Some of the local birds have been busy lately, fascinating to watch. Some updates to previous posts. Cranes The boys monitoring the ditch on the west side of the road. Earlier this month while walking my dogs on our usual valley road, I heard sandhill cranes making more than their usual ruckus. (I wrote about… Continue reading Bird Updates: Sandhill Cranes and Tree Swallows
I’m not a “birder.” Haven’t been in the past, am not now, and…well, maybe at some point in the future I will be. I do like birds, but I’m not patient enough to be a birder. A birder is, by definition, a bird watcher. Someone dedicated to bird watching. I’m an observer. Amused by birds,… Continue reading Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots
Red-winged blackbirds aren’t very big. They’re smaller than robins, about 8” head to tail. But they’re easily spotted, at least the males: jet black feathers with bright red and yellow shoulders that are even more visible when they’re flying. Here in the central mountains of Idaho, they’re one of the first migrating song birds to… Continue reading Red-winged Blackbirds – “Nature’s Assholes”
I remember going on a snipe hunt as a kid. I was maybe seven years old. My father had fun with that, convincing me a snipe was a cute furry creature like a hamster that I could take home as a pet if I caught one in the burlap bag he handed me. He showed… Continue reading Snipe Hunt
I was born and raised in a suburb of Seattle, where the climate is "temperate." That's a kind way of saying it rains (or drizzles) a lot and the temperature variation throughout the seasons is small. It rarely falls below freezing or rises above 90F. It's cloudy most of the time, even when it isn't… Continue reading Signs of Spring in the Mountains
Recently I've been privileged to hear owls hooting in the night. I have no data, but it seems there were far more owls here ten or fifteen years ago than in the past few years. Once, I enjoyed listening their hooting regularly. Lately, it's rare. I've missed it. Maybe they're back. Great horned owl. Photo:… Continue reading Nature’s Calls and Responses
kerfuffle (noun): a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views. We had a kerfuffle here in the wee hours, 3:00 am, two days ago (Wednesday, January 22nd). Something woke Conall. He let out of low growl from his post on the floor beside my bed. That woke me. Conall stood, took a couple… Continue reading Plea to Universe: Enough Skunks, Already!
To send out this decade on a happy "note" I bring you recordings of my Malamute Conall singing along with some local coyotes. Coyotes are sometimes called song dogs because they're so vocal. Their scientific name - Canis latrans - translates as "barking dog." They possess versatility, with high-pitched howls, barks, and yips in their… Continue reading Howling New Year!
If you spend time in the outdoors, eventually something will go wrong. It's a law of nature. But if you survive, those epic failures become the best stories! We’ve all read about amazing accomplishments in the wild, but now it’s time to tell us about the not-so-great times and what you learned from them. Share… Continue reading Epic Trail Fail #3: Malamute Perfume
It was a déjà vu kind of morning. I was following the boys along an old Forest Service road, a couple inches of fresh wet snow on top of the ice, snow and slush mix left from the last snowfall a few days ago. We were walking an out-and-back route near home. Early on Conall… Continue reading Same As it Ever Was