Brad's Blog
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July 1
Here's the latest Sondahl Pottery promo: https://youtu.be/IPzOvFOpaQo

July 2

This was the sunset last night.  I learned this morning that it was a shower up by Priest Lake...

July 5th
The 4th is always super busy for us, at the pottery shop as well as with the parade and the park.  I pretty much repeated myself this year in the parade--riding the bicycle playing harmonica while holding a sign advertising the music and fun in the park.  This was the best attended parade that I can remember, with people even lining the last block of the parade, which usually only has a few... The parade has a route that features a death spiral at the end, winding back to the parade route, which causes gridlock and the parade comes to a standstill.  This year I pointed out to a few vehicles they were at the end of  the parade and could turn the other way, which freed the bottleneck and (IMHO) saved the parade!

The bunting clad youth in this photo have won the best adult winner's mug twice in a row, perhaps mostly because of their rather audacious dance routine...


After the parade a group of musicians came to provide music, sometimes with me (mostly on harmonica).  This half of the group includes the two ladies on the left that won (or placed) at the Weiser old-time fiddle competition in twin fiddling...


The other half include the Fosses (in front) that live along the lake and organized it.  With the big turnout and pleasantly hot day a splendid time was guaranteed for all...

July 6
Here is the forecast from the National Weather Service:

I include this because they've started using the icons to simplify the forecast (or perhaps for non readers, although how they'd get to the site is another question).  Also it's a sign of the times that 95 or 92 just rates a "sunny" icon but when it hits 96, that's "hot."  In my mind hot starts around 80...

July 7
We picked a 5 gallon bucket full of peas yesterday, and spent a couple hours shelling them for eating and freezing...  There's a second planting which will hopefully yield more in spite of the heat...
The strawberries are finishing up, and the first red raspberries were spotted yesterday.  The cherries are gaining color but it will be a week or two till they are ripe.   I froze spinach last week, and there is more on the verge of flowering to be picked...
    Meanwhile we sold more pottery in the first week of July than in all of June, so the shelves are showing some bare spots, thus I'm producing about as fast as I can.  The limitation is the two kilns and the drying time necessary before firing... Lately I'm firing both kilns every day...
    Today right in town I saw a small raptor (kestrel?) being harried by a flock of swallows, and realized it had a swallow in its talons...  The swallows were helpless to do anything, but showed remarkable communal response to the attack...

July 8
With the hot weather Butters hasn't gotten so much exercise, so I walked him around the Millpond today...

By the time we were half way around he sat in the water here for 5 minutes without moving... Meanwhile all the good photos came by...

A great blue heron flew by very close...


Shortly after an eagle did the same...
We all went for a swim when we reached the side with the park and public access.  They were both very busy, especially being a hot weekend in July. 
The whole area is jumping, with new buildings and new businesses getting announced nearly every day.   Adding to the clutter, a new store, Clutter, is opening where the icecream/video store had been, promising found items, made items, and home items.  It's a shaky time to be in retail, as  buyers flock to  Internet shopping.  But fortunately for us our combination of local handmade  is still much in demand...

July 9
By this time in the summer, I still appreciate the wild flowers, but I'm too busy to photograph them. Last evening in a north Idaho Facebook group, there was a discussion about a flower called Pine Drops.  It reminded me of one I've seen which I called Pipsissewa, probably because I saw the name in a wildflower book years ago.  But it led me to wonder what Pipsissewa looked like, so I looked at the Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimaphila_umbellata, and I would have sworn I've never seen it before.   Then today I was walking Butters along Lamb Creek and I saw that same flower and took a photo to add it to my flower photo collection:
 

July 11
We revisited the Camas Prairie and Clearwater River region yesterday for a funeral.  We lived there for about 9 years in the last century...  There were many familiar faces, but we've all aged nearly 20 years.   The house we lived in when serving the Lutheran parish is now a thrift shop, benefitting the local community...
It's a farming area, with few camas flowers left on the prairie, where the Nezperce used to come and harvest the camas bulbs to use as a staple flower...

The Bitterroots rise in the misty distance...


On the way back we drove along and swam in the Clearwater, a river that exists solely in Idaho, joining the Snake at Lewiston...  An old rail track runs up one side, and a federal scenic highway on the left...

July 13
These ducks swam towards Butters as he got in to cool off, and he ignored them and got out when cooled. Cool.


July 15
Here are some garden photos:

This is the broccoli and cabbage bed (with a volunteer potato and poppies on left and sunflower on right, . You will see a lot of volunteers) We've only gotten a handful of broccolis so far, and they tend to be small first heads, but we eat the side shoots until November.

This bed is roughly in the shape of the state of Idaho. At front right the volunteer poppies are blooming in the strawberry bed.  To the left are volunteer sunflowers growing with carrots, onions, beans, and chard, and in the right corner our sweet corn section.


This moth was resting in the raspberries when I went to pick them in the morning...  I forgot to take photos of the main garden because I was waiting for better lighting... Another day...

July 21
This week we wanted to support the proposed Scotchman Peak Wilderness by attending a public meeting, and decided to get up close to it by going up Trestle Creek Road and coming down Rapid Lightning Creek Road, which is adjacent to the wilderness.  Unfortunately a bridge washed out this spring so we were left just staying on Trestle Creek.  It was about a 15 mile dirt road drive up a beautiful canyon to our destination of Char Falls...


We explored the cataracts of the upper falls first.  It looked like it kept going up forever, but after about a block it turned into a normal mountain stream...



I followed the rough trail along the upper falls, and stopped to sit on a handy rock to photograph part of it. Butters photobombed...


Yoda and Indiana Jones showed up as well...


The main falls is best viewed down a steep path to the area below it.


My son Birrion brings a tripod and filters and got some very lovely artistic shots.  My picture of him has mist making it pointillist...
On the way down the mountain we saw some smoke ahead, and a Dept. of Lands firetruck was pulled in by it, with one woman on duty.  It was a fire about 8 feet in diameter on the upside of the road, which seemed to be reduced to smoke, so we assumed it was put out.  But perhaps it was a "prescribed fire" where they allow the burn to create natural firebreaks in the forest, because later we'd heard it had grown to 30 acres...  To me it seemed likely a fire started by a cigarette butt, due to being so close to the road...
   
Books read and other media of note
 Ark by Patrick Thomlinson   A combination mystery suspense save humanity from extinction type book, very engaging.



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