Bird Updates: Sandhill Cranes and Tree Swallows

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

Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

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 – “Nature’s Assholes”

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”

Snipe Hunt

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

Signs of Spring in the Mountains

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

Nature’s Sounds

One of the few positives to come from these troubling times is that everything is quieter. Things were already pretty quiet here in the Salmon River Mountains of rural Idaho, compared to the suburbs and cities I've lived in. Now, though, with little traffic on the two-lane highway that runs north/south just three miles west… Continue reading Nature’s Sounds

As the World Wobbles and Spins on its Axis

As children we’re taught that our planet spins on an axis as it orbits the sun. That’s why we have seasons; winter when the place you live tilts more away from the sun, summer when it tilts more toward the sun. But the earth also wobbles. I didn’t know that. Mostly the wobbles are caused… Continue reading As the World Wobbles and Spins on its Axis

Random Thoughts During a Winter Run in the Forest

The following is sampling of the sorts of thoughts that flit through my mind while I’m out running in the forest with my dogs. Since they can’t talk to me (except through their body language), for much of the time we’re out there I’m carrying on an internal dialog with myself. While the specific threads… Continue reading Random Thoughts During a Winter Run in the Forest

Howling New Year!

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!

Tracks and Bones

Winter is beginning to show signs of arriving in Idaho's Salmon River Mountains, my home. I love winter. I love snow, almost as much as my dogs do, except I don't roll in it. Having real winters with snow - as opposed to Seattle's dreary constant drizzle with the occasional snowpocalypse that brings everything to… Continue reading Tracks and Bones