The Day I Lost – and Found – Conall

Friday, July 10, 2020. I awoke at 6:30 am to the sound of birds singing, ushering in the day along with the rising sun. I looked outside. Clear skies. A thunderstorm had moved through overnight, waking me up, dropping a bit of rain, but by daybreak the weather was perfect. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday,… Continue reading The Day I Lost – and Found – Conall

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Great Horned Owl

Great horned owls are making a comeback in my neighborhood. At least, I hope they are. I wrote last summer about my dog Conall briefly catching an owlet in his mouth in July of 2016 (it survived). I also described two encounters, several years ago, with great horned owls in the forest. I used to… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Great Horned Owl

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Deer

White-tailed deer are a regular feature in my world. Living very close to a national forest boundary, they often cross my lot in small groups as they move from one section of forest to another. Spring and autumn are their busy times, but they're around all summer. If my dogs notice them, they'll woof at… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Deer

Fences VII – Spring at High Elevation

My previous posts featuring rural fences were all winter scenes. I hadn't thought about a spring or summer rendition because I rarely see fences on the forest trails my dogs and I spend our time on, but this morning, as we finished a high-elevation mountain hike I was struck by the beauty of stacked log… Continue reading Fences VII – Spring at High Elevation

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: House Wrens

I had no idea what a house wren was until Conall caught a baby wren in the yard two years ago, spitting it out unharmed. That's when I noticed an upset adult wren on the other side of the fence, in the wildflower garden. Wrens were using a small hole in the siding of my… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: House Wrens

Memory Cues on a Father’s Day Walk

This morning, a Sunday that is also Father’s Day, my dogs and I did what we do most Sunday mornings: we went for a walk in the valley. Our walk was followed by another typical weekend activity, taking household garbage to the nearby transfer station. Much about the morning sparked memories of my father, who… Continue reading Memory Cues on a Father’s Day Walk

So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

Spring officially ends June 19th this year. It's always a little sad saying goodbye, watching nature's exuberant bursts of growth and color wane during the hotter and drier months of summer. Where I live, at 4,000 feet in the mountains of central Idaho, spring starts arriving in April and doesn't really gain steam until May… Continue reading So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

Pollen: Strong Reactions

I have a love-hate relationship with pollen. It’s been that way most of my life. I love pollen because of its crucial role in propagating a vast array of plants, including many of the fruits, nuts and grains we rely upon for food. Plus, lots of pollen is produced by the beautiful forest trees and… Continue reading Pollen: Strong Reactions

Thrilled by Trillium

I first became acquainted with trillium wildflowers in the forests of western Washington. At the lower elevations of the Cascade foothills where I did so much trail running before moving to Idaho, they were the first wildflower of spring, adding bright splashes of white and green near the ground where they grew under the tall… Continue reading Thrilled by Trillium

Flax: A Mix of Beauty and History

My second summer here in Idaho, in 2006, I bought some wildflower seed meant for mountain climates and tossed it out along my driveway. I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped for the best, especially since it was ridiculously expensive and I was living on borrowed funds. I was disappointed. That first summer very… Continue reading Flax: A Mix of Beauty and History