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Brad's Blog

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August 1
Just a bit of too busy this weekend, with the arrival of my sons and daughter-in-law, two music gigs, running an estate sale for a friend at Priest Lake, selling pots, dealing with the 100 degree heat wave, including smoke from a fire two hundred miles away, and watering the gardens...   There was also the street fair swap meet, which included a bluegrass showcase that was one of my gigs.  The other gig paid in the way that would make me want to be a professional musician, but it was a once a year (if that) proposition...

August 4.
Sunday included a trip to Priest and Chase Lake and hike to Kaniksu Marsh ( which was very dry as is everything else this year...) The smoke from distant fires makes the days murky and sunsets early and red...  So here are the August garden photos:

Here's our squash bed, with some large hubbards peeking out on the left and neon pumpkins on the right, and scarlet runner beans against the garage wall...


The volunteer sunflowers are blooming everywhere, and the first dahlias are blooming.  The background is the local bushes browning out a month or two early...
The tomatoes are also ripening a month early.

The grapes are abundant, and some are even changing color...

Our nicest cluster of trumpet vines...

The sweet corn is over 8 feet tall.  It's still a week or so away from harvest, but this year there's some evidence raccoons are taking interest in the crop.
To the right of the corn are the potatoes, and then carrots...

The red delicious apples are beginning to blush, and the summer apples are nearing full size...

August 10
While my son and daughter-in-law are visiting, there are lots of hikes and canoe rides in addition to pottery business, watering the garden, etc.  The heat went away briefly and is making a rerun in the middle of this week.  One fun but long canoe trip on the Pend O'Reille River didn't get documented by me because my camera battery charge fled at the start.  At least we didn't see any moose...
I did get to one day of the Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival and put up my photos as usual:
http://www.sondahl.com/events/BW2015.html

August 13
We canoed upper Twin Lake today, and got one new bird, Wilson's snipe.  Having my son and daughter-in-law visit makes identifications a breeze...
Later Jonathan and I played for a farmer's market in 100 degree heat.  At least we were in the shade...


August 16
We've had a break in the heat, but it came with strong winds overnight, threatening two communities which are part of our history.  Both Holden Village and Chelan Washington are threatened by wild fires, but probably going to survive.   Kamiah Idaho is also surrounded and the town is evacuated...  Up on the Camas prairie there are large fires burning near our old church at Gifford as well...  The air is continually smoky here, from fires as far away as mid Oregon....  It's stressful, although locally we're doing fine...
My son and his wife concluded their visit with a trip we took to the Bird Aviation and Invention Museum.'

It consists of two airplane hangers on a large rambling estate (including a fantastic garden and orchard, as well as a part of the Bird business).  Both hangars have various aircraft, at times flown by Bird, who flew as a pilot in WWII and developed breathing apparatuses that have become the hospital industry standard.  He maintained an interest in inventing and part of one hangar is a room with memorabilia from various inventors and short life stories of them...  To me it felt a bit like getting to glimpse the toy box of one of the 1 per cent, but it was all very interesting...

August 18




The sunflowers are still blooming, but the early ones have gone to seed, and attract nuthatches, chickadees, and goldfinches (not shown).
Last week Butters had surgery to remove a growing black spot in his navel area.  Today the vet called to say it proved to be a freckle.   So he has joined the ranks of many who have had cosmetic surgery (although in his case definitely not elective...)
I'm focusing on pottery this week, throwing over a hundred pots yesterday and around 50 today.  Sales continue brisk...

August 25
The last week has continued hot and smoky, with maps showing the smoke from our area going over most of the US.  The smoke has cut into the summer celebration spirit, but not our local sales.   
The garden continues to do well, and the orchard even better, since the drought this year made us more conscious of the need to water the trees.  I picked sweet corn to freeze today, and the pears appear ready to pick any time...

August 30
We had about a quarter inch of rain today, enough to settle the dust and smoke and give a ray of hope to firefighting efforts.   The  high temperature below 70 degrees was also helpful, and the first so cool in months as well as the first rain...
 
Books read and other media of note
The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey.   Unusual for separating into sections of different narration.   Some of the narrations were supposed to be statements to the police, but they read a bit too literary for that, engaging nonetheless...

Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie.  Good as usual for the champion of whodunits.

Waxwork by Peter Lovesey.   A Victorian English police detective story, guessing til the end then guessing about the end...

Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman.   This continues the family business of Navajo detective books.  The plot was fairly good, but the writing seemed awkward, making me reread sections frequently to understand what was said...


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