Brad's Blog
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May 6


The back lighting made this photo pretty bad, but it's the first black-chinned hummingbird we've had at our feeder.  The others have been rufous.


Here's the rainy day pet crew, minus Manxy, who generally stays by himself.  The old cat on the left on the gold cat chair is Moby, who is 13 and sleeps a lot.  The younger cat next to him is his best friend Zoija, who is either a sister or cousin to Najdorf, who is sitting atop the chair.   The couch on the left is generally Butters at night...

May 8
We don't live in the mountains, just near some, but when the fog drifts over it looks like we live in the mountains:


Also in recent weeks we've been making videos for our church since it's shut down.  This one was fun because we visited a sheep farm to get the imagery.  Not sure if it will stay up for long...

May 9
In lieu of church, we've been making videos for our small flock (which is still mostly scattered, since a lot of them are summer residents, if they return to Priest Lake at all this summer).   They have gotten us to get out and visit a sheep farm and tour historic mansions of Spokane for the last two 10 minute videos.  This is the sheep one:
https://youtu.be/1LsJq7dahxI  Easter 5 worship Lamb of God Lutheran Church:Many Mansions  In case you are interested...

Quick!  A peek at a goose family before the kids turn into awkward teenagers, which happens in about a week...


Another look at calypso orchids, in their typical community of moss and wild strawberries.  It's too dry here in summer for the strawberries to ever bear fruit here, but they are pretty common foliage...

May 10

Shooting stars


Rufous hummingbird.  I improved my photos by setting up a tripod with the camera left on, and used a remote shutter release to catch the action.




Oregon grape.  It's not really a grape, but has small blue fruits that make a good jelly or jam.

May 12
I took a walk in a state forest near Farragut yesterday morning, few flowers, but a couple birds:



Western tanager

Black chinned hummingbird.  It was at the top of a tree, so it was pretty far away for a good photo...

May 14
Pottery sales are good lately with the reopening earlier this month...  But this is primetime for gardening--I planted out most of our broccolis last week, and spread manure and planted carrots today(for the record, carrots don't need manure so I planted them on fertile regular soil).   Covid has made getting seeds complicated by months delays from usually reliable suppliers, but we also usually have a lot left over from previous years and save a lot of seed...  Anyway there's still a lot of things to plant, but it's been raining, 1.5 inches in the last couple days.  This is good news for carrot seeds, planted thin and needed to be kept moist to germinate.  And we live in a dry enough place that rain is almost always welcome...

 
May 16
Local restaurants were allowed to have customers inside again, so Maine St. was busier today, but not so busy that a girl on a horse couldn't stop and chat with her friends outside the coffee shop...   I've been busy with local sales as well as shipping, and the post office reports it's like Christmas for them, with all the packages coming and going...
    Rain is predicted for the next couple days, so I've been moving around a lot of horse manure and  planting out cabbages.  I'm still holding off on the tomatoes--N. Idaho weather can fool you into complacency regarding frost... 
Here are more wildflower photos from this week:

 Rock Penstemon


Columbia virgin's bower (clematis)

May 19
Although there were showers late in the day, I got green beans, peas, cucumbers, and more carrots planted today.

 Here's a male California quail--I could have cropped for a closeup but I liked the whole natural setting..

Here's a bumblebee on larkspur--different from most of our local bees.  I'm pretty bad at identifying bumble bee species in spite of participating in a bumble bee study for a few years.  I take a guess and let the expert clarify...

May 22
I walked around the mill pond with Butters in the Irish mist this afternoon.  Saw these things:


Pacific wren, perched about 6 feet away from me.  All these photos were shot on my old FZ100 camera, which is a lot more convenient on a wet day. This reminds me we probably have a house wren in a birdhouse that's sat empty for years. 


Heartleaf Arnica


Spotted sandpiper on floating log.



A nicer display of rock penstemon..

May 31
A month or so ago I was speculating to myself that rioting might break out related to Covid sheltering.  All it took was a spark among those most neglected, fanned by a hatemongering administration...  The rich don't have to break laws to loot--they get the bills written to send the loot to them all nice and legal.

Books read:
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. Interesting foray into alien espionage...
Most of these below  are available as a free Kindle download from Amazon Prime in a collection.   I have been pleasantly surprised by most of them.
The Alien Hunters by Daniel Arenson.  It reads like a 1930's Buck Rogers tale.  There are so many ridiculous plot holes that one can hope they were intentional.  But how were they worried about running out of fuel, then suddenly not, without refueling?
The Book of Deacon by Joseph Lallo.   Classic fantasy quest. 
Bypass Gemini
by Joseph Lallo  A classic McGuffin SF story.
Trillisk Ruins by Michael McCloskey  Reminded me a lot of Andre Norton with the search for ancient star wisdom, warring Terran factions, etc.  Very good.

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