White Wolf Mine Report

I have tried in vain to record mountain lions howling at night when they are in heat. Same with the bobcats – even though their cries are softer. The wolves howl and so do coyotes.

The lions have run off the bobcats that used to hang out and accept milk a cracked egg and a little honey as a snack. I only know this because I cut for sign in the area.  The bobcats surrendered the territory.  This has caused me to eliminate snacks. I really don’t want the lions any closer than they already are.

On the game camera 2/16, two days ago.

I rarely see antelope in the south forty, but yeah, sometimes. Seeing a bison would be very rare. I’ve heard that they occasionally stray this far from the Raymond Ranch Herd, but haven’t seen them this far south. As with the antelope, they prefer more open country.  I’m also waiting to capture the photo of a jaguar. Arizona is the only US state with jaguars and while neighbors have had game camera photos of them, I have not.

Big Horn sheep do pass, through closer to the house than where the photo above was taken. They live in the Clear Creek Gorge area (about a-mile-and-a-half south) for the most part.

There are distinct herds of deer that I see regularly. I have names for the herds. One particularly playful herd, the Highway Deer, hangs out near State Route 87 and play chicken with passing cars. I see them doing it so often, the same deer, that I think that they do it for sport. They’re mule deer (as opposed to the whitetail deer we have here too) and are very nimble when it comes to dodging and weaving.


Legio III Gallica Passes Through

(The Daily Beast) In 1987 some clusters of mysterious graffiti found on the walls of Pompeii’s theater tunnel were published in an academic journal. They did not make much of a splash. After all, next to the brightly colored and pornographic frescos of the tragic city’s brothels and the remains of people and animals frozen in time and volcanic ash, inscriptions seem almost boring. But they might actually be Pompeii’s best-kept secret and one of its greatest mysteries… more here.


Mongol Military Tactics

“When they come to an engagement with the enemy, they will gain the victory in this fashion. They never let themselves get into a regular medley, but keep perpetually riding around and shooting into the enemy. And as they do not count it any shame to run away in battle, they will sometimes pretend to do so, and in running away they turn in the saddle and shoot hard and strong at the foe, and in this way make great havoc. Their horses are trained so perfectly that they will double hither and thither, just like a dog, in a way that is quite astonishing.

Thus they fight to a good purpose in running away as if they stood and faced the enemy because of the vast volleys of arrows that they shoot in this way, turning round upon their pursuers, who are fancying that they have won the battle. But when the Mongols see that they have killed and wounded a good many horses and men, they wheel round bodily and return to the charge in perfect order and with loud cries, and in a very short time, the enemy is routed.

In truth, they are stout and valiant soldiers and inured to war. And you perceive that it is just when the enemy sees them run, and imagines that he has gained the battle, that he has, in reality, lost it, for the Mongols wheel round in a moment when they judge the right time has come. And after this fashion, they have won many a fight”

-Marco Polo on Mongol Military Tactics


Laid down: 10 February 1941 – USS Growler (SS-215), a Gato-class submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy named for the growler, a large-mouth black bass.

Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 2 November 1941 and sponsored by Mrs. Lucile E. Ghormley, wife of Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, Special Naval Observer to the United Kingdom. The boat was commissioned on 20 March 1942 with Lieutenant Commander Howard W. Gilmore in command.

On 5 August 1942 Growler began her second and most successful war patrol, entering her area near Taiwan on 21 August. Two days later she conducted a submerged night attack on a freighter, surfacing to give chase when both torpedoes ran under the target and failed to explode; the freighter’s quick exit into shallow waters prevented Growler’s gun attack. Patrolling amidst a large fishing fleet on 25 August, Growler sighted and fired at a large passenger freighter but all three torpedoes missed; after a three-hour depth-charge attack, in which some 53 “ash cans” were dropped, Growler surfaced and almost immediately spotted a convoy. After two hours of maneuvering, she failed to catch up with the main body of the convoy but did fire at and sink an ex-gunboat, Senyo Maru. No more ships appeared in this immediate area for three days, so Growler shifted to the east side of the island. First to fall victim was Eifuku Maru, a 5,866-ton cargo ship, which Growler sank within 40 minutes of first sighting her 31 August. On 4 September Growler sank Kashino, a 10,360 ton supply ship; three days later she sent two torpedoes into the 2,204-ton cargo ship Taika Maru, which broke in half and sank in two minutes. On 15 September Growler cleared her patrol area and arrived back at Pearl on 30 September.

Growler’s 11th and final war patrol began out of Fremantle on 20 October 1944 in a wolf pack with Hake (SS-256) and Hardhead (SS-365). On 8 November the wolf pack, again headed by Growler, closed a convoy for the attack, with Growler on the opposite side of the enemy from Hake and Hardhead. The order to commence attacking was the last communication ever received from Growler. After the attack was underway, Hake and Hardhead heard what sounded like a torpedo explosion and then a series of depth charges on Growler’s side of the convoy, and then nothing. All efforts to contact Growler for the next three days proved futile. The submarine, a veteran of seven successful war patrols, was listed as lost in action against the enemy, cause unknown. Possibly she was sunk by one of her own torpedoes, but it is probable that she was sunk by the convoy’s escorts, destroyer Shigure and coastal defense ships Chiburi and CD-19.

Growler received eight battle stars for her service in World War II.

A fictionalized and resequenced version of the ramming attack by Growler on her fourth patrol features prominently in the John Wayne movie, Operation Pacific.


HMS Crocodile

HMS Crocodile was returning home from duty in India and, having sighted the Scilly Isles early in the evening of 8th May 1784, set a course to take her up the English Channel. Before long the weather became hazy and, by nightfall, there was a thick fog.

Just before 3 o’clock the next morning, Crocodile ran hard aground on the rocky foreshore at Prawle Point, near Salcombe, South Devon, with such force that her commander, Captain John Williamson, who was not on deck at the time, thought that he had collided with another vessel.

When it became apparent that the ship had stranded, every effort was made to pull her off the rocks but to no avail. As a last resort, even her masts were cut away, but she would not budge; with seven feet of water in the hold and his ship in imminent danger of toppling over as the tide ebbed, Williamson reluctantly gave the order to abandon her. All of the crew were saved and most of her stores were successfully salvaged; however, Captain Williamson was criticized at his subsequent court-martial for not ordering soundings to be taken when inshore in heavy fog and he was officially reprimanded.


Interstate Highways

Those with 2-digits traverse the entire country

If they end in “0” they run East-West (10, 20, 30, ..)

If they end in “5” they run North-South (5, 15, 25, ..)

Those with 3-digits are bypasses and contain the last 2 digits of the interstates they bypass.



  1. It’s a shame about your family of Bobcats but hopefully they are OK and you may get another family visit at some time. You live in a beautiful place that is perfect to witness wildlife. I would have cameras set up everywhere and no doubt get myself into some sticky situations trying to get photos of jaguars!

    Growler – really? And also you can’t say things like “take her up the English channel” especially not over here. Not unless it’s being used in a limerick. I thought this was a family blog?

    Your roads are very sensible. Grids, blocks and straight lines. However, as an English person driving over there I found being told to go East or West a bit mad. I’m used to going left or right and weaving through roads that go in many different directions.

    So which is the best road to travel on to go across various states and see the best scenery?

    • I-70 begins at Cove Fort, Utah. I don’t know if you’ve visited that site in your travels. It is an actual fort, used as a defense against Indians. But there is nothing around it. Still, the beginning of I-70.

      I-80 travels from the Pacific, over the Sierra Nevada range and has some spectacular scenery as well, but it’s all in. what you want to see.

      Finding Jaguars is not easy here. Tracking them (bigger than mountain lions – allegedly) is a challenge. The big cat tracks, some very big, turn out to be mountain lion’s paw prints.

      • Cove Fort was a LDS enclave. While I haven’t been there for awhile, there were cabins to the Southwest where sister wives lived. Church member were present as guides and insisted on accompanying you.

        • I recall going on a tour and feeling let down that there wasn’t more warfare involved. I go to forts to learn about sieges, flaming arrows, grapeshot fired at assaulting troops or whomever.

          • Many “forts” in the West were built in a manner to discourage pilfering, something the inhabitants, both native and European descent, were adept. Their main function was trading posts. Bent’s Fort in Otero County, CO comes to mind. It was an important stop on the Sante Fe Trail.

    • We had an entire car company called “Hummer” a while ago, too. The US is very inconsistent about these things.


        • I like “circles” (as we called them back in the day on the upper East Coast). On the way to the Jersey Shore the – much larger than modern “roundabouts” – Somers Point circle encompassed a great eatery, The Point/Pearl’s Diner. Unfortunately tradition means nothing to traffic engineers and bureaucrats, in 2019 it was raised for “improvements.”

          Had a meeting with the county engineer suggesting if they use roundabouts “make them large enough as most people can’t comfortably navigate smaller diameter ones.” They made them tiny.

          • Per a County Deputy friend, roundabouts don’t lower intersection crashes. What they do is lower the speed of the crashee”s vehicle.

    • I took the Sandhills Scenic Bypass off of I-80 one time.
      That region has a lot of small lakes, so you can come over a rise and see mist coming up off a lake while ducks and geese are taking off for the day.
      It’s also ranch country as well.

    • A growler is a container in which you take home beer from the brewpub. What’s wrong with that? Hmm te tum tum, let’s have a look….

      The best roads for seeing the country are not the big interstates. But FWIW the prettiest stretch of superhighway in a dense-population setting is 280 from San Jose to San Francisco.

      >go East or West a bit mad
      I’m used to that, but the problem I have is that here in East Massholia, “east” is synonymous with “ocean-ward” while “west” means “inland”. On the Pacific coast it’s of course the opposite. Out on the Left Coast I sometimes get confused thinking “must head toward ocean” and reflexively take the east-bound exit.

  2. It isn’t just ending in 5 or 0, it’s odd or even. Generally the first digit of an non 5 or 0 Interstate refers to the 5 or 0 Interstate that it serves. Thus, I-93 and I-91 are associated with I-95, I-84 is associated with I-80, I-78 with I-70, etc.

    3 digit interstates are either bypasses or spurs. Ones starting with even numbers are bypasses, ones starting with odd numbers are spurs. 3 digit interstates also duplicate in different States, so there are multiple 295s, etc.


    • Completely true. I didn’t want to get too far in the weeds. Then there are state routes/highways and they add more confusion to the mix.

        • In some counties, they letter rural roads, so you’re on A Road in Yavapai County and when it crosses into Navajo County, it’s C Road (as an example).

          British highways seem to follow the Roman Roads.

  3. I agree that not leaving treats out for the lions is prudent.

    I hope their territory shifts eventually, and your bobcats can return.


    • It’s the old squeeze play. They’re bigger and compete for the same territory as the bobcats. There are a lot of lions here. There are also bobcats, and I don’t know how the pecking order works precisely. Having a reliable source of food made it a go-to for the lions.

  4. Regarding the Mongols, besides the mounted archers, they had heavy cavalry that would charge in right as everything was messed up. Lances, heavy horse, heavy armor, the whole thing.

    • After their conquests in China, they also campaigned with Chinese heavy articulated infantry and Chinese artillery. They were a truly combined arms force. The horse archers were always their favorite and their mobility, legendary, but the need for combined arms was still accounted for.

  5. That’s quite a variety of critters. My back yard here in Preskitt is Acker Park so I get a bit of that but not nearly as much. I do set up a trail cam but it is mostly javelinas. One of those big cats would be quite the sight. I do have to look first before walking out to my patio at night lest I find myself in a javelina herd.

    • I’ve seen javelina near some summer cabins several miles from my place, but never here. It doesn’t mean that they couldn’t come here if they wanted to, but I have yet to see them or javelina sign. I live very remotely so there isn’t humanity getting in the way of the animals. Also, it’s difficult to know if you see the SAME mountain lion five times or five lions once. If you know where Jack’s Canyon is (north from HWY 87) about seven miles from the fire station, I’ve had encounters there too. The spot is popular for mountain climbers to repel from the cliffs.

      I live closer to the Clear Creek Gorge and they seem to like the area. Heavy ponderosas, bedrock, not much underbrush.

  6. Do the mountain lions feed on the bobcats? I would guess the answer would be “if they’re hungry enough.”

    Here in the flatlands we have bobcats and the Florida panther subspecies. A park I cycle to regularly is bobcat territory and I’ve seen one, once, but I would bet you could spend a lot of time trying to see a panther and never succeed.

    • I don’t know that a healthy lion could catch a healthy bobcat, all things being equal. The bobcats are not small, but they could climb higher on a ponderosa than a mountain lion. I know that the lions can climb – they’re cats. From what I’ve observed, they prefer a ground game or finding a perch since like all cats, they’re ambush predators.

      As I mentioned above, the area where I live is grassland and tall ponderosa pines, with some oak and junipers thrown in. There is remarkably little underbrush. 1,000 years ago it was all grassland. The ponderosas are an invasive species of sorts. At lower altitudes, as the growth zones change, you see more brush. Obviously there are big cats there too, but they are easier to spot here.

  7. We have both here, waxes and wanes who’s in the lead, so we teach the barn cats to go in at night, Bobcats hate domestic cats. As for lions, here in Colorado the Lefty’s are working hard to undermine hunting and cattle ranching…lion and bobcat’s are next on their list, and they lost round one. The smart one’s out here in the hinterland say “Go for it, see how that works out for you.” They may change their tune when Fluffy gets snatched off the back porch, leaving the leash. Then again, they can’t think normal.

    Growler: (h/t to Jules for sparking the memory)…a few years back the Top Gear boys reviewed a new supercar, The Growler. As usual the conversation descended into crass British hilarity, especially when James May said “some day a bloke’s gonna say, I’m going out to wax the growler.” 12 year olds inside, like most males.

    • When I lived in SoCal, a friend of mine had been paid to do a mountain lion study in Coal and Gypsum Canyons. Anyone traveling from Corona to Anaheim along SR 91 will be very familiar with the area. This is a relatively urban area. The canyons to the south of the freeway and Yorba Linda (city) to the north. Maybe 5 million pass along the freeway during a 24 hour period.

      He reached out to me and I did the study with him. We found NINE mountain lions living in a five square mile area. That’s not ranging through, but living there. A natural spring in coal canyon made it a mecca for local wildlife and the cats used that as their hunting ground. This is in Orange County, CA – not a wilderness area. The big cats go where they want to.

      The study prevented the Hahn Corp. from building in Coal Canyon. I don’t know what it looks like now.

      • They do, which is why I usually leave the twilight hours to them, otherwise “head on a swivel” and keen listening. If the horses come running back to the barn we know something “larger” is traveling past.

        • Horses will see, smell and hear them long before we humans do. Horses especially fear grizzly bears. We don’t have them in Arizona. We make do with the Mogollon Monster.

    • Boulder, CO seems to be lion territory with the cats coming right into people’s yards. Suggests a “woke” getting woke.

  8. I know they’re in this general area, but not down here in the city. The in-laws up in the canyons see lions and wolves, along with deer (yawn) and an elk once in a while. Bears and foxes are here, and I’ve seen bear scat at the place we first lived at.

  9. Point of order. Pronghorns are not antelope; they are a unique species unrelated to any other species in the world.
    The pronghorn is a species of artiodactyl mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America. Wikipedia
    If people want to call them antelope, so be it.

    • I’ve always called them antelope. While I don’t disagree with you, at this late point in my life, I doubt that I’ll start calling them artiodactyl mammals. It’s a lot like bison. Despite my knowledge, I call them buffalo.

  10. The book, Wolfpack, by Wm. M. Hardy, is supposedly a work of fiction. The attack and the tatics in the book are nearly identical to the actions of Growler’s last patrol. Thrown in are various tidbits from previous patrols, such as a target running to shallow water.

    • Driving a lonely mountain road at night, I came around a bend to see the largest mt. lion I’d ever seen. Seemingly uninterested in my presence was continued loping along the road just a car length ahead in the full brightness of the headlights. Completely understated, I was in awe. After maybe 20 seconds he casually ducked into the brush. A true blessing to have witnessed that magical moment.

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