Author: Melissa

American Bison

By Melissa Wynn               Few animals are as regal to behold as the great American Bison, also commonly referred to as the buffalo. Standing five to six and a half feet tall at the shoulder and weighing in at up to a ton leaves these fuzzy boulders with legs unrivaled in size and power.  This largest of all land mammal once wandered the Great Plains and much of North America in herds numbering in the millions. It must have been truly amazing to have lived in that age when these bovine beasts carpeted...

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Smart’s Wagon Train Coffee Shop +1530.587.7574

Smart’s Wagon Train Coffee Shop By Melissa Wynn After a peaceful nights rest atThe Truckee Hotel, General Manager Tim Tonachella suggested we try breakfast at Smart’s Coffee Shop, 10080 Donner Pass Road. He said it was his personal favorite and I soon discovered why. Dining at this unusual establishment is part extraordinary down home cookin’, part comedy sideshow and part mountain history museum visit. Entering the building we were enveloped in the aromas of frying bacon and creamy gravy. Antique lanterns and cast iron skillets hang from the ceiling. Simple wooden tables are set with the basics. Traditional red...

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Fisher- The Porcupine Predator

Fisher- The Porcupine Predator By Melissa Wynn The fisher, also known as a North American marten, is a dark brownish member of the weasel family. Some individuals have a cream colored patch on the chest and the legs and tail are always black. Their long slender body is optimum for hunting in tree hollows and ground burrows. All 4 paws have 5 toes with semi-retractable claws that make tree climbing a breeze for these agile hunters. Fishers are the largest of the marten family ranging in size from 4 to 9 pounds with males being nearly twice the size...

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Have You Ever Seen a Wolverine?

By Melissa Wynn Wolverines are a little studied cousin of the badger. It was long believed that there was no population of these illusive creatures in the Sierra Nevada , with no confirmed sightings since the 1920’s. Quite by mistake, wildlife biology graduate student Katie Moriarty from the Oregon State University photographed one of these rare carnivores, with a remote controlled camera, in the Tahoe National Forest on February 28, 2008. Confirmed populations of wolverines are known to be in the Northern Cascades in Washington and also in the Northern Rockies of Montana and Idaho. Before the photograph was...

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