Brad's Blog
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June 1

A year ago I wrote about accidental destruction of habitat for the mountain lady's slippers.  Yesterday we drove along the section of road and were able to see dozens of the plants in bloom, right next to the road in the road ditch, which wasn't disturbed by construction.  One win for the wild things...

June 2
As I was walking up the trail to our cabin after taking Butters for a constitutional (frequent walks are in his constitution, not to be amended),  I looked up to see an eagle circling above me catching a thermal, so I snapped a lot of great photos:

This one had a great background.  The sky was both dappled and clear in places so I could select for a nice background...


Here it is with the clear blue sky...  Bald eagles have made a tremendous comeback in the last 50 years, such that in many places like ours they are commonplace... 
Yesterday we walked up to the ridge to where there's an osprey's nest (they're also awesome to watch, particularly fishing).  As we approached an osprey was circling a tree nearby.   I predicted there was an eagle perched in the tree, and shortly thereafter a juvenile eagle took flight..  Ospreys defend their sky-turf against all comers, particularly eagles...

We don't usually feed birds in the summer, but we're getting so many interesting species like black-headed grosbeaks, and spotted towhees with their young, that we'll keep feeding for awhile...


male black headed grosbeak (taken yesterday)

June 6
Moby was our chief greeter at the pottery shop until Butters took over..  Here's some of his winning style:


I guess it could be a tragedy with a different caption...


These butterflies are currently around everywhere--very lovely...
I've been working on converting a shelter that was just a roof and some posts into a guest cabin.  I've also been thinning the apples in our one red delicious tree for about a week...  (There are a lot of apples in the tree, and they'll be as small as plums without thinning)...

June 13
Usually I go for the rare and wild photos, but recently a pair of mallards have been visiting our bird feeder for the sunflower seeds on the ground...  The male has gone off like the father duck in the classic children's book, Make Way for Ducklings, but we've frequently seen the mother duck visit our yard, as this photo from a couple days ago (after we rejuvenated from an inch of rain)


June 17
After church at Priest Lake we went to eat at Cavanaugh's, on the beach on the east side of the lake...  This was the view...

 The native tiger lilies are blooming up there now, mostly solitary blooms like this one:


We've also started getting a pair of Eurasian collared doves at our feeder


June 20
Pinedrops are an interesting surprise in the forest-tall spindly stocks with berry-like fruit  along the sides.   If you read the linked article you will learn they are also non-chorophyll plants that derive their sustenance from a parsitic relationship with fungi...  They aren't common around here, but I did see some old dried stocks and for the first time the young shoots the other day:

They resemble asparagus, another interesting plant...
When I photograph waterfalls, I'm generally disappointed in the results, since waterfalls are all about 3 dimensionality and motion, and photos don't really capture either of those things.  But above the Hunt Creek Falls are a series of rapids and small cataracts, and this one from the side gives a bit of the sense of space:



June 23
We've been on a family reunion to a stay at a cabin on Priest Lake that was gifted to us...  This is the other end of the lake from the photo earlier this month, in a part called the narrows, since the lake is rather wasplike.  Even the narrows is wider than Spirit Lake at its widest...

This is one of the Twin Islands, about a mile from the cabin.  The days started like this but generally turned to rain, including hail...  The cabin had a duel generator backup that came on for a couple hours after a storm--power goes out frequently up there..

This was the view from the round picture window in our bedroom...


The platform on the pole at left holds a roadkill snowshoe hare which I found at dusk and set out for the resident ravens, one of whom had been nurtured to health by  a previous cabin owner.   By 8 the next morning no sign of the rabbit was left, and an eagle was among the visitors...



near the feeding platforms are nesting boxes for swallows (this, I was told, is a tree swallow)

June 30

There are lots of baby ducks, geese, quail, and robins around.  These are wood ducks that were at the corner of the Mill Pond.

And here's a new bumble bee, bombus occidentalis  once one of the more common bumblebees, now in decline for unknown reasons...


Books
Space Opera by Catherynne Valenti.  Imagine prose so astoundingly packed shredded and toasted with oft redundant technically accurate babble about a  cosmic music composition saving the earth...  Wacky clever...
John Dies in the End by David Wong.  I enjoyed the movie, and read the book to get more flavor and an explanation for the title, which isn't exactly accurate.  Turns out the book was written serial style as a weblog and finally picked up by a publisher and movie maker...
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