A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Idaho Falls Chukars’

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on October 3, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2056; A Landing A Day blog post number 474.

 Dan –  Oh my.  It finally happened.  It took a 5/5 string, but my Score has finally dipped below 150 thanks to this landing in a long-time USer . . . ID; 48/56; 6/10; 2; 149.9.

 I think I’m going to dedicate an entire post to the issue of breaking 150, but first things first.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in map shows that I landed near the city of Idaho Falls (through which flows the Snake River):

 landing 2

Rainfall runoff from my landing takes a circuitous route to the Snake:  I landed in the watershed of Willow Ck (my 26th stream with “Willow” in its name and the 14th “Willow Creek”); on to Sand Ck (my 29th stream with “Sand” or “Sandy” in its name and the 9th “Sand Creek”); on to of all things a river, the Blackfoot R (2nd hit); finally to the Snake (73rd hit); to the Columbia (146th hit). 

 Note:  I didn’t talk about streams with “Black” in it, because it was my second landing there.  I only talk about stream names when it’s the first time for a particular watershed.  That’s just the kind of guy I am . . .

 My GE shot shows that I landed in a large irrigation circle:

 ge 1

Backing out considerably, it looks like I landed in an upland area, where agriculture is not as successful (read profitable) as the lowland areas (closer to the Snake), likely due to poorer, dryer soils.  Down closer to the Snake, there are more likely rich floodplain soils (good for growing potatoes, no doubt).

 ge 2

This, about Idaho Falls, from Wiki:

In 1891 the town voted to change its name to Idaho Falls, in reference to the rapids that existed below the bridge. Some years later, the construction of a retaining wall for a hydroelectric power plant enhanced the rapids into falls. In 1969 the largest irrigation canal in the world, the Great Feeder, began diverting water from the Snake River and aided in converting tens of thousands of acres of desert into green farmland in the vicinity of Idaho Falls.

 The above provides even more of an explanation for the fertility of the area near the Snake vs. the drier area where I landed.

Here’s a picture (from Wiki) of the “Idaho Falls,” with a Mormon Temple in the background.  Oh yea, I forgot to say that Mormons founded the town that that this part of Idaho is very Mormon . . .

wiki idaho falls

I couldn’t find much of significant interest about Idaho Falls.  I also checked out “Ucon,” (a bizarrely unique town name), but couldn’t find anything about it.  Any locals out there know the story behind the name?

Back to Idaho Falls, I did notice that there’s a minor league baseball team there – the Idaho Falls Chukars.  And what’s a Chukar, pray tell?  Well, it turns out a Chukar is a very cool bird, native to Idaho.  Here’s a picture, from the Idaho Fish & Game commission:

 chukar--michael-woodruff idaho fish and game

Speaking of the Chukars, it’s time for me to check my son Ben’s MLB.com blog, to see what he has to say about the Chukars.  As you may know, Ben writes about Minor League Baseball, and his blog (Ben’s Biz Blog) takes a light-hearted look at the business of Minor League Baseball.  Ben’s blog about the Chukars features (what else?) potatoes.  Click HERE, and you can read all about the Chukars big “Potato Night” promotion. 

What particularly caught my eye was the following excerpt (Ben’s words in black print):

 The first pitch was, of course, a potato:


Moonlighting catcher Ivor Hodgson apparently decided to stash a potato in his back pocket, perhaps in a bid to later replicate the infamous Bresnahan Potato Incident:


Hmmm.  The Bresnahan Potato Incident?  What’s that?  Well, Ben referred his readers to The Baseball Requilary (BaseballRequilary.org).  Here’s an excerpt from their site, explaining the incident:

In October of 2000, the Baseball Reliquary acquired for its permanent collections what is believed to be the actual potato thrown by former minor league catcher Dave Bresnahan in one of the classic stunts in baseball history.

In August of 1987, Bresnahan, then a 25-year-old second-string catcher with the Williamsport (Pennsylvania) Bills of the Class-AA Eastern League, decided to liven up a meaningless late-season home game.  Before the game, Bresnahan peeled and sculpted a potato in the shape of a baseball.

Behind the plate in the fifth inning, with the potato concealed in his mitt and a runner on third base, he threw the potato wildly past his third baseman, hoping the runner would think he made an errant pick-off throw. The play worked to perfection. The runner at third trotted home, and Bresnahan tagged him out with the baseball.

An umpire retrieved the potato and awarded the runner home for Bresnahan’s deception. The following day, Bresnahan was fined by his manager and then released by the Bills’ parent club, the Cleveland Indians, for what they perceived as an affront to the integrity of the game.

It turns out that Dave became quite the celebrity.  As for the potato, it was retrieved by the umpire, who then tossed it in the trash.  A teenage boy retrieved it, and preserved in a jar of alcohol.  Many years later, the now-attorney owner of the potato offered it to Cooperstown, who turned up their noses at the offering.  He then offered it to the Reliquary, who gladly received it.  Here’s a picture of the potato (from the Reliquary site):

 potatoBy the way, a “reliquary” is defined as a religious container for sacred relics.  The Baseball Reliquary is a quirky museum of some of baseball’s sacred relics (that don’t quite make it to Cooperstown).  It’s in Los Angeles County.  Here’s what Wiki has to say about it:

The Baseball Reliquary (founded in 1996) is a nonprofit, educational organization “dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities.” The Reliquary organizes and presents artistic and historical exhibitions relating to baseball.

Back to Ben’s blog, something else that caught my fancy:

Finally, TWO HOURS worth of potato-themed music was played over the PA. Prior to the promotion, I suggested to [media relations direct John ] Hadden that the following song be incorporated. He assured me that it was.

Ben is referring to Weird Al Yankovich’s “Addicted to Spuds.”  I laughed out loud when I saw the You Tube video.  I’ll present two versions, first a live version, and then the album version, with the words posted (which I recommend).

Here’s the live version:


 And the album version, with words:


 I’ll close with a Panoramio picture of the Snake River near Idaho Falls, by IdahoDon:


That’ll do it.




© 2013 A Landing A Day

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