August 1, 2016
My son and his wife are visiting and love nature, so
we finally took the canoe out for the first time this year. But
first we explored Blanchard Lake (about 7 miles away), which seems a
bit bigger than the Mill Pond and is on private land, but you can fish
or hunt or walk there if you sign in at the ranch house first. We
were the only people there...
It wasn't particularly good for birding today, but a canoe or bringing Butters along would have made it excellent...
Then I worked hard in the pottery, glazing two bisque loads and
throwing 30 or 40 more... So after an early supper we took the
canoe to the upper end of Spirit Lake.
Bingo! There was a moose. This young moose was feeding
about 30 yards away from us on the underwater plants, and ignored our
We went walking in Q'Emiln Park in Post Falls today, which has canyons
carved by ancient glacial floods, so it was a good location for a new
When I moved to the west, I thought there weren't any wrens, but since
getting more into birding we've seen several species, and now the
We canoed Upper Twin Lake today. always a natural treat. I finally got a good photo of a trumpeter swan...
I proposed a trip to Kelso Lake for canoeing, but we ended up stopping
at Granite Lake by mistake (they're about a mile apart). We
canoed around looking for birds, but it was very quiet. It's
surrounded by granite cliffs...
At one end were the remains of an old trestle rail bridge, with the
mainline of the BNSF railroad behind it making the desolate graded
area. The caissons were surrounded by a double layer of wood
walls, making it look like odd temple ruins...
This is the view of the granite ridge above the lake, with the gravel
road access cutting in from the right, and a small boat access near the
red spot marking our van.
There's a very small camping area across from the lake, and we'd read
there were rock wrens there, of which this one might be a baby.
So here's the second new western wren, the rock wren. It worked
its way across the talus slope where we followed trying to get the
Here's the link to my annual photos from our local bluegrass festival: 2016 Bluewaters
Ok, so if you're not interested in musician photos, here's the pelican photo from the nearby lake:
I particularly enjoyed this year's festival because a longtime musical
inspiration performed there, Jody Stecher and his wife Kate
I first heard his second album when I was the folk music dj at St.
Olaf's NPR radio station around 1975. I started learning some of
the songs he did, and am still learning some... I told him I was
a 40 year fan and had saved up a couple questions (most of which I
probably used to know the answer to. I'd heard that he'd recorded
a folk icon on a field trip, and learned it was guitarist Joseph
Spence, who inspired Ry Cooder to record several of his songs on his
great "Jazz" album. I also asked if he had a connection to
the Grateful Dead, since I thought he was living in the bay area at
that time and was into the same American roots music as the Dead.
I learned that he did play in a short lived band with Jerry Garcia
called the Asphalt Jungle Band, when visiting there in 1964. He
also played several years with Peter Rowan's band, who later
joined Garcia to form Old and In the Way... I also learned
from the workshop and concert I attended that he met his wife Kate in
Spokane at the Expo 74 world fair, and some fun details from his
experiences with Utah Phillips, who was also there and moved to Spokane
With highs in the mid 90's, I haven't been going for many walks, but I
took Butters up on the ridge this morning, and in the shady woods some
of the late flowers of summer are still blooming, like these
asters... The sun was dappling the flowers, but it was still a
long exposure for hand held photos: 1/20 sec.
We've been taking care of two mother cats and their 9 kittens since
nearly the 4th of July, so the time has come to place them, which is
nearly complete except for the two we're keeping:
We slowly gave all the kittens names so this is Two Face and Big Guy,
but we may come up with permanent names later. If it held still
it would be fun to get two profile views of Two Face...
We went on a 5 mile hike up Brickel Creek today, but didn't see anything amazing, so here's another cat photo:
Kangaroo by Curtis Chen. Fun SF spy novel, more in the thriller
than space opera variety. My son says Kangaroo has a bag of
Justice Denied by JA Jance. I liked this, but shy away from Jance
due to using to many characters for this bear of little remaining brain.
The Broken Gun by Louis L'Amour I wasn't sure I'd like a
modern western tale, but he added enough mystery and old fashioned gun
shooting, as well as the obligatory lovely single ranch gal that seems
to be his favorite muse...