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Brad's Blog

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Nov. 4
Here's my latest pottery ad, which I gave the clickbait title of "12 ways to avoid the zombie apocalypse."
https://youtu.be/0_StkL8mZhw
The weather is so nice one can hardly complain about it...  I dug carrots yesterday, and our dry summer plus a new digitally automated sprinkling system led to the smallest carrot crop we've had in years--lots of healthy greens but all small carrots...  I think the watering wasn't deep enough for them.     And our fresh freen tomatoes are nearly all ripened now, whereas other years they've lasted till Christmas.  It's a good thing we don't have to rely on our garden for the whole year's food, although it's nice the things that do last...  We dug potatoes last week, and the rough skins common last year were gone, so that was a plus for the year...  We also had enough Italian prunes to can some, as well as apple sauce...  These are all the things I should be eating instead of leftover Halloween candy...

Nov. 8th
Yesterday I walked along the shore of the lake by the public access and the verge is strewn with dead and dying kokanee salmon, who mate and die at this time of year, although I've never noticed them in that area before...  There are a couple of eagles in the area for the easy pickins...  We may gather some for fertilizer...
Today we practiced  for the Fall Folk Festival this weekend--here's a link to one of the songs we'll be playing...
Keep my skillet good and greasy

Nov. 9
What a difference a day makes--2016 election...  Like the ending of Monty Python and The Holy Grail, I like to keep on the happy side of life, so here's a brief sequel to my ad from last week:  https://youtu.be/y2PF3XHe6o0
Because it was a second record warm day for this date, Butters and I walked around the Mill Pond, seeing immature and mature bald eagles and a heron up on top of a tree... So here are some photos:


It's a rare day when the sun is bright enough for me to get good photos of eagles--my camera is not a high end telephoto... I got other eagle photos but I was thinking today about how as a nature photographer I frequently lie, by cropping or even photoshopping, to get a totally natural appearing photo in a humanly altered environment...  The owner of this house might like the photo of the eagle in front of it, but most of us would prefer the eagle without the house.
It was a splendid afternoon to photograph the Mill Pond, which I often refer to as my "haystacks," a subject frequently painted by Renoir in different lights...   Longtime readers of my blog have seen many photos of the Mill Pond, but I've never shown the half with cabins and houses before.  Here's an uncropped photo with a couple of cabins in it...


And yes, by most standards they're very tastefully included...


But the cropped photo from a slightly different vantage point gives the illusion of nature wild and free...
And here's a cropped photo of the heron on top of a tree:


Nov. 10
Another perfect warm fall day.  We walked alpng the beach at the public access of Spirit Lake.  There were lots of kokanee, living and dead in the water and on the shore...   Butters got interested in fishing for them:

He knows the "Leave it" command well enough that he didn't try eating any of them.  
My brother had a golden retriever that liked to stand in the water watching fish...  One time he pulled out a long northern pike.  After that he fished a lot but never caught another that I'm aware of..


This is the view looking towards the Mill Pond and public access from along the shore.  The water levels came up after our record October rains, but are still well below the spring full pool levels...

Nov. 11

We went for a walk around the Mill Pond again today, and every day is different...


First, the wet weather made me realize that the very common snowberries are at their best this year (and no, you can't eat them)...


In spite of the warm weather, there was a bright sundog, sometimes to the right of the sun (I'm blocking out the sun with my hand) and sometimes to the left...  Usually I associate these with cold January days, formed by ice crystals in the high atmosphere...  A closeup shows the sundog is a pale rainbow...


In the wild corner of the Mill Pond these hooded mergansers were hanging out.   There were kokanee under the bridge, and dead kokanee floating into the Mill Pond, but I didn't see any along the shore.  We also were mutually surprised with an immature bald eagle.

Nov. 14
Another year, another Fall Folk Festival.  It will take a week or more to edit and put on the web the photos, but this photo fragment from a young Gaelic band caught my eye:


I thought it looked like a Renaissance painting....

Nov. 25
It's been raining on and off and varying from 32 to 40 for the last week.  The migrating waterfowl make every visit to the lake quite different.  A week ago we saw 13 bald eagles and 3 great blue herons--this week none...  The dead salmon that were lining the shore were devoured by hundreds of seagulls....

Here's a view of Priest River last week...


Best year ever for mushrooms. 






Buffleheads.
Nov. 28
We got our first snow that has lasted through the day on grassy areas...  But I took this picture at Priest Lake last weekend, where I went to play guitar for 3 hours on Saturday:

 We mostly have views of the ridge and Mt. Spokane around here--Priest Lake has a number of nice mountains in view--I don't know the name of this one, visible from Autumn's Loft...

The weather is expected to barely go above freezing for the rest of the week, so we cleaned gutters, improved drainage, and picked final chard and broccoli from our garden, as well as covering up the carrots left in the ground.  "All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin..."

Nov. 29
Every day at the lake is a treat, with the migrating birds passing through...

Here's a common merganser on a log...


There are about 80 waterbirds identifiable with binoculars on this smooth water--buffleheads, hooded and common mergansers, ring necked ducks...  But you can't see any in this photo.


Here are some mergansers and ring necks out about a mile with the first island cabin in the background. 

Books read and other media of note
Turbo Twenty Three by Stephanie Evanovich.   A successful formula for mirth and mayhem wins again, with a mystery that holds together fairly cohesively throughout.  Though who cares about the mystery.  We want the car explosions.  Ok, an ice cream truck will do...

Allen Wold's trilogy.   Some pulp novels from the 1980's with titles like Lair of the Cyclops, with enough insignificant details like describing how many doors there were in every room in a labrynth to help me fall back to sleep at night, so that was the saving grace...

Insane City by Dave Barry.   Screwball comedy in the manner of "Bringing up Baby" brought up to date by generally hilarious Dave Barry. 



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