The weather is up to the 80's, one of our family swam today (not me),
after a hike we made up Brickle Creek, the main tributary of Spirit
Lake. We started late (after 4 pm) which dampened our enthusiasm
to cross the deep cold stream to reach the falls, but the wildflowers
were fine throughout the hike, including many yellow violets, trillium,
calypso and mountain ladyslipper orchids.
This was a new one--white violet, Viola Canadensis, growing along the stream bank.
There were lots of calypsos, but this one was in the sun...
This bunchberry (dogwood family) was the first I'd seen in years...
at the lake, this snail was found, a surprise in that we'd never
noticed snails in the lake before. Not sure if it's an invasive
We went swimming for the first time yesterday, and
it was cold, like the bigger lakes are all summer, but tolerable, and
would have gone swimming again today but a mostly dry thunderstorm came
through in the afternoon with lower temps following.
The garden is now all planted except a second
planting of green beans I hope to make, and I spent part of
the morning thinning apples. I'm trying a new organic spray
(called Spinosad) for both apples and cherries, and would have applied
a second spraying today but for the wet forecast... If it works
we'll have a large crop of cherries. The apple trees are mostly
in an off year, although we'll have plenty anyway. We had a 3
foot diameter patch of volunteer spinach which we harvested today when
planting potatoes, and it filled 3 plastic grocery bags. We've
been eating lots of salads and creamed spinach, and quiche is likely to
follow, although the chickens have not been most productive (two of
them are broody, steadily sitting on empty nests).
June 4 I saw an ad on Craigslist last night and now we have a 3 year old Golden Retriever:
great looking, amiable, pulls a bit on lead but knows a couple
worthwhile commands. He's with me constantly and it's a bit
stressful but fun. I haven't heard him bark yet, but I expect
he'll figure out his territory and assert it sometime. The cats
are uneasy, but he's ignoring them. The family we got him from
also gave us a dozen fertilized eggs so our two broody hens will have
something to set about...
I've been very busy walking Butters, the new dog. His name was Butterball, which probably described him better as a pup...
Here he is in action, running along the old railroad grade above the Mill Pond.
Yesterday we got a ride up Priest Lake on a pontoon boat as part of
sprinkling ashes of a church acquaintance. So here is a photo of
The island is West Twin Island, the mountains are probably called the Selkirk range, and may be partly in Canada.
This is the time of year when our garden usually looks best. The
columbines are in fine form (as well as some of the peonies), but a lot
of the flowers were dug up in fighting the weeds this year, so it's
pleasant rather than stunning...
The dog Butters enjoys frequent walks on the beach, swimming, and
staying close to me. He is very good at obeying commands like
come, sit, stay, and shake (generally offers his paw whether you ask
him to or not). I walked with him around the Mill Pond yesterday.
We flushed a turkey that flew up into a tree.
In the week and a half I've had Butters, I've lost 3 pounds from the
frequent walks. This was one of my arguments for getting a dog.
Today, however, I left him at home with a clay workshop for our Cagni
group. I was one of two presenters, on the topic of plates, and I
enjoyed learning about hump and slump molds (which I've never used),
and as usual impressed them all with my speed of throwing, if not with
useful information which they could use at home. It's still a
small group, totalling 11 at today's event. A new local clay
instructor from North Idaho College attended, and we plan to tap him
for the next workshop.
I spent a share of Father's Day shoveling manure at the church in the
rain. If we hadn't had church I might have watched the lawnmower
races in front of the pottery, but it's a toss up for
Last week I neglected to mention a small project of changing a sliding
door into a door that pulls open like a regular door. It had
gotten stickier over the years, and the truth is that a regular door is
effortless compared to opening a sliding door. So I added some
strips of wood and a magnet from a computer hard drive to keep it shut,
and it's mostly done except a bit of weather stripping before winter.
It was getting seriously dry here, but we've had a lovely all day
rain, probably yielding an inch or more, which puts pressure off of
garden watering for a few days. The recent wetter weather
slowed down pottery drying to the point that I had a half dozen pots
blow apart in the latest bisque fire, in spite of holding it for 3
hours at 200 degrees to try to get them dried out. I have to
learn more patience in drying...
The weather is back to warm, after the 1.25 inches of rain a couple
days ago. I've been thinning the carrots and corn in the
mornings, which have far fewer mosquitoes than the evenings.
Sales have heated up with the weather.
Today Jonathan and I played music for a couple hours at a nice home
garden as part of the Spokane Garden Club tour. No one
listens carefully, but everyone is nice, so a splendid time is
guaranteed for all.
Butters remains a great dog. I got him neutered this week, and he
rebounded like it never happened, I'm teaching him a couple new
commands. "Free" means he's free to romp, having removed his
leash. He's a great romper. "Turn" lets him know he's
taking the wrong track when he's loose, and he seems to pick up on my
arm signs as to which way to go.
The lake is still pretty cold, but the weather in the nearly 80's
beckons us in, and after a hundred yards or so circulation seems to
resume in the extremities.
We're getting strawberries and one cucumber from the garden. This
year we underplanted spinach--a couple short rows are just starting to
grow. Everything else is looking great.
Acting as a responsible pet owner, I got Butters neutered last
week. He seemed to be fine, and enjoyed running and swimming, but
over the weekend it became clear there were problems "back there." So
now he's got antibiotics and a week of the "cone of shame." He
puts up with the cone with a lot more tolerance than I would.
News flash--the fertile eggs we were given with Butters the dog have
hatched--now we've got to figure out how to keep the chicks safe from
Butters and the cats..
I did music for the Perry Street Farmer's market yesterday. It
was raining as I set up, and drizzled for an hour or so. My
bassist buddy didn't appear--I'd forgotten to check in with him on the
day of the event, and by the time I figured out he wasn't coming, I
decided not to call him and jerk him around last minute... So it
sounds like a nightmare scenario, but it all worked out fine. The first
time I checked the time it was 2 hours and 45 minutes into the 3 hour
gig. I got a lot of positive comments and tips. The market
has doubled in size from last year, and it seems like that's breathed
new life into it... I'm looking forward to my other scheduled gig
there later this summer...
We got half an inch of rain from the showers, which has postponed my organic spraying for a couple days...
We got our tool shed converted to chicken coop ready for the 3 new
chicks, the 6 old hens, and the two pullets who will have to coexist on
the other side of a fence until everyone recognizes everyone else as
one of the flock. Good fences make good neighbors, and this one
was designed to keep the small chicks inside, in case boisterous
Butters is feeling his oats, which he generally is...
Books read and other media of note:
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A
fun prequel to Peter Pan, with a bit too much passing around the
McGuffin from evil hand to hand, but giving an interesting twist
to the familiar tale.
Young Adults by Daniel Pinkwater He manages to capture the uncomfortable truth of young adulthood--alienation, affected coolness, cliques, with humor...
13 at Dinner by Agatha Christie
the master of red herring sets out in the first paragraph to say that a
chance phrase spoken by a stranger turned the whole case, leaving the
reader watching those chance phrases, and following a brilliantly
challenging murder case.