Brad's Blog
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Sept. 5


Downy woodpecker in our backyard, a bit blurry.


White breasted nuthatch


pine siskin



This is the main part of our garden.  In the foreground potatoes are dying back, and volunteer Swiss chard looms like rhubarb through the green beans.  Further back the peas are drying up, and obscuring the row of broccolis and cabbages, with a deer fence with scarlet runner beans and sunflowers.  At the right corner are a hint of some green peppers and carrots.  This is a banner year for cucumbers, and the tomatoes have thrived in a sunny zone south of our house...




Here's our early corn patch, totally harvested this morning to freeze, with a border row of dahlias and volunteer sunflowers.  Goldfinches are already prying some seeds from them...



Sept. 6
Recently the sky has been full of lovely cirrus clouds, with few jet contrails to diminish their beauty.  So I've been taking photos of them:

 
Sometimes I just include the clouds, sometimes I frame the photos with trees.  They both seem agitated...

Sept. 7
After two months of no rain and hot temps. the cool down to near 40 was welcome, but not the all day gusty winds from the NE that accompanied it.  All day we heard local fire engines whining through town to fight a forest fire near Blanchard  (fire was about 4 miles away) that burned out some local residents.
This was our view on a cloudless afternoon looking towards our nearby ridge:


By evening fire bombers and ground crews had put the smoke to rest, but the embers will be a threat for weeks to come...
On a trip to get a new bargain kiln near Sandpoint today, I could see another large fire across from Farragut Park, with the smoke wending off south towards Coeur D'Alene.
We have been fortunate to not have more fires with the extreme dry conditions we've been facing...

Sept. 10
I saw these birds the other morning, and although they resembled cedar waxwings, I had to look them up to be sure--juveniles...



Then I was watering this morning and the sun hitting on the grape leaves, grass, and oregano looked interesting:

Any rain would look very interesting...

Sept. 12
Before the Oregon fires spiraled out of control, and the winds shifted to from the south, the Mill Pond looked like this:


Three photos and a couple days later, and this is the view:

We'd be wearing masks for smoke if we weren't already for Covid.  Times seem apocalyptic...

Sept.14
Before the smoke hit, my new camera caught these wood ducks in the corner of the Mill Pond by a big willow root that spreads out to support the tree in the water, and is now mostly exposed by the lower water.

The males have green on their heads and females white eyespots...  With the large increase in kayaks and swimming in the mill pond, they mostly visit in early morning or evening.

Sept. 15
These are the days the orb spiders get big enough to notice:

I photograph these nearly every year, but the new Panasonic FZ80 does a good job of focusing on it without manual focusing (which the camera lacks).
I guess spiders aren't everyone's taste but I think it's elegant...

Sept.16

We went over to Farragut again today, and it was nearly empty...  I imagine that was because it looked like this:

Most of the smoke is from fires in Oregon, but the bit at the top right is remnant of a fire burning up the side of Bernard Peak
Usually this view at a similar time of day  looks like about like this: 


This morning I saw this little bird, among a flock of robins probably gathering to migrate:

I'm guessing it's a western wood pewee...

Sept. 21
Last weekend a cool front pushed in from the west, and although we only got a few sprinkles the ocean air was clear of smoke, so we're all enjoying the respite.  Later in the week actual rain is forecast, but we've been disappointed before...
Today in one 100 mile swoop, I packed and took 30 mugs to ship to Rathdrum for UPS to pick up, got 4 cases of canned cat food I'd ordered, took recycling and garbage to the dump, and bought a shop vac off Craigslist which I then employed to clean the pottery chimney (in anticipation of fall rains and cool).  It felt like an accomplishment...

Sept. 22

The native tree squirrels in this area are in the red squirrel group.  This one was up at Priest Lake, and the black stripe caught my attention.  Turns out it's a Douglas Squirrel
We have some about like it called pine squirrels (no stripe).  They are real hoarders and fill up any spaces they can get into with pine cones...  The more aggressive nonnative fox squirrels have been overtaking the local habitat, which reminds me of the local land transformations going on taking over lakshore environments many of us cherished.  Which reminds me of the alien mindset taking over the national political scene...  Hard times...

On the other hand, here's

a lake trout taken today from Priest Lake.  They get up to 25 inches long and fishermen enjoy catching them a lot, but they're also non-native and have disrupted the local fishery and I think I'll just go to bed...

Sept. 24
Today I led a small expedition (4 women) up the Brickel Creek trail, part of our local Chamber of Commerce being involved in promoting tourism in N. Idaho.   A video blogger named Monica (Monicagoes on Youtube and Instagram) and her cameraperson Kristin hiked 2.5 miles each way to see our little display of waterfalls:

  We had a nice hike and they got a few scenes to add to their area travelogue...

Kristin and Monica.

Sept. 25
Earlier this week I attended a Folklore Society zoom meeting which helped me get back into the virtual Fall Folk Festival, so today I made some videos for it.  Most of these I've done earlier versions on Youtube, but hopefully some I do better now:

A Minor Triumph*
The Fox went out on a Chilly Night
Hesitation Waltz *
Cumberland Blues
Barbara Allen
Another Rainy Day*
I still miss someone
My Baby loves me*
Within you and without you

Sept. 28
Although we covered parts of our garden, the frost is still held at bay, and it may be another week or two to the final frost...
Yesterday when I arrived at church this was in the tree across the street. 


I joked to one of our parishioners, "Don't make too much of it, but there's a vulture in the tree..."  Later I walked Butters along the busy highway, and found a deer carcase which undoubtedly drew the vulture, but it hadn't been discovered yet by the detritivores...
We cut into the woods/swamp along the creek to avoid the traffic, and I got a nice photo of a ruffed grouse:

Frequently, to make an object in the middle pop out a little, I will use a vignette mask to dim the edges towards black.  In this photo, the light did the same thing towards white at the edge.
Here's a chipmunk that's moved into our back porch afea that has already gotten a name, where I vignetted the periphery:


Sept. 30
 This may be a repeat sighting of a western wood peewhee, but saw it this morning...


books read
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.   This is the first Artemis Fowl book, which the movie was loosely based on.  I enjoyed both--have read a number of other Fowl novels but never worried about reading them in order.  Colfer is very creative in all his literary endeavors...
The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer.  Ok, I'm enjoying reading them in order. Next one up is the Eternity Code.  But I'm also enjoying reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini, who has made the shift from fantasy to SF with great aplomb...
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