The beauty and humility of collecting

We spent a day hunting along a dry backbone of mountain at the edge of the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, a 2.4 million-acre mosaic of healthy growth and apocalyptic burns that ominously portend the future of Western forests. It is home to hundreds of wolves and vicious wolf extermination campaigns, pyramidal heights and v-shaped canyons. I gazed into its depths and crossed the border a few times. It was enough to win me over, and promise myself I would come back.

I hunted alone the final morning to the trip, with little success. I was in Nez Perce territory, the steep prairie and ponderosa country east of Hell’s Canyon bordering Highway 95. Not far beyond, the Palouse agricultural belt beckoned, with many hours separating me and home. I lingered for a while at a modest monument marking the site of an ambush in the Nez Perce War.

Science can be monotonous, frustrating and poorly compensated. But after the right kind of week in the field, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else.

Article Source: Burke Museum