Next Year’s Christmas Card

Here’s next years Christmas Card, and this year’s, just a little late.

Merry Christmas, and Best Wishes To You and Yours…

 

Photograph of Mule Deer buck feeding outside of the window in colorado with christmas tree and ornaments in foreground
A Rocky Mountain Backyard View. Photo by Greg Vitale.

 

Michael Patrick McCarty

The Origin and History of The Giant Runt Pigeon

I am currently researching the history of the Giant Runt Pigeon and it’s breeders in The United States. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who raises Runts, or from anyone who has any knowledge of any of their descendents and family members who may have bred and raised them. From what I can gather, they were brought into this country sometime in the 1700’s. Any information or leads you can provide would be greatly appreciated, including any reference included in old books or periodicals that you may be aware of.

In addition, I am also researching the origins of the King Pigeon in the United States. And, last but not least, I am interested in the history of the squab farming industry in New Jersey.

Please send any information to Mike at thebackyardprovider@gmail.com

 

Hold On!

A Rocky Mountain Goat Clings Precariously to the side of a vertical mountain cliff, while searching for a mineral lick.
Hold On, Hang On! Some Perspective On What It Means To Never Give Up!

 

“Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your life, even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, even if someday I’ll be gone away from you”.

— A Pueblo Indian Prayer

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As many of you know, a mountain goat can perform some miraculous feats while living their everyday lives in the extreme and mostly vertical world of their home habitats. For them, every step can require unwavering courage in the face of uncertainty and ultimate disaster.

Sometimes…that’s exactly what it feels like to be a seeker of truth, and a prepper…

Somehow, for better or worse, this photo looks much too much like the road I’m on…

You?
Michael Patrick McCarty

Cowboy Medicine – An Outdoor Brew For You

 

Photograph by Frank M. Donofrio of Glenwood Springs Colorado

 

January 21, 2013

I am often struck by the power of photographs, and the way they can transport us in time and space, sometimes backwards to a place of fond memories, sometimes forward in anticipation of future adventures. I found such a picture tacked to the bulletin board of our local feed store, and I thought I would share it with you.

Exactly why it caught my attention so dramatically I do not know, but it stopped me in my tracks as I reached for the exit door. I stepped closer, and as I did it drew me deeper and deeper into that perfect recorded moment of experience. Perhaps it reminded me of a past hunt, with the excited chatter of friends or family nearby. Maybe you, like me, can imagine elk in the background and  just out of view, hanging on the edge of the timber on their way to cover or feed.  I can feel the crispness of the air there, and smell the smoke in the swirling winds. I can smell and taste the coffee too!

This wonderful image was captured by Mr. Frank M. Donofrio of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He calls it “Cowboy Medicine”, and he has been kind enough to let us reproduce it here. It is an unexpected comfort, and a gift for the eye of the restless soul.

Frank tells me that he snapped it a few years back, on a mid November elk hunt in the spectacular high country near Aspen. He says it was a cold, blustery day, and that in his hunter’s wanderings he happened to meet up with a woman in her later years and her middle-aged son. They told him that they had grown up nearby and were quite intimate with the country, having hunted it all of their lives. They were happy to share some of their hard won backcountry knowledge, and more.

The son offered to build a pot of coffee to help stave off the numbing chill, right there and right then. Frank gladly accepted. After all, the company was fine, and the view was pretty good too.

Apparently, the man liked coffee of the cowboy kind, brewed simple, black, and strong. The recipe is not complicated, but ask anyone in the know and they will tell you that it’s proper preparation is still a fine art, freely given, yet earned on a life of many trails.

Start with a healthy slug of water, freshly drawn from a sparkling mountain stream. Bring to a roaring boil over a fire of spruce and pine, and throw in a handful or three of coffee grounds as you back the hissing pot from the hottest part of the flames. Let it simmer down a bit, and then throw in a splash of water or two or maybe a fist-full of snow to cool it down. Take it from the fire and set it on the ground awhile to let the grounds settle, but not for too long.

It’s always best served piping hot, and there is something to be said for a dose of grounds in the mix. The old cowboys used to say that you could tell when it was right when you could stand up a spoon in it. It’s about texture too, and if you look real hard you can see them there, squinting past weathered brows while chewing on their coffee behind big handlebar mustaches. Or at least I would like to think so.

Now kick back and wrap your hands around a steaming mug of mountain medicine for warmth and moral support. Enjoy the ride. Savor the moment. It’s the doing of it that counts and where you are that matters.

That place be elk country, and there is no finer location on terra firma to drink a’ cup a’ Joe.

I wish to be somewhere just like this next fall, god willing, squatting behind a cowboy fire on a rugged ridge of the Rocky Mountains. There may even be some horses close by, nickering and pawing in the soft white powder.

We’ll keep an extra tin cup in the outfit, just for you. Hope to see you there!

 

*I have always heard references to the fact that the old-time ranch cooks would not think of forgetting to add a raw egg or some egg shells to a pot of their boiling brew. It turns out that this is true, as the egg or eggshell attracts sediment like a magnet and makes for a cleaner presentation.

Well, I have tried adding the eggshell, and it does work. For now I’ll withhold judgement as to whether this makes a difference in the taste, but it might. I haven’t tried the raw egg yet, but in the camps I generally inhabit a raw egg is a much too precious commodity to mix in my morning caffeine. But I don’t mind being wrong, and I shall try it sometime soon.

Of course if I do that will mean that I have shared another elk camp, and that would be more than fine.

I’ll be sure to let you know how it all works out.

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You Might Also Like A Late Night Postcard

Michael Patrick McCarty

 

 

Coffee Up Boys!

A Late Night Postcard

Rocky Mountain Neighbors

I arrived home past midnight last night, to find a small herd of elk feeding in an open pasture to the west. My neighbor keeps his horses here, and I have an unobstructed view of it from our house on the hill. I spotted them as I walked over to our dog kennel on the fence line, and as I studied them I saw a big cow raise her head, just to let me know that she was watching me too.

I don’t suppose I will ever tire of seeing elk. They have a way of taking over the conversation, you might say, to make you pause in mid sentence when you spy one, to make you completely forget whatever you had been doing at the time, as if the world is a mere background created just for them. It has always been this way between the elk and I.

They looked particularly surreal this night, quietly feeding on a blanket of fresh, white powder, surrounded by the mystical light of a high, full moon. I am struck by the picture quality of it all, the sharp crispness of the image frozen in the cold night air. I can only smile. It is a perfect moment in time.

What Lies Ahead…

My dogs knew they were out there, of course, being that they were no more than 100 yards away with just some old wire to separate them. They had probably been watching them for some time, waiting for me to come home, whining nervously, and wishing they could run over and join up. The elk, for their part, paid us no mind, as they pawed in the snow. They had seen this show before and are not as impressed as us.

We see quite a few elk around our property when the snows grow formidable in the high country. It is one reason to look forward to winter. They especially like to feed at night in a large hayfield below us, and at first light they bunch up and head for the cover of rougher grounds and cedar trees on the properties and public lands to our North. To my everlasting delight, they like to cross one small corner of our property as they leave the hayfields, and if we are lucky, we get to watch. I often sit in an overstuffed chair behind our big picture window, waiting, hot coffee in hand, enveloped in the approaching day as the rest of the world wakes up.

A Gift of Winter

We have seen herds of one hundred elk and more, although smaller groups are most common. One morning I sat transfixed as a herd of about fifty or so lined up to jump the fence at the edge of the field below our house, then crossed our field on a run and passed along our fence line next to the house. I counted seventeen bulls, some small, some large, surrounded by foggy breath when they stopped. I can see it in my mind’s eye, just now.

At times, a small herd will bed down for the night under our apple trees. Once I looked out to see several lying contentedly in the sun, with freshly laid snow still shimmering on their backs. I’ve seen them browsing in the remnants of our flower garden or standing next to our birdbath, and I wave and say hello. Welcome, I say, and good morning to you.

Last night, I reach my door and turn one last time to watch the elk and try to lock this image in my memory bank for all time. It is the quintessential Rocky Mountain postcard, a picture postcard for the soul, and I wish I could send it out to you, to all, with good tidings and cheer.

I don’t suppose I shall ever tire of seeing elk….

 

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Michael Patrick McCarty

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Moon Over The Mother Rockies

A Rocky Mountain Stocking Stuffer

Bringing in the Game. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

December 21, 2013

Just in Time For Christmas Dinner.

Oh Joy To The World!

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Food Freedom – and Wild Meat Too!

Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also Like The Way It Ought To Be

 

“The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information”. – Edward Abbey

A Special Christmas Message

For those around us who would like to ban Christmas and the holiday celebrations, and along with it my Right To Bear Arms (not necessarily in that order)…I have only this to say –

 

Infowars christmas meme photo winner 2015, which is a take off on the famous picture of marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, but in this case the flag is replaced by a christmas tree
A New Take on Come and Take It!

 

Any Questions?

Merry Christmas, and to all, a very good year…

See More About This photo and The Infowars Christmas Meme contest in the video below.

 

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also Like  Our Post Tarantulas…and Other Monsters

A Book of Home – And Life

“…We have not only regarded home itself as an institution of nature, but in the treatment of almost every subject we have tried to involve the exposition of some related natural law, because every relation of the home life is the outgrowth of some law of our nature and our surroundings. It has been our aim to make this book a scientific treatise on the various phases of the home, and in this respect, so far as we know, it stands alone.” – From The Preface

 

Front Cover Our Home Or, The Key To A Nobler Life. By C. E. Sargent
Come On In

 

Here Offered:

Our Home Or, The Key To A Nobler Life. By C. E. Sargent. Published by King, Richardson, & Co., Springfield, Massachusetts and Des Moines, Iowa, 1889. About 6″ x 8″, with 432 pages and several full page illustrations.

With chapters on the nature of the home, influences, childhood, home training, rewards and punishments, amusements for the home, education of our girls, and boys, books for the home, self culture, resolutions and individual rules of life, manners, family secrets, duties, economy of home, courage to meet life’s duties, leaving home, the widow’s home, the old-fashioned home, and much more.

Bound in decorated cloth. In Very good condition, with some general rubbing and cover wear.

$50 plus $4 shipping U.S. 

 

Front cover decorations Our Home or, The Key to a Nobler Life Sargent, C. E.
A Nobler Life

 

Illustration Our Home or, The Key to a Nobler Life Sargent, C. E.; The First Botony Lesson
The First Botany Lesson

 

Illustration Our Home or, The Key to a Nobler Life Sargent, C. E.; In the Library
In The Library

 

Illustration Our Home or, The Key to a Nobler Life Sargent, C. E.; The Shaded Retreat
The Shaded Retreat

 

Books Spoken Here – and Writing Too!

See our Catalog of 7,000 Used, Collectable, and Rare Books Here

You can search by author, title, or keyword, and more.

View  the complete list HERE.

Still can’t find it? Please let us know. We may have it, in the backroom.

Michael Patrick McCarty, Bookseller

huntbook1@gmail.com
Paypal or Personal Checks accepted.

Hopefully Standing, Is Sometimes Enough

sheriffclarke1

Today, much to my surprise, I saw Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., of  Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, in my favorite Colorado breakfast spot. I even surprised myself when I took that opportunity to stand up and cross the room to say hello, and shake his hand.

For those that don’t know, Sheriff Clarke has been Sheriff of Milwaukee County since 2002 and is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a staunch proponent of self-defense and Second Amendment rights, and a champion of law enforcement done the right way. In 2013, Clarke was awarded the Sheriff of the Year Award by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, for “demonstrating true leadership and courage…staying true to his oath, true to his badge, and true to the people he has promised to serve and protect.”

He is a Hero to me, with a capital “H”, and I told him just that. Sheriff Clarke and I had never met before, and probably will not meet again. He had no idea who I was, nor had any reason to know. Not, in the end, that it really matters.

But I know a patriot and an ally when I see one. I have listened closely to the words of Sheriff Clarke whenever I could, and have found his message to ring true. My gut tells me that he is a good man, and real. Our meeting, chance and inconsequential as it was, has only reinforced that belief.

My only real intention, if there was one, was uncomplicated, and unplanned. Perhaps I looked quite foolish, standing there, in a somewhat awkward and deferential position, while the rest of the restaurant crowd looked on.

But I wanted him to know that I, for one, knew who he was, and that I appreciated what he stood for, and what he did, everyday,  for me, and for others. As you might imagine, that is usually more difficult than it sounds.

In my opinion, “We The People”, have much more to worry about than the common criminals and predatory intruders of the backyard and home. Those more obvious threats I can handle, for as the saying goes, “I don’t call 911”. In that scenario I fully intend to be the last man standing, and I will call, if and when whatever happens, happens.

What troubles me most is more insidious, and dangerous.  I wish that it was not so glaringly obvious that our constitutional rights and personal liberties are being attacked from every imaginable angle. I wish that I did not feel the need to point out that things seem to be escalating, daily. More than likely, you have already figured that out for yourself.

It is people like Sheriff Clarke that also protect us from the other bad things that slither and slather in the night, whether we know it or not. He is part of that largely unseen group of people standing on the front lines, working to preserve our rights to do what we wish to do in our home, and our backyard. They are the last line of defense before we have to take matters in our own hands. He knows, and we know, that we will do that if we need to, though we all pray that it won’t come to that.

Pray that it does not come to that.

I wish that I had done more than stand and say thank you to Sheriff Clarke today. I wish that I had an opportunity to say more than  I did. But I did stand, and that is much better than not.

Men, and women, like Sheriff Clarke, need our steadfast support. They need to know that we are paying attention to the things done by an over reaching government without our consent, and that our patience is wearing precariously thin. Our quiet, though measured resolve to preserve the best parts of our way of life should never be mistaken for weakness. No doubt he knows that, much more than most.

We have your back Sir, of that you can be sure.

I am proud that I stood, today. I stood, hesitantly, but…hopefully. Hopeful, that things in the world are not going to go the way I am afraid that they cannot help but go. Hopeful, that people like Sheriff Clarke will continue to stand, for me, and for us, and that others will also rise.

One way or the other, I will be counted. Perhaps today, the simple act of standing, and giving thanks, meant something. Perhaps a heartfelt effort from a common man, however small, was just enough. Just enough to help turn the tide of a country heading in the wrong direction. Just enough to help steel the hearts of heroes like Sheriff Clarke, and others, and the heroes in all of us.

I salute you, Sheriff Clark, …again.

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Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

Read More About Sheriff Clarke HERE

Protect Your Food Freedom! – Support The FTCLDF

Protect Your Access to Farm-Fresh Foods & Raw Milk
Support the network that supports you and your food choices
 
Steve Keno holding one of his lambs
“Farm-to-Consumer is so fortunate to have Gary Cox and I’m very fortunate that they came to my rescue.”     – Steve Keno
This Colorado rancher was facing thirty days in jail and $5,000 in fines for allegedly violating a court order that prohibited grazing his sheep on public lands. He had already spent a week in jail and paid a $1,000 fine for contempt while representing himself before FTCLDF became involved in his case.
“I highly recommend FTCLDF to represent those who are concerned about food quality [and] run into issues [with] ‘overzealous’ compliance officers.”     – Arlin Bender
Arlin had moved from New York to Wisconsin to be closer to family. Having over twenty years of experience as a butcher/meat-cutter, he began doing custom butchering in Wisconsin. “After we were here about a year…[a DATCP official] informed me that what we were doing was illegal. For the next 1½ years we were harassed by DATCP, and dragged through the court system, without actually being charged with any violation.” 
 “Approximately one month after we joined FTCLDF, Elizabeth Rich, who had been assigned my case, called and told us that DATCP is doing a lot of backpeddling. In another month, we were able to make settlement with DATCP.” 
Angela Bedient and her son
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund was there for us when the USDA ordered more than 1,500 lbs of our custom processed beef to be destroyed.”     – Angela Bedient
This New York livestock farmer had mistakenly stored custom meat that was mislabeled at a facility inspected by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of USDA. “FTCLDF’s President Pete Kennedy worked with us and with Congressman Tom Reed’s office to save our products…FTCLDF was instrumental in convincing USDA regional officials to release our meat. There is absolutely no doubt in our mind as to the effectiveness of FTCLDF’s advocacy.”
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund was formed eight years ago to support and defend farmers and consumers from these kinds of government actions on the federal, state and local levels. 
Whether by providing legal representation through FTCLDF lawyers, funding local attorneys on the ground or offering consultation and education, we are there to level the playing field.
We advocate for family farmers, homesteaders and artisan food producers in the courts, the legislature and agencies to help these small-scale producers make a living without government regulations getting in the way of serving their communities.
Attorneys for FTCLDF work at reduced rates to keep members facing enforcement actions from having to exhaust their resources on legal expenses. Many issues are resolved at the administrative level, saving thousands in potential court costs and consulting fees.
In the past year, our work has included:
  • Fund General Counsel Gary Cox winning a settlement for North Dakota farmer Glendon Philbrick whose crops were damaged by overspray.
  • Working with Fund members and others to pass bills increasing access to raw milk in five different states.
  • Providing funding for case expenses of Virginia member Anthony Bavuso who won a lawsuit protecting his right to farm oysters on his property.
  • Working with Representative Tom Massie’s office on the development and introduction of the PRIME Act (HR 3187), a bill increasing access to pastured meats.
  • Gary Cox winning a settlement for livestock farmer Neil Perin on a matter related to a local slaughterhouse botching Perin’s order.
These are just some of the accomplishments of FTCLDF’s attorneys in 2015.
We here at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund need your financial support to keep on fighting the good fight. Our goal remains to establish and protect your right to obtain the foods of your choice from any source you choose even if that source is not regulated by the government.
Prefer a tax-deduction? 
Those wanting to donate who don’t want a tax deduction can use this link
Without you we would not be here. Many thanks for your support and your belief in our mission.
Respectfully,
FTCLDF Team
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Who We Are / What We Do

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods.Learn more About Us

The Voice of the Local Food Movement on Capitol Hill & State Houses Around the Country
The Voice of the Local Food Movement on Capitol Hill & State Houses Around the Country

Contact us and let us know how we’re doing. We’re experimenting with a new format. Does it make it easier for you to share information and pass it along to others?

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

A Journal of Honest Food, Freedom, and The Natural World