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October 2, 2016

We had another light frost last night, enough to kill the tomatoes but not the zucchini and squash, or else the frost drainage was capricious.   At this time of year it feels "right" to have to give up some of the garden treats to the changing season.

Here's a change of season photo of the lilies turning gold on the Mill Pond, with a willow on the right.


After light rains over the weekend, the fall mushrooms are coming up, especially around Priest Lake...


We also saw this tree by Lamb Creek, gnawed by a beaver many years ago, with the tree growing around and almost healing the wound.


another mushroom, like a glowing floating egg...

Oct. 10
   
A quick Google shows that  "Spirit Lake, Idaho, gets 24 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 38 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year."  I looked it up because we've gotten 1.5 inches of rain in the last 4 days.  I'm quite sure the fire season is over now.  I've also been sure our snowfall is above average, but that will hopefully wait till next month...
    I picked most of our meager apple harvest last weekend.  Frosts are predicted the next two nights, and we may still cover our grape arbor, as they could still stand to get a little sweeter...  I cleared off the tomatoes last week, and picked peapods for seeds yesterday between the rains.

Oct. 11.

Another couple hard frosts in the forecast, so we've started writing off the dahlias and glads, still covering late raspberries and grapes...  I had to pick the hubbard squash that volunteered in our chicken yard and grew into the adjacent apple tree, yielding one 10 pound squash hanging down among the apples.
We drove up on the logging roads above Spirit Lake today, and rode our bikes with Butters trotting along for several miles.  Aside from some late asters and knapweed,  mushrooms are the flowers of fall...
 




Here's a view of Spirit Lake from up on the ridge...

Oct. 12
I heard coyotes by the Mill Pond last night, which I hadn't for a while.   But I never expected to see one within 50 yards like I did on the hike today.  Both Butters and the coyote were less quick to spot me than I the coyote, so I got a couple photos before it fled. 



This one shows the dry pond bed with the Mill Pond and the road fill in the background.  It seemed small, and I wasn't even sure it wasn't a fox except for the coloring.  The detail in the photos is lacking but it looked like it maybe had been bathing by the matted fur.
The ring-necked ducks are migrating through currently...

Oct. 15
A monsoonal rain hit us the last couple days, totaling 2 inches.  The mushrooms are happy....

Butters is not known to avail himself of furniture in the house, but this old chair called to him on the porch.

Here's the rest of the menagerie, young cats left, old cats right.  They avail themselves of every chair, especially the one you want to sit in.


On a walk today I had the camera open when a prehistoric HOORNK went off signaling a heron startled by my presence.  If the movies want dinosaur sounds, the heron is a good candidate...

I saw these mergansers on the Millpond today.  I thought they were common, but later I saw a couple of these:

Pretty sure they are male  hooded mergansers, and the others could be females...

Oct. 23
A couple nonrainy days in a row so we went up the M41 logging road about 8 miles to walk in the high country.  This was the view today, partially obscured by smoke from slash fires:

The tamaracks (larches) are turning gold...

Oct. 25

    Walking around the Mill Pond again today, Butters alerted as we walked a little ride and we saw this moose about a block away watching Butters and me watching it.  It never moved so we finally moved on back toward the rock where Butters alerted again and there was a dead coyote, about 30 feet from where I'd taken the photos of one a couple weeks ago.  
After an overnight rain it was lovely today, deserving another Mill Pond photo:


Oct. 31
It's now official--the wettest month of any year on record around here.  No wonder the mushrooms have been so fantastic






This was a foam eddy (probably natural foam, considering the area's pristine nature...)


And I've never seen moss grow as high as seaweed...




Books read and other media of note
Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley.  When Dashiell Hammett started writing mysteries,  the "Continental Op" didn't even have a name.  By the time he hit his stride in The Maltese Falcon, most characters had back stories and several names.   I've enjoyed the rich back stories and dynamic plots of most of Walter Mosley's prodigious output.  Charcoal Joe had all that richness, but went over the top in complexity like a juggler with too many balls.   The fault is partially mine, asmy memory has its lapses, but the criticism stands...

The Generals by Winston Groom.  Once in a while it's good to forgo my usual fiction and learn something, like how WWII was won. And even how we got into the Korean War.  The only generals I've heard of in recent years have been involved in sex scandals...

The Keeper of Lost Causes  by Jussi Adler-Olsen   A compelling mystery/suspense novel, with a fairly light-hearted detective team take on cold cases, and the reader wondering if the assumed victim is dead or alive...  The victim's story is hard to read/grasp...    I started reading the sequel The Absent One but found the overall tone too dark for my taste.  (I like Donald Westlake but not his pseudonymous darker side Richard Starkey)

All I did as shoot my Man by Walter Mosley.  A reformed mob fixer tries to fix other things in his life.  A well woven web of intrigue and well-developed characters...



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