Colorado State Law was amended in 1994 to prohibit the possession of a firearm or other weapons (pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18, Article 12). It was also amended in 2000 to make such possession a class 6 felony instead of a class 1 misdemeanor. The beginning wording of CRS 18-12-108 is,

(1) A person commits the crime of possession of a weapon by a previous offender if the person knowingly possesses, uses, or carries upon his or her person a firearm as described in section 18-1-901 (3) (h) or any other weapon that is subject to the provisions of this article subsequent to the person's conviction for a felony, or subsequent to the person's conviction for attempt or conspiracy to commit a felony, under Colorado or any other state's law or under federal law.

CRS 18-1-901(3)(h) adds the following provision that covers muzzleloaders and shotguns: 18-1-901(3)(h) "Firearm" means any handgun, automatic, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable or intended to be capable of discharging bullets, cartridges, or other explosive charges.
In regard to archery, he added,
Because 18-12-108 includes "firearm... OR ANY OTHER WEAPON that is subject to the provisions of this article," it also includes "dangerous" and '"deadly weapons." It is the interpretation of the Attorney General and the Division of Wildlife that bow and arrow are dangerous and deadly weapons, therefore, not allowed for possession of persons convicted of a felony.

I am posting this just in case anyone is searching online for the answer.

UPDATE: The question gets asked a lot: "Felons set sights for hunting in Colorado
More than 300,000 hunting licenses are issued for big game alone in Colorado every year and, of those, an untraceable number go to felons. The occurrence cannot be quantified because hunting licensee information is not public record.

Yet every year, game wardens contact felons in possession of a gun, said Randy Hampton, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which oversees hunting.
Bottom line: A felon can buy a hunting license — but can legally use a firearm to hunt with a gun or a bow.  Or as this article puts it: "Colorado Felons Can Hunt, not Shoot."

There is a legal process for some felons to have gun rights restored.  Scroll down to Section I, part C.

UPDATE 2 (December 2019):  Here is the policy re-stated by CPW public information officer Bill Vogrin (bill.vogrin@state.co.us):
State law says a convicted felon may not possess a dangerous weapon. If we make contact with a hunter using a firearm, bow or muzzleloader, and learn that hunter is a convicted felon, we will make an arrest and take that person to jail.
If for some reason a judge or plea agreement granted the hunter an exemption to the law, it will get sorted out once the person is in custody.  That is unless the hunter has court-certified paperwork on him or her at the time of the contact with CPW officers. 
And now that you are here, feel free to look around the blog.


Continental US Forecast for the Rest of Winter

Accuweather's Joe Bastardi provides this map for the continental US with narrative here. He doesn't really talk about our part of the country except to suggest some spring snow storms.

It looks like friends in New Mexico can expect more good falconry weather.

January 22, 2011

'Amerigas: We'll Let You Freeze'

That's my new advertising slogan for Amerigas, offered free gratis for corporate use. It can be an alternative to "reliable, safe, responsive," which is, frankly, a little dated.

"We'll keep you guessing" might work too.

Although we heat part of the time with wood, like most rural folks, we depend on propane as fuel for cooking, heating water, and heating the house at night or when we are away.

From 1992 through 2007, our propane needs were supplied by All Star Propane of Cañon City. Their drivers were almost as unstoppable as Herodotus’ Persian couriers, except that they did not deliver during “gloom of night.”  They came on a regular basis and topped off the tanks at both houses—ours and the rental cabin.

Then All Star was bought by a national company, Amerigas, and customer service immediately got much, much worse. They consolidated operations into Colorado Springs and claimed  that through some kind of computer wizardry, they knew when you needed gas and when you did not, so as the tank dropped past 15 or 10-percent full, you could call them up and complain, receiving vague, meaningless promises in return, and just wait until they filled you up on their timetable.

What is worse, they put both of our tanks on one account. Although the tank at the cabin is leased from them (the normal arrangement with propane suppliers), the tank at our house is owned by us.

Every winter, you could count on the driver to stop by, fill the tank at the cabin, which is closer to the county road, and drive away, assured that he had taken care of that account—but forgetting all about our tank.

More phone calls, more promises, more waiting, more anxiety.

Lucky for us, we can heat with wood during the day, keeping furnace usage to a minimum. I called Amerigas in Colorado Springs and suggested splitting the one account into two—but what do I know? I’m just the customer. Manager Rick Rivers and his merry crew do things their way. (No doubt they have a 40-slide PowerPoint training presentation about all this.)

It happened again this winter—the driver filled up the cabin tank on Dec. 15 and ignored ours. When we came back from our New Mexico trip, it still had not been filled. Then I started with the phone calls again.  Suzanne in the Colorado Springs office promised a fill-up by Friday, Jan. 14.

Of course, no one came. When I tried to call back the next week, they did not even answer the phones or an email to the residential service manager, Mila Sacket, so I had to try the national customer-service number. More promises of immediate action.

Finally on Jan. 20th the Amerigas driver arrived. By then, however, I had given up on them, and with the tank sinking towards 5 percent full (when do we lose vapor pressure and the pilot lights start going out?), I had called a Cañon City supplier, Enxx Propane, where the owner answers the telephone, and they do not even have a Web site

Nevertheless, since the Amerigas driver was on the scene, and the screw-up was not his fault, I asked him if he could top off the cabin tank—it ought to have taken about 100 gallons. “All the drivers carry blank tickets,” Suzanne had said.

No, he could not. He did not have any blank tickets. He could only go to addresses that the computer told him to go to. No individual initiative here at Amerigas!

With propane as with food, it seems better to seek out a local supplier, but in some places that switch is getting to be harder and harder.

January 21, 2011

Hunter's Blog Stew

• Colorado turkey hunters can request a free DVD on turkey hunting from the Division of Wildlife.
Hunters may also call (303) 297-1192 or e-mail wildlife.dowinfo@state.co.us and request a free DVD. These will only be mailed to customers who request them. We encourage you to help preserve Colorado’s hunting heritage by sharing your DVD with others interested in hunting.
• A prime consumer of such DVD's might be those who suffer from adult-onset hunting.

• Hodgeman has thoughts on mentoring new hunters.

• Wild-food blogger Langdon Cook is one of those new hunters.

January 18, 2011

Proper Possum Massage

Just to localize this, the first possum that I ever encountered in the wild was in eastern Colorado, near Bonny Reservoir. This state does have a small population.

If you follow that link, you will find that the Colorado state parks people are allergic to the word "reservoir." It just does not have that recreational connotation. See also "Pueblo Reservoir."

Usage note: A "reservoir" is a manmade lake whose primary purpose is water storage for irrigation and/or flood control. Bonny and Pueblo are both "reservoirs."

Via Phlegmfatale and the Ambulance Driver.

Eagle Days are Coming

This year's Eagle Days festival at Pueblo Reservoir will be February 5-6.

Even if the "festival" part scares you off, it is often possible to spot bald eagles (and plenty of other raptors) around the lake at this time of year.

January 16, 2011

Blog Stew with Courting Foxes

A pair of gray foxes.
As we move further into winter, the foxes are becoming noisy at night. Maybe this is a courting pair. The scout camera was not more than 150 yards from the house for this photo, but in 18 years I have personally seen a gray fox exactly once. They are that stealthy. (Red foxes are much more likely to show themselves.)

Some other interesting links:

January 15, 2011

Hunting and Gathering

A southern Colorado landscape: Junipers, cholla cactus, prickly pear cactus, sandstone—and occasionally rabbits.
I go out with Sawtooth and one of his students, walk for two hours, and get one rabbit, which is now in the pot with onions, garlic, and some of last summer's mushrooms.

M. hikes up onto the national forest and comes home with a pair of compact binoculars. It looks as though their neck cord broke while someone was pushing through the oak brush.

They're just Simmons, but they work. Hunting and gathering.

"Damn, we're good," she says, making dinner.

January 13, 2011

Winter Camping in Karelia

From the blog English Russia, a photo essay on hut-building, mink-trapping, and ice-fishing near the Finnish border. Cold, but not enough to freeze the vodka.

Making Camera Trapping Systematic

The Camera Trap Codger, who is a professional zoologist, took pity on my after my "misplaced" camera incident and sent me one of his "notebooks for notekeeping."

You can see in his photos the data that he collects for each camera set.

The foxes are courting near our house, so I think that it is time to try out both camera and notebook.

Whoosh, Back to the Pleistocene!

It looks like you will soon be able to hunt big game with spears and atlatls in Montana.

Just remember that the old-timers usually went out in groups--unless they were defensive ends for the Minnesota Vikings (YouTube video.)

(Via Outdoor Pressroom.)

January 12, 2011

Don't Mess with Mama

Apparently the conservation group Great Old Broads for Wilderness strikes fear in the hearts of illegal ATV riders.

Compound 1080 Killed Colorado Wolf

A Montana wolf found dead in northeast Colorado in 2009, which I had thought had been hit by a car (based on  earlier reports) was poisoned by Compound 1080.

Compound 1080 is a poison used on bait carcasses and in various "coyote-getter" devices, and it indiscriminately kills dogs, raptors, and whatever else ingests it.
Compound 1080, or sodium fluoroacetate, was commonly used to control coyotes, foxes and rodents until the U.S. banned it in 1972, but the rule has been modified. Today its only legal use is in collars used to protect sheep and goats from coyotes, and only in certain states. Colorado is not one of them. 
Which is not to say that there are not containers of it still sitting on the shelf in various Colorado barns and equipment sheds in livestock country, of course.

My other question is why it took more than a year for this information to be made public. Some behind-the-scenes investigation going on? Don't count on the Denver Post to let you know.

January 11, 2011

A Mongol Ecological Theodicy of Wolves

The old Mongol speaks to the Chinese student/sheepherder:
"Wolves are intelligent, they're looked after by the gods, and they get help from all sorts of demons. That makes them a formidable enemy."
But also,
"Don't forget what I told you, that wolves are sent by Tengger [Heaven/sky god] to safeguard the grassland. Without them, the grassland would vanish. And without wolves, we Mongols will never be able to enter heaven. [At the time, these Mongols practiced a form of "sky burial" using wolves rather than vultures.]

"If there are too many of them, they lose their divine power and turn evil. It's all right for people to kill evil creatures. If they killed all the cows and sheep, we could not go on living, and the grassland would be lost. We Mongols were also sent by Tengger to protect the grassland. Without it, there'd be no Mongols, and without Mongols, there'd be no grassland.

"Are you saying that wolves and the Mongols protect the grassland together?" Chen asked, moved by what the old man said.

A guarded look came into the old man's eyes. "That's right," he said, "but I'm afraid it's something you ... you Chinese cannot understand."

"Papa, you know I'm opposed to Han chauvinism and that I oppose the policy of sending people here to open up farmland."

The old man's furrowed brow smoothed out and, as he rubbed the wolf trap with horse's mane, he said, "Protecting the grassland is hard on us. If we don't kill wolves, there'll be fewer of us. But if we kill too many of them, there'll be even fewer."
The time is the 1960s Chinese Cultural Revolution. Chen, a young man of less-than-impeccable proletarian credentials, has been jerked away from his studies in Beijing in 1969 and sent to the boondocks to "learn from the people."

In this case, "the people" are pastoralist Mongols in Inner Mongolia, part of the People's Republic of China, following a more or less traditional lifestyle but now collectivized and organized into "work brigades."

The book, Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, translated by Howard Goldblatt (Penguin, 2008), has been "a runaway bestseller" in China, even though it is full of Mongols telling Chen that the Han Chinese are "sheep" and "herbivores" who always lose wars to Mongols. They even suggest that Mongol women are better in bed—as well as willing to go hand-to-fang with wolves in defense of their flocks.

Largely autobiographical, Wolf Totem was written in the late 1980s. To quote the translator's note, it "ushered in heated debates on the Chinese 'character.' It is a work that compellingly blends the passion of a novelist who lived the story he tells and the intelligent ethnological observations of a sympathetic outsider."

I am not quite a third of the way through and enjoying it immensely.

Cryptoforests, Wolves, and Feral Landscapes

At Bldgblog, a discussion with links on "cryptoforests" in urban landscapes.
Cryptoforesty, as Wilfried describes it in that post, emphasizes "the psychological effects of a forest" rather than the forest's pure ecological function; indeed, he writes, "The point is not that wolfs and bears are needed to fulfill ecological functions that are now null and void, the point is that a forest with such animals fuels the imagination and adds zest to life, even to those who would never visit such a 'full' forest." And, thus, he quips, "If the forest is empty," devoid of its animal sentience, "so is the mind."
And an interesting map of the distribution of European wolves, who are coming back.

January 10, 2011

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Gets Some Ink

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a conservation group for those of us who sometimes feel too "green" among the hook-and-bullet crowd, yet simultaneously are too "blaze orange" for some enviros.

Though not yet large in numbers, BHA has been in the news quite a bit lately. Some samples:
To learn more about the group, you may download the Fall 2010 Backcountry Hunters & Anglers newsletter too (PDF, 3.4 megabytes).

January 09, 2011

Snow Pack Map for January 2011

Here is the Natural Resources Conservation Service's snow pack map for January. If you visit their site, you can see a larger image plus those of past years.

I really need to get out my "vintage" Fischers and go cross-country skiing, but it is hard to be motivated when you don't see any snow out the window. (I live in one of the the tan-colored areas.)

January 08, 2011

Snow on Your Roof: Weight versus Density

A Swedish archaeologist ponders the issue of snow on his nearly flat roof.

My question is how anyone got away with building those houses in Sweden, even in the 1970s!

January 05, 2011

It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's a Zionist Plot!

Israeli university researchers band a vulture and attach a GPS transmitter to it to see where vultures go.

Ignorant of national boundaries, the bird flies into Saudi Arabia — where it is arrested as a spy.

Sharks can be spies too, say the Saudis. Spies! Spies!

January 04, 2011

Turkeys for Science

If these turkeys are going to walk right under the bird feeder, then I am counting them for Project Feeder Watch!

January 03, 2011

A Scout Camera Reveals that my Brain is Gone

In late June 2010 I placed a scout camera on a faint game trail just into the national forest from my home and got these bear pictures.

Then—stay with me here—I placed the camera there again. Only I did not.

I went back a month later and could not find it. M. and I were both perplexed. She walks on that part of the forest more than anyone does, and she said that no one ever visited that spot on two feet.

But maybe some persistent hunter scouting for archery season had indeed gone there.

The camera was gone. No strap. No miscellaneous pieces. It was not like the time earlier in the summer when a black bear sow left a scout camera in pieces.

It had to be a person who took it. That meant I had lost two cameras in three months.

Then today M. comes in from a walk and says, "I had to detour to avoid your scout camera."

"What scout camera?" I asked.

"The one between our house and R.'s house."

"Does it have a camouflage pattern on it?" I asked.

She said that it did. I began to feel the sands of my self-hood shifting under my feet.

I walked up that way. I could not find it. There was a camo-painted bird house up that way. Had she glanced at it and thought that its round entrance hole was a lens? (The birds, however, have ignored it. As usual.)

She came back from walking Shelby the collie. "Are you sure you saw a camera?" I asked.

"Follow me."

We walked out the back door, up the hill, through the brush (not to the bird house), and there it was. The missing camera. The one that I had gone back twice looking for any trace of, even once bringing her along to help.

It was not over there on the national forest, it was here, on R.'s property technically, but he would not care.

I had completely forgotten it. Instead, I had constructed a whole mental narrative of placing this particular camera at the trail crossing where I had photographed the bears. Then I went back and found it "gone." Because it was never there.

Maybe I need a rocking chair and a nice nurse to bring me a cup of soup.

The camera, meanwhile, had been in place for seven months, but its rechargeable batteries had died after three weeks. It had 29 images, nothing special.

Since there were no good images on my camera, you may visit the Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera newspaper web site and see some taken by a Colorado State University grad student.

The Denver Post picked up the story, eliciting this comment: "Why not set the cameras up in Boulder Canyon on the cement game trail to study the Lycralopes and Spandeer?"

Spandeer—We don't have as many of those right here, but you see them out by Pueblo Reservoir.

Die Volkswagen ist die Jägerwagen

When Dad got a Volkswagen Type I in 1956, he treated it like an off-road vehicle. Maybe he had seen the Kübelwagen when he was in Germany at the close of World War II. (You can sitll buy a replica Kübelwagen in New Mexico.)

Here it is on a South Dakota antelope hunt with his friend Harry Linde, a Black Hills sawmill operator and frequent hunting partner, sitting on the front bumper.

January 02, 2011

Eating Invasive Species

In some quarters (such as certain large, metropolitan newspapers), the whole "locavore" concept has cast hunting in a new, more favorable light. Not just for knuckle-draggers anymore, in other words.

Combine that with a concern about ecosystems and invasive species, and you have "eating invasive species."

Now if only some high-profile chef would laud the culinary wonderfulness of grilling with tamarisk, like the "mesquite-grilled" craze of a few years back.

Uncaffeinated and Unprovoked

With the new year, Patrick Burns has announced that he is hanging up his shovel at Terrierman, the blog about working terriers, marketing scams practiced by veterinarians, the evils of the dog-show world, and other items often written at dawn under the heading "Coffee and Provocation."

He says that he "may be back a year from now," but I don't know if that means in dog years or people years. I'll miss Terrierman.

January 01, 2011

Hardly Auspicious

Denver Post photo of AdAmAn Club members starting up Barr Trail.
I was at a New Year's Eve party last night where when one person mentioned going out at midnight to watch the fireworks shot from the top of Pike's Peak, someone else already knew that the traditional display had been canceled this year due to weather.

Members of the AdAmAn Club (because they "add a man" annually) "had to turn back just a mile from the summit."
Pikes Peak Ranger Jay Vickerman told The Gazette that temperatures were 25 below zero [F.] and winds hit 70 mph.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Pikes Peak fireworks had ever been canceled before.
In my memory, they were always fired, even if into heavy clouds.  The pyrotechnics themselves are hauled to the summit by truck in advance of the event, while club members just carry their own personal gear up on the Barr Trail.

Funny how the cancellation of an event like that makes you feel like something has gone subtly wrong with the cosmos.

You Think It's Cold

Ben Franklin published the following in one of his Poor Richard's almanacs in 1748:

We complain sometimes of hard Winters in this Country; but our Winters will appear as Summers, when compar'd with those that some of our Countrymen undergo in the most Northern British Colony on this Continent, which is that upon Churchill River, in Hudson's Bay, Lat. 58d. 56m. Long. from London 94d. 50m. West. Captain Middleton, a Member of the Royal Society, who had made many Voyages thither, and winter'd there 1741–2, when he was in Search of the North-West Passage to the South-Sea, gives an Account of it to that Society, from which I have extracted these Particulars, viz.

The Hares, Rabbits, Foxes, and Partridges, in September and the Beginning of October, change their Colour to a snowy White, and continue white till the following Spring.

The Lakes and standing Waters, which are not above 10 or 12 Feet deep, are frozen to the Ground in Winter, and the Fishes therein all perish. Yet in Rivers near the Sea, and Lakes of a greater Depth than 10 or 12 Feet, Fishes are caught all the Winter, by cutting Holes thro' the Ice, and therein putting Lines and Hooks. As soon as the Fish are brought into the open Air, they instantly freeze stiff.

Beef, Pork, Mutton, and Venison, kill'd in the Beginning of the Winter, are preserved by the Frost for 6 or 7 Months, entirely free from Putrefaction. Likewise Geese, Partridges, and other Fowls, kill'd at the same Time, and kept with their Feathers on and Guts in, are preserv'd by the Frost, and prove good Eating. All Kinds of Fish are preserv'd in the same Manner.

In large Lakes and Rivers, the Ice is sometimes broken by imprison'd Vapours; and the Rocks, Trees, Joists, and Rafters of our Buildings, are burst with a Noise not less terrible than the firing of many Guns together. The Rocks which are split by the Frost, are heaved up in great Heaps, leaving large Cavities behind. If Beer or Water be left even in Copper Pots by the Bed-side, the Pots will be split before Morning. Bottles of strong Beer, Brandy, strong Brine, Spirits of Wine, set out in the open Air for 3 or 4 Hours, freeze to solid Ice. The Frost is never out of the Ground, how deep is not certain; but on digging 10 or 12 Feet down in the two Summer Months, it has been found hard frozen.

All the Water they use for Cooking, Brewing, &c.. is melted Snow and Ice; no Spring is yet found free from freezing, tho' dug ever so deep down.—All Waters inland, are frozen fast by the Beginning of October, and continue so to the Middle of May.

The Walls of the Houses are of Stone, two Feet thick; the Windows very small, with thick wooden Shutters, which are close shut 18 Hours every Day in Winter. In the Cellars they put their Wines, Brandies, &c. Four large Fires are made every Day, in great Stoves to warm the Rooms: As soon as the Wood is burnt down to a Coal, the Tops of the Chimnies are close stopped, with an Iron Cover; this keeps the Heat in, but almost stifles the People. And notwithstanding this, in 4 or 5 Hours after the Fire is out, the Inside of the Walls and Bed-places will be 2 or 3 Inches thick with Ice, which is every Morning cut away with a Hatchet. Three or four Times a Day, Iron Shot, of 24 Pounds Weight, are made red hot, and hung up in the Windows of their Apartments, to moderate the Air that comes in at Crevices; yet this, with a Fire kept burning the greatest Part of 24 Hours, will not prevent Beer, Wine, Ink, &c. from freezing.

For their Winter Dress, a Man makes use of three Pair of Socks, of coarse Blanketting, or Duffeld, for the Feet, with a Pair of Deerskin Shoes over them; two Pair of thick English Stockings, and a Pair of Cloth Stockings upon them; Breeches lined with Flannel; two or three English Jackets, and a Fur, or Leather Gown over them; a large Beaver Cap, double, to come over the Face and Shoulders, and a Cloth of Blanketting under the Chin; with Yarn Gloves, and a large Pair of Beaver Mittins, hanging down from the Shoulders before, to put the Hands in, reaching up as high as the Elbows. Yet notwithstanding this warm Clothing, those that stir Abroad when any Wind blows from the Northward, are sometimes dreadfully frozen; some have their Hands, Arms, and Face blistered and froze in a terrible Manner, the Skin coming off soon after they enter a warm House, and some lose their Toes. And keeping House, or lying-in for the Cure of these Disorders, brings on the Scurvy, which many die of, and few are free from; nothing preventing it but Exercise and stirring Abroad. The Fogs and Mists, brought by northerly Winds in Winter, appear visible to the naked Eye to be Icicles innumerable, as small as fine Hairs, and pointed as sharp as Needles. These Icicles lodge in their Clothes, and if their Faces and Hands are uncover'd, presently raise Blisters as white as a Linnen Cloth, and as hard as Horn. Yet if they immediately turn their Back to the Weather, and can bear a Hand out of the Mitten, and with it rub the blister'd Part for a small Time, they sometimes bring the Skin to its former State; if not, they make the best of their Way to a Fire, bathe the Part in hot Water, and thereby dissipate the Humours raised by the frozen Air; otherwise the Skin wou'd be off in a short Time, with much hot, serous, watry Matter, coming from under along with the Skin; and this happens to some almost every Time they go Abroad, for 5 or 6 Months in the Winter, so extreme cold is the Air, when the Wind blows any Thing strong.—Thus far Captain Middleton. And now, my tender Reader, thou that shudderest when the Wind blows a little at N-West, and criest, 'Tis extrrrrrream cohohold! 'Tis terrrrrrible cohold! what dost thou think of removing to that delightful Country? Or dost thou not rather chuse to stay in Pennsylvania, thanking God that He has caused thy Lines to fall in pleasant Places.

Thy Friend to serve thee,

The part about "stopping the Chimnies" gives me the willies. It is amazing that they did not all die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Yet only six years before, Franklin himself had invented the Franklin Stove, still not terribly efficient, but a step in the right direction. He deliberately did not patent it, so that other inventors would improve upon it.