Brad's Blog
New  photo by Forrest Stonedahl 2021
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October 1
I usually note the first frost in the blog, for reference...   It hasn't happened yet, and I can't recall a September without a frost...
We did get  3/4 inch of rain recently...


Oct. 4
I guess posting about lack of frost is like washing your car, it taunts the weather gods into action.  There was a light frost on cars a few nights ago, but it didn't take out any of the sensitive tomatoes, squash, or dahlias.   Later this week is another matter.
Today I walked with Butters down along the lake shore.  This year the places one can walk have been greatly curtailed due to private property development.  As the lake goes down, there's a half mile of undeveloped shoreline that has always been popular.  Today there was "Keep out" sprayed on the old growth pine that fell over a few years back.  The property owner is probably unaware that the exposed lakeshore below the high water mark is public property, but it's not fun arguing the point with them...  Anyway, thanks to my trusty zoom camera, I caught a photo a hundred yards or more down the way, of a river otter on an exposed stump, first time I've seen or heard of otters on Spirit  Lake.   The photo's a bit blurry but...

I also saw a pair of eagles and a kingfisher was back after not being seen or heard for a while...  Here's a link to the short video I caught of the otter as it left


Oct. 7
For the record, the first killing frost finally happened last night...   Frosts in September mean covering lots of beds with tarps and uncovering in hopes of getting a few more weeks out of the squash, tomatoes, dahlias, etc.  In October it's almost a relief...   "Finally we can slow down a little bit..."  Of course that's after harvesting all the red and green tomatoes, zucchini, cukes, etc.  Then there's "putting food by."  Still haven't started any sauerkraut...
My wife made this arrangement after picking a lot more dahlias than shown:

The only thing we didn't grow were some tangerines stuck in with some plums.  The grapes look and taste great this year...

Oct. 11
We went for a walk along the shore at Farragut State Park today, and there was an old tree washed up which, though well battered by the waves, still held stones that had anchored it while living, clasped in its roots...


You can see three of them in the photo. It could be an allegory either for the importance of hanging on, or the futility of it...

Oct. 12
This morning I was working in the pottery and Butters was sleeping in the massage chair we have out on our screen porch, until I heard him barking frantically.  I came out, and there were two moose about 20 feet away in our back yard, a cow and calf...  The barking made them head away, and I grabbed my camera and got a few photos and short video of them.  


Oct. 17

I had two forays to the south side of Spirit Lake today.  This photo was from the Maiden Rock area, looking towards Mt. Spokane at the end of the lake...  Later I went along a logging road on my ebike to explore the area to the left of the photo.  Very peaceful, and somewhat photogenic I found it, but I forgot my camera so no photos yet...

Oct. 21
A friend and I hiked up Chilco Mountain today (first time for me) and enjoyed the panaramic view of N. Idaho...  It was a considerable climb, but worth it..

This is looking north towards Lake Pend O'Reille and probably Canada...  The top of the mountain was largely talus--broken rocks--and remnants of a fire lookout...

This was a similar angle of view from another location, capturing the larch trees golden needles with alpine firs in the foreground...

Oct. 28
As we walked onto the ridge at sunset today, we could see an ambulance pull in across the lake from us, and slash fires burning farther up the lake.  
But first, here's a lovely moss covered stump...

It really stood out in the fallen needles and leaves...


To see a fire like this in the summer breeds a strong sense of unease.  Since it's been raining inches lately, the timber company is just burning slash piles without fear of them spreading, although the wind today kept them burning bright.  

The alpenglow of sunset lit up nearby mountains, possibly Chilco that I hiked to last week...  The low light gives the photo its impressionist blur...

October 29th
After a clay order mixup, I decided to return the low fire clay to Seattle to make sure the proper clay was the proper consistency (although they had offered to ship it for free).  It was about 12 hours round trip, and I enjoyed it all--the desert scrub, wheat fields and grape arbors, Columbia River and mountains that didn't deserve having a freeway stuck through them...

This was the Columbia river gorge at Vantage Washington at dawn (I started at 5 a.m.)

This was an ominous cloud (mushroom shaped) which was I think a lenticular cloud formed over a cumulus, possibly downwind from Mt. Rainier.  It has an apocalptic feel to it...



On the way back, the sun was out at the western summit of Snoqualmie pass...


And this was the view down the Columbia River from the scenic viewpoint...

Oct. 31
Today is my mother's 99th birthday!  I started this blog with it in mind to mail her it monthly, which I have done (she is still pre Internet)...


This is old  state highway 41, near Nautical loop in Spirit Lake.  It's hard to imagine how cars met each other aside from crashing...



In a puddle ...




It's been getting down in the mid 20's, so this was our car windshield this morning.  In true winter fashion, the battery was also down so it wouldn't start.  Aside from that it's a lovely abstraction...  I dialed the polarized filter to let the reflection of our weeping willow trickle into  the dark part of the photo.


Our town is pretty much surrounded by Inland Empire lumber lands.  I e-biked into an area I'd never explored before, finally turning around since the loop I thought I was taking never appeared.  Puddles are common after 2-3 inches of rain over the last week...


books read
Clapton the Autobiography.  Eric Clapton remains a controversial figure, currently a figurehead for the antivaxers since he claimed nerve damage from the vaccine.  This amazingly honest  reflection on his roots,  musical success, journey into self destruction with drugs and alcohol with an uptick towards recovery, worked for me, especially since I was familiar with about 80% of the musical connections.  I haven't liked a lot of his music since Derek and the Dominos, and given his history, it becomes clear why...  Since reading I did listen to a performance in Budukan Japan from around 2001 and his guitar playing was great, even if a lot of the songs felt like soft jazz...


The Inspector Graham mysteries.  A fine set of English detective mysteries with a bit of warm human touch and clever denouements...  Available on Amazon Prime.
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