WHAT WAS & WHAT IS. The receding snow on the prairie hillsides is down to just a few deeper stretches after this span of above-freezing highs. While today may be the last trip above freezing for a while, no significant snow is forecast – but winds will be back, so watch out for those flying hub and flip-over ice shacks. We take a look at receding boundaries in today’s Three Things, as we examine the historical ranges of some of North America’s game.
(Featured Photo: Melted and refrozen pheasant tracks adorn the crusted top of a decreasing snowbank near Bismarck. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Fri 1/26 – Winds return. Hi 34, Lo 24, Winds NW@22, G33.
Tomorrow: Sat 1/27 – Steady cold. Hi 20, Lo 15, Winds NW@18, G 25.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 8:13AM Sunset: 5:38PM
Moonrise: 1:11PM Moonset 2:56AM
Overhead: 8:35PM Underfoot: 8:07AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (70% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 7:45-8:45 AM. Get out on the ice for sunrise, as moon underfoot, a cold front and the least windy part of the day will combine for a powerful Edge Hour. The bite will stall quickly after that as gales return.
(NEARLY) SEA TO SEA. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has an amazing map that shows the current range of North America’s elk subspecies and where the nearly 10,000,000-strong population once lived throughout the continent. Can you imagine the contiguous landscape covered by wapiti in places like New York, south Georgia!?
HOWLING HISTORY. Mission: Wolf has another great historical – and predictive – map of where the wolves once ran, and where their range has been expanding over the last couple of decades. The group devoted to the protection and rescue of wolves (and horses, go figure?) goes so far as to predict where wolves could return, given the right habitat and management.
BEARS WERE HERE. This United States Geological Service (USGS) map shows the once widespread range of grizzly bears throughout the American west. Now, only isolated populations in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are all that remain of a population that went as far east as Central Texas on up the Missouri River. This distribution lends further credence to the story of frontiersman Hugh Glass, who was mauled by a bear just south of the ND/SD border on the Grand River, and despite life-threatening wounds and infection, made it all the way back to Ft. Kiowa, some 200 miles away.