Brad's Blog
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June 2
We walked about 5 miles in Farragut Park yesterday, and the most intriguing thing I saw was a giant puffball mushroom, which I thought was a lost soccer ball:

There were 4 or 5 more, and with research I learned they're edible, but I'm happy not to try eating it...

June 3
We hiked the Saltese Uplands today, a 5 mile loop trail with great wildflowers and views of the natural landscape abutting suburban sprawl east of Spokane. 

I've seen these flowers elsewhere but don't know their name... (learned later they are blanket flowers, and there were some blooming later on the old mill site)


This is the view off the uplands, of what was Saltese Lake until farmers in the 1800's drained it for agriculture.  It's now slated to return to being a wetland, helping to feed the local aquifer, and the record precipitation illustrated the start of that process...

June 6

The day started out with a circle around the sun, with an extra arc (to the left):
I used my fist to block the sun, and there are some jet streams to confuse things, but the extra arc is to the left of the central circle...

Then we went to Upper Twin Lake, which now has a common loon:




This Goldeneye mother had a whole train, with 14-15 ducklings...



A young moose cavorted through the native lilies


The yellow headed blackbird was furtive in the reeds.


This pied grebe had two chicks on its back, who would dive when she did...

June 13
Bunchberries are in the dogwood family, and I seldom have seen such nice patches as this year at Priest Lake:

I love their bilateral symmetry--the way the flowers and leaves could be split by a mirror and would still look the same...

  June 14
My son Birrion and I were walking Butters along Tsemini Flats today, when he spied this mountain lady's slipper: I'd just been saying how this particular walk is pretty boring, when he disproved it with this...

  I discovered lady's slippers along the lake road many years ago, but since then there's been an accidental campaign to decimate them.   I used to be able to bicycle along and count 30 or more clumps along the ditch.  Then the county decided to shore up the ditches with coarse rock...  No more lady's slippers.  This spring some kind of pipeline is removing almost all of the remaining habitat...  So I was glad my son found this one, which is alongside the trail and probably safe for a while.  As we went back toward home, one small patch remains where the pipeline work is going on.  Our area is developing rapidly, and although there's still plenty of wildflower habitats in the woods and hills, some environments, like the easily developable Rathdrum Prairie, are almost gone....
I got sidetracked by my tirade.  My son looked them up on wikipedia during our walk and we learned that on this date in 1806 (I think) the Lewis and Clark expedition recorded the "discovery" of the flower, near Weippe, Idaho, near where we used to live...  That was a cool double coincidence...

June 16
I got an idea that cleaning pots for hours (after the outside pottery display has gotten dusted by pine pollen) would be more fun if I videoed it, so I tried a time lapse function on my new camera and filmed various parts of my day today: https://youtu.be/fNq8N6S1Mp8
This was the first one I made earlier today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCcQGrLUOis

June 17


I noticed this nest when I was  walking today, then I noticed it was occupied...
The wild flowers are still coming--paintbrush is just starting, as is syringa

(paintbrush)
June 25

With highs predicted near 90 today, I took a walk by the Mill Pond early today...

Here's a red tailed hawk flying past a robin...

I WAS ATTACKED BY THIS SAVAGE!--no wait--that's just Butters shaking off while still in the water...


Turtles are nothing special to the Mill Pond--they look like this and are often called painted turtles because of their colorful underside (plastron).  Just learned they're a highly invasive species--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eared_slider

But looking through my photos from last week I saw this one, without the smooth carapace.  Maybe a different species...  Neat!


This was a record of 6 painted turtles on one log last week...

June 26
My son Forrest got me a macro (which Nikon calls Micro) lens, which is good for closeup photos.  Usually you need a tripod to keep it in focus, but in sunlight I was able to try it out on some backyard flowers:

This isn't a real close close up, but it was in focus well enough to extract out the bugs and still be well focused:

 





 
Books read and other media of note
  Pawn by Timothy Zahn.   This is more a mystery than a sci fi adventure, with some humans abducted for unknown reasons.  Most of the humans are not easy to identify with, but Zahn makes the story compelling...

Friday by Robert Heinlein.  Heinlein's later works tend to promote apparently his own views of a future of free love, which no doubt helped to sell them but gets in the way of my appreciation of them...  Still he was a very prescient writer...



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