Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Nootka Wild Rose of N Idaho.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

In the Summertime....

 Image used with permission from LightShaft 2013 -please do not copy or use this image. Moose in Northern Idaho, Shoshone county.




The North West of the USA, is covered in Campers and tents. In Northern Idaho, this is especially true. I have never lived in an area so concentrated with this form of holiday-ing. I lived in British Columbia, where camping and tenting are commonplace but I don't ever recall people just parking their campers and setting up home for the summer, at the side of the river, just out of town, or just off the street, like they do here, and in such numbers!
It is because of all the forests, water, fishing and hunting I'm sure. Fisherman....this is a fisherman's heaven here in N Idaho. There are so many beautiful rivers, shallow and deep. Steelhead (fall) Chinook Salmon, Trout, even Sockeye are here. There are also massive lakes to fish. The Lake Pend Oreille and Lake Coeur d'Alene. (more images to come)


Lake Coeur d'Alene spans 25 miles (40 km) long, ranges from 1 to 3 miles (4.8 km) wide and has over 109 miles (175 km) of shoreline.


Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced: pond-o-ray) is a lake in the northern Idaho Panhandle, with a surface area of 148 square miles. It is 43 miles long, and 1,150 feet deep in some regions, making it the fifth deepest in the United States.  Besides great boating, jet-ski, sight seeing (tons of wildlife) and fishing, it is an interesting place because it is home to Farragut State Park, formerly the Farragut Naval Training Station (WW2). A small part of the lake is still active and conducts US Navy acoustic underwater submarine research.

A website with up to date, local fishing info can be found here: http://www.nwoutfitters.com/rivers.html

 We are just a short drive from British Columbia, Washington and Oregon so for those of you who want to experience a new place to fish, come on over :)

The wild flowers.
The wildflowers are incredible here. They grow everywhere and take over roadsides, meadows, farmlands and even at the front of our property, that gets mowed regularly, we've seen something wild, trying to take root.  For more info about wild flowers and wild life of N Idaho, visit, www.pinfeathers.us.
Trillium are a welcome site in Spring. They were hard to find for a while but they seem to be thriving in N Idaho. Here is an image of a pretty one I took. The purple variety, but more lilac in color than the other purples we've seen.

Possibly Violets? I am not sure.

If you're a hiker, this is also a place you might consider visiting. There are old growth forests and hills and mountains as far as the eye can see. In the image below, you see some very large trees in the foreground. These are old growth Cedars. Seeing how big some of the trees are is absolutely jaw dropping. You can't really tell from an image like the one below because there's no real reference other than the blurry person on the path infront of me, and he/she was standing near what I call, regular size trees :P

The beauty.
When I first arrived in Idaho, it had been a very hot summer and it appeared to be very dry and dusty. Even traveling up mountain roads, you leave a trail of dust (as many of them are not paved) The sides of the road were colored with this dust and dirt, even the trees appeared dulled and the grasses were brown. This year, it is green. You get into the mountains and along the rivers, and even driving through the farmlands, there's no denying the beauty.

This year, everything is lush and green. We've had a very wet June. To walk out into the meadow, you are waist deep in green grass and meadow flowers. Everywhere are beautiful fields with daisies and purple vetch.
Alongside roads we see red/pink Paintbrush and Lupine. I can look from the car window while driving along the river, and see the fish traveling upstream. The beauty? amazing, really.
Coming from Alaska, I thought no place could compare and though Idaho does not have Glaciers, the ocean and lushness of a rainforest, it has it's own, different beauties.

If you love to see the days gone by, to explore old towns, old mines and caves, there is plenty of that to see as well, in Idaho.

Happy Summer!

A visitor to the wind spinner, on top of our shed. It's a popular stopping point for birds.

* Camper image, Idaho Parks and Recreation.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


We call these beautiful bells, 'poo flowers'
Why? because they smell like..... ....................................................

They grow all over the Juneau, Douglas Island and Mendenhall area.


Fed from an icefield high above Juneau, the Mendenhall glacier is a dynamic flowing force, grinding and scouring everything in its path as it carves its way down to the sea. It is about 12 miles long. Mendenhall glacier is one of many in southeast Alaska formed during the Little Ice Age ( which began about 3,000 years ago)

The Juneau Icefield encompasses about 1,500 square miles of ice and is the beginning of many glaciers including Mendenhall, Lemon Creek, Herbert, Eagle, and Taku Glaciers. Annual snowfall on the icefield often exceeds 100 feet and the cold temperatures at higher elevations keep the snow from melting.

The unique climate and geography of this region allowed glaciers to survive long after they began receding from other places in North America. Mendenhall Glacier, has lost much width at the Mendenhall Lake entrance but some scientists say it has grown in height.Some glaciers have been slowly melting for hundreds of years, while others are not.
Loons, gulls, and arctic terns nest along the lake shore. A variety of waterfowl use the lake as a stopover on their spring and fall migrations.
Breiðamerkurjökull, part of Vatnajökull near Jökulsárlón, Iceland


Vatnajökull (English: Glacier of Rivers) It's the largest glacier in Iceland. It is located in the south-east of the island, covering more than 8% of the country. With a size of 8,100 km², it is the largest glacier in Europe in volume (3,100 km³) and the second largest (after Austfonna on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard) in area (not counting the still larger ice cap of Severny Island of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, which is located in the extreme northeast of Europe).
The average thickness of the ice is 400 m, with a maximum thickness of 1,000 m. Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (2,110 m), is located in the southern periphery of Vatnajökull, near Skaftafell National Park. It is classified as an ice cap glacier.

Under the glacier, as under many of the glaciers of Iceland, there are several volcanoes. The volcanic lakes, Grímsvötn for example, were the sources of a large glacial lake outburst flood in 1996. The volcano under these lakes also caused a considerable but short-time eruption in the beginning of November 2004. During the last ice age, numerous volcanic eruptions occurred under Vatnajökull, creating many subglacial eruptions.

According to Guinness World Records Vatnajökull is the object of the world's longest sight line, 550 km from Slættaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands. GWR state that "owing to the light bending effects of atmospheric refraction, Vatnajökull (2119m), Iceland, can sometimes be seen from the Faroe Islands, 340 miles (550km) away". This may be based on a claimed sighting by a British sailor in 1939. The validity of this record is analysed/undermined in mathematical and atmospheric detail by J.C. Ferranti.
(semi quote from wiki)

close-up, then below, further away, to give a sense of the size of the icefield....via google earth of

Wonderful Blog here about beautiful waterfalls on Iceland. Check it out... there are some gorgeous pictures here!

Glass Flowers....

At Curious Expeditions you can find various photo albums that are weird, fab and fascinating.

The Blascka glass flower collection at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, over 3,000 glass models were created by glass artisans Leopold Blaschka and his son - Rudolph

they began in 1886, continuing for five decades. The collection represents more than 830 plant species.
Check out the Glass Flower photostream provided by Curious Expeditions.

Evolutionary Road...

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Image)

Study Catches Two Bird Populations As They Split Into Separate Species

ScienceDaily (July 14, 2009) — A new study finds that a change in a single gene has sent two closely related bird populations on their way to becoming two distinct species. The study, published in the August issue of the American Naturalist, is one of only a few to investigate the specific genetic changes that drive two populations toward speciation.
full article here.

A snail can sleep for three years

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death

A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out

A snail can sleep for three years (my son must be part snail)

All polar bears are left-handed

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain  (oh dear....)

Butterflies taste with their feet

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, dogs have only about ten

Cat urine glows under a black light  (it smells really bad too)

Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn’t wear pants

Elephants are the only animals that can’t jump

If you keep a goldfish in a dark room it will eventually turn white

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure (now, how do they know this?)

In the last 4000 years no new animals have been domesticated

More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed by plane crashes

Some lions mate over fifty times a day

Starfish have no brains  (I guess they would envy ostrich's...that is, if they had brains....)

Ants always fall over on their right side when intoxicated

The average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime at night

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds

You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.

from Mapping the Marvelous

Would you trust him?

Bunchberry - sweet but not that tastey
Elderberry - not palatable

Waterfall at Perseverance Trail, Juneau

The sun through the smoke from the wildfires in Yukon and B.C.

cute squirrel :)

Smokey haze from the wildfires

Northern Geranium

Twisted Stalk - poisonous

 but I wouldn't trust him....

He lives at Mendenhall Glacier Valley

Baneberry- gorgeous but
highly poisonous.

eee gads....

this picture was taken by Alastair Robinson.

A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines...Big enough to drown a rat!

more information and pictures in the article.
(I fear a bad scary movie coming soon to a sci fi channel near you)


Mushrooms and Water

Beautiful little mushroom ....not more than an inch tall

Juneau Mist

I just like the look of the droplets on the grass

another mushroom....they thrive in the rain forest environment here :)

Flora of Alaska

All from around Juneau and Douglas Island, Alaska

These beautiful mushrooms were found at Auke Bay, Point Louisa.

American Robin

Image courtesy of wiki

I love the Robin. the way it's always hopping around the ground....the way it runs ahead of you on a trail, like it's a race ;)

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius, also called North American Robin) is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin because of the male's bright red breast, though the two species are not closely related. The American Robin is widely distributed throughout North America, wintering south of Canada from Florida to central Mexico and along the Pacific Coast. It is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin. It has seven subspecies, but only T. m. confinis in the southwest is particularly distinctive, with pale gray-brown underparts.

more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Robin


Hello. I need to send an apology to all those that have left comments here. I have just now realized that I am not being notified when comments are made and therefore, am missing them! My apologies. I've hopefully activated notices properly and will receive a note from now on whenever someone comments.

So, I've just come upon this interesting link via twitter (below) with pics of albino animals. Isn't this owl so sweet looking?
Albinism happens when there is an absence of malanin pigment in the skin. The condition is known to affect mammals (including humans), fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Click here to see a gallery of images.

The Alpine Hare...

Painting by Thorburn, 1919, Text by John Southern - taken from "Thorburn's Landscapes" by John Southern.