Brad's Blog
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May 2

It was a fine day without sprinkles today, so we hiked up Breakfast Creek today, a small spring fed creek that marks the entry into the Brickel Creek drainage of the Inland Paper Company land.  It was full of lovely cataracts, but these two photos seemed most interesting:

The ancient stumps had been burned in the 1937 fire, but many still stand, covered with moss where not covered with char.

Here the water spilled over a log dam onto a flat rock, which splayed the spray in an interesting pattern.

May 5
Yesterday was the first day to go over 70, and it went over 80.  (We always say--we got two seasons in Idaho and temperate isn't one of them)  This is how the Mill Pond looked on the first nice day:



And the best variety of wild flowers is available now:

shooting stars

yellow violets


calypso orchid



and pacific wrens, more feisty for it being nesting season...

May 7
From our rambles today, another classic local wild flower: dwarf waterleaf:


May 10

It was a calm day on the Mill Pond yesterday, and even without a polarized filter I could see this bass under a log...


An osprey at the Mill Pond today.


Butters and his friend Kaiser cooling off in a temporary swamp along the Mill Pond.  Butters is lying down in the water to get the full cooling effect..

May 11
Spring is such a picturesque time...
red necked grebe
red necked grebe
I love our own cultivated flowers also, but the wild ones bloom first...

camas flower

Columbiana Virgin's Bower wild Clematis


Butters considering how to get off the log he walked through the water on...

May 17


After taking 127,000 pictures on my old camera, I've been wanting another camera for a couple years, so I finally stepped up to a Nikon DSLR 5500, which I got yesterday.  After studying the book for an hour and snapping a few photos inside, I was eager to snap on the telephoto and rediscover our local ridge.  I loved the way everything focused so sweetly and snapped away.  But apparently I bumped it into special effects mode, so the pictures mostly came out looking like illustrations:

Chipping sparrow

balsam root



I had intended to save the special effects for experimenting with later.  Still I appreciate the accidental art...

May 18
I made the same trip as yesterday, in part due to losing the lens cap for my telephoto...  Today I got this picture of a pair of rednecked grebes, which for the first time showed me possible differences in the sexes, since they are so close:

The one in back is clearly a lot larger, so either it's older or one of the sexes predominates sizewise...

May 22
It went from cold to hot again, so I worked on tying raspberry plants up this morning (and glazing) and went for walks in the heat of the day...


the larkspur is blooming everywhere--pretty but toxic to humans and animals...


On the shady side of the Mill pond is the only place I've found heartleaf arnica around here, and it's just starting to bloom...


I was taking photos of the sunfish and bass and perch floating near the top of the water when a female duck flew right towards me. The fish boiled up... 
All of us were startled, but I got the photo...

May 25
It's fairly rare to find a natural osprey nest, as they frequently settle for power poles and stadium lights.  But we found this one up on the ridge a while ago.  Here is one of the pair arriving at the nest:


 May 27
I was taking pictures of the rock or cliff penstemon which is at its height currently.  I didn't notice the dying pine in the background, adding other colors and a different slant to the photo.  There are a lot of pines dying around here recently, from disease and/or insect issues...


May 30
With my son and his wife visiting we finally got the canoe out, and canoed from the Maiden Rock access to the Bronze Bay Access on Spirit Lake, including cruising most of the bays on the way, probably 5 miles on still water...  So here are some photos:

The red pin feathers might be the reason red shafted flickers got their name...


At the swamp at the end of the lake this baby pied grebe came out near us, diving and circling, then disappearing into the swampy stuff, where its family hopefully was waiting...


This is the view toward Mt. Spokane looking up Brickel Creek, with a Goldeneye...


 
Books read and other media of note
Cold Dish by Craig Johnson  Another regional mystery author, a bit uneven in style, but a compelling story set in Wyoming and Montana, an area I've been through visiting friends...  


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