went looking for this calypso orchid, one of which I'd seen in bud a
few days ago. I almost didn't see it--they're only about 3 inches
high... It was a delightful day for a ramble--60 degrees and
sunny... I saw turtles, a bald eagle, and red necked grebes.
There were also yellow violets (a blurry one is in the
background, Richardson's geraniums, and lots of shooting stars, but the
grass widows are limited to the northern side of the ridge... The
camas is getting ready to bloom but I didn't see any open...
After church we stopped at the Priest Lake Visitor Center, having seen
in a booklet on Priest Lake hikes there were a couple hikes originating
there... They start right behind the kiosks, but there's no
mention of the trails on the kiosk. Anyway, our chosen hike was
to Kaniksu Marsh. I joked that this was the marsh they
named the local national forest after, then later learned on the kiosk
(for the umpteenth time) that Kaniksu was the native word for black
coats--the Jesuit missionaries... There was a 2.5 mile loop hike
to the marsh, which is what we intended when starting, but it was a
nice warm day, and when we got to the end of the marsh, we decided to
bushwack around it and go back the way we'd come. The marsh was
probably a half mile wide by a mile long, so it added a couple miles to
our hike... This is Kaniksu marsh, looking south from the north end.
A redtailed hawk soon appeared, frequently calling, and once flying down onto the marsh briefly...
saw this leech (roughly backwards S shaped in the middle of the photo,
on top of some appendage like leaves) which was about 4 inches long,
come sidling up as we felt the water... Fortunately it didn't
I think these were ring-necked ducks...
we got to the south end, we saw a muskrat in this waterway (not in this
photo) which separated a peat moss and grassy left side from more caney
right side. Since we had first seen the marsh from the far side
of this, we walked barefoot across the left side. The water
channels were sometimes only 2 feet across but 3 feet deep... We had
the whole walk to ourselves, and there weren't even any jet trails in
the blue sky. It felt like wilderness, but was only a half mile
from Highway 57, so we'd hear the occasional car pass by... The
hike took around 3 hours. A tornado-like windstorm had knocked
over a lot of trees in one section of the marsh a year or two ago, so
the going was fairly rugged...
got our manure delivered yesterday, and I spread a lot of it today, but
not before this quail perched on top of it, with the raspberry canes
This is when it briefly landed on the water... These
are the images I caught of a roughly pigeon sized bird that flew around
in circles over the lake today and landed a couple times on the water.
I've included all the admittedly poor images hoping someone can
identify the species... My
daughter-in-law suggested it might be a pigeon guillemot, which is a
seabird common on the Pacific Coast, but several hundred miles out of
its typical environment.
When I was growing up we had a print of Harvey Dunn's "The Prairie is
my Garden." (Harvey Dunn may be the most famous South Dakota
painter, which is why you probably haven't heard of him... (This link to an image of the painting)
Growing up in Brookings, S.D. I didn't see any prairie--the town
was surrounded by cornfields... When I moved to Ames High School,
a wise biology teacher got a patch of ground behind the high school
designated as virgin prairie, mostly home to a couple of native grasses
called big and little bluestem... I mention this
because the lovely wildflowers I love to photograph every Spring are
not ubiquitous to our area, more consigned to the rocky fringes...
I'm going to the dentist tomorrow, whose office used to have bird
feeders for pheasants and quail, till the neighboring prairie land was
turned into a Walmart. The whole area between Spirit Lake and
Coeur D'Alene is called the Rathdrum Prairie, but the prairie is all
but disappeared--the flat land is perfect for housing developments and
malls. So I stopped to take a picture of a bit of prairie
between Rathdrum and Post Falls to show what it probably used to look
stretches over several acres--the pinkish flowers are phlox, and the
yellow ones balsam root. There's a rock leftover from the glacial
period covered with lichens, and a few bushes... It's probable
that fire periodically cleared the prairie of brush... Although
it's dandelion season, there are none in this field. Nearby
fields have no flowers at all, most likely the result of spraying...
A field nearby like this is for sale, commercial...
Here's a nice shot of an apple tree in our yard... I
got about half of the garden planted in advance of rain predicted for
tomorrow, then went around spreading some spare flower seeds along the
road where only invasives are growing...
I went for a walk along the north side of the ridge, where the flowers are still doing nicely.
This was as nice a display of heartleaf arnica as I've seen...
Pussy toes flower
The camus flower was at its height on the shady side of the ridge...
May 16 I added 3 new videos today, including two originals: Love Lingers On Brown Eyed Women and Red Grenadine (Grateful Dead) The amateur detective Yesterday
I went for a ride to another section of the ridge, where I thought I
might see some different wildflowers. It was slightly
disappointing--moreso when I returned to my bike at the bottom and
found I had a flat tire... I was around a mile from home, so I
pushed it and repaired the flat last evening...
May 20 Saturday I ran sound and took photos at the last Bluegrass Showcase of the year--pictures at this link http://www.sondahl.com/events/INBAMay2013.html... Sunday
after church we worked on the garden with church people through out the
afternoon. In spite of adding several pickup loads of manure, it
still mostly looks like sand. Our garden spaces in Spirit Lake
started looking like gravel, but after many years of manure now are
fine black soil. We had a brief shower at dusk last night, resulting in fog early this morning, and the light was just right for these photos:
This is our back yard, with an old kiln section as our fire pit, and the trusty two wheeled cart I built at left...
The dew highlighted the rose leaves and accentuated any spider webs. The tripod at left is for our trumpet vine...
had to line up with the tree trunk to keep the sun from burning through
everything, but this is just how it looked, full of sunstreaks in the
May 25 The
days have been packed lately. Around four days ago I planted out
the tomatoes, then dug them up when I learned it might freeze.
Two nights ago there was frost on the car in the morning, but a
small tomato I missed was untouched. Tonight a low is predicted
of 35, so I covered up most of the tomatoes that I replanted
yesterday... Also the squash family is coming up in the garden.
All this shows that in our area it's safest to wait until
Memorial Day to plant out freezable crops.
Thursday I had the pottery group over for supper and glazing--a new
member, and around 6-7 others--the studio was crowded but we got a lot
of pots dipped and decorated, and I've fired most of them in two kilns
since then... Today was a busy sales day, but a
lot of it was self service since the woman whose 3 kids we've been
doing a lot of support work with got a job here and started working
today, which meant we baby sat the kids... Well, mostly I went up
to Priest Lake and played music for 3 hours at Autumn's Loft gallery
with Jeff Renfro, but otherwise I did some kid tending... The
music went well, but it was cool enough that I kept the car heater on
most of the way home...
Sunday I drove up to Brickel Creek, where you can see Mt. Spokane with
its ski trails in the background. It's a conflicted area--heavily
logged, but in recent years use by the public is restricted to those
with passes (which we got one for this year). As a result of the
restriction, I only saw one other person up there in the 3 hours I
spent there, on the very busy Memorial Day weekend. I walked on
the Brickel Creek walking trail, where a full sized moose and I
startled each other (it was about 20 feet away when it did a sort
of moosey pirouette and disappeared quietly into the brush).
Later on the trail was obliterated by slash from a clear cut
happening above. I'd hoped to see some different flowers, but
wild flowers aren't everywhere, as you can see from the photo... Later
on Sunday I put the bags on our cherries to prevent them getting eggs
laid in them by the cherry fruit fly. On Monday I planted the
second date of sweet corn. The first date was just poking up,
along with carrots, green beans, and spinach.. We still need to
plant more potatoes and dahlias and gladiolas, but it started
sprinkling last evening and appears to be continuing to do so today...
Books read and other media of note
Raylan by Elmore Leonard I've
been watching the Justified series on Amazon Prime videos, and this book
consists of several of the plots from season three, in a parallel
universe (with changed names and subplots). Elmore Leonard is a
master of plots, and the Justified series has probably made him
satisfied in ways that he never was with his other Hollywood novel
adaptations... I doubt if I were from Kentucky I'd like it, since
it's pretty heavy on hillbilly stereotypes, but I'm not from Kentucky. Robert B. Parker's Lullaby by Ace Atkins Parker
perfected a formula with Spenser and Hawk, such that after Parker's
death Ace Atkins could simulate his style totally. I enjoyed it,
but I think there's probably enough Spenser novels in the canon
already... The Last Detective by Robert Crais Crais
turns the kidnapping of a child into a terse action packed adventure...
Even though I figured out the plot denouement in advance, I