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Brad's Blog

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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 presence completely...\


August 3

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 bird species:

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 canyon wren...

August 4
We canoed Upper Twin Lake today. always a natural treat.  I finally got a good photo of a trumpeter swan...


August 8
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 definitive photos...

August 14
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 Brislin. 

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 around then.

August 17

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.

 
August 24
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...

August 28
We went on a 5 mile hike up Brickel Creek today, but didn't see anything amazing, so here's another cat photo:



August 29
The takeaway from yesterday's walk was when we stumbled into a yellow jacket nest and found that old people can still run a block or so.  In fact several wasps were still stuck in our clothing trying to get us when we stopped.  We each got 3-4 stings, but two of mine were on the side of the head, causing one side to swell up enough that I could see my cheek constantly out of one eye all day today...    But Brickel Creek is lovely up there, towards its source...


Books read and other media of note
Waypoint Kangaroo by Curtis Chen.  Fun SF spy novel, more in the thriller than space opera variety.  My son says Kangaroo has a bag of holding...

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...



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