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Sept. 3

This photo of the Mansfield family band was my token photo of the Newport Washington music festival last weekend.  The wind picked up during their set and blew the covers off many of the vendor stalls and one stage, and the rest of the weekend festival was canceled.  Cooler weather and rain came with it, slowing the growth of the local forest fires, and clearing the smoke from our sky...


On a walk around the mill pond the other day, a group of these birds caught our attention for quite a while.  They were constantly preening when not diving for food, which explains the one on the left being a bit blurred.  We decided they were goldeneyes, maybe transitioning to adult or fall plumage...

Sept. 11
Here's some photos from my vacation:

 A detail from Mammoth Hot Springs


This side trip shows an exposed petrified redwood tree 50 million years old, covered in ash and petrified, then the surrounding ash eroded away...  It even had some some lichen growing on it like living trees...
The highway had layers of rock labeled with their age.  The oldest, preCambrian, was over 3 billion years old...  It was at the top of the mountain, where the other layers had been worn away...  The true bones of the earth...

Yellow rumped warbler (Audubon's)


The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, from the lip of the lower falls...


Lincoln's Sparrow, from Buffalo Bill State Park...

From Davenport Iowa, Credit Island on the Mississippi, teeming with egrets, herons, and geese...

Great Egret


Redheaded Woodpecker


One more photo from the Mississippi with the Great Egret on the left and Great Blue Heron on the right...

Sept 18
On the way home I used my new Senior Pass to drive through the Badlands National Park.   There was a flock of bighorn rams along the road halfway through, and a larger flock of females (that resemble goats) farther down the road...  They were easy to spot, in fact the cars stopped in the roadway so I slowly got a view of the males as the cars moved on...

Altogether my trip was over 3400 miles.  Butters was happy to hop back in the car while I was unloading, but he was happier running by my bike on the way down to the lake....

Sept. 24
We walked around the Mill Pond yesterday.  Saw a merlin for the first time... Got this nice photo of one of the prettiest ducks in the world--the wood duck:

There was spotty frost by the Mill Pond but our garden is still intact...  We're enjoying dahlias  broccoli, tomatoes, onions, pears, potatoes, fall raspberries, and apples currently.   The potatoes suffered from the hot dry year with extra scabby outsides and reduced yields...  The weather ranges from high seventies to low 30's every night, no heating needed yet...

Sept. 29
We've had light frosts the last several nights, none hard enough to kill even squash and tomatoes, although we've covered swaths of them and also some of our pretty dahlias.  That contrasts with continued high seventies and dry days...

The drought has caught up with the Mill Pond, as this dry scene makes the "No wake zone" superfluous.  Only a trickle of water is flowing in under the bridge.
I've photographed the Mill Pond so much I consider it my own personal Monet Hay Stacks.  It's seen better days.  But the lake bottom is burgeoning with grass like growth that's typically on the bottom, as well as water smartweed that seems to do well in water or without...
 
Books read and other media of note
Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen  You can always tell the protagonist in his stories, they have a tender side towards Florida wildlife.  Everyone else in the books is open to bitter satire...  He also has a tender side towards journalists, since he was one...

Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton.   I'm suspicious of two name author books, in that the second name is probably doing the writing, based on a broad outline and characters by the first.  This book has that feel-- the comedy and romance don't scroll off the keyboard like her solo efforts...

Hothouse Orchid by  Stuart Woods.  I generally like tough girl CIA agent stories.  This one was entertaining, not outstanding...

Rogue Berserker by Fred Saberhagen.    Nothing like fighting against nihilist death robots..


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