The weather app reported that it was 28 degrees this morning here in Salmon, Idaho. As the sun cleared the mountains, it was time to quickly grab a camera and photograph the frosty landscape while it lasted.
The Norwegians say that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Having grown up in Minnesota, I am very familiar with being prepared for the change in seasons. We’d take one weekend and swap out our summer wardrobes for clothing more suitable for fall and winter. Then we’d sweat through that final heat wave with shorts and T-shirts out of easy reach until springtime. Warmer weather is forecast.
Yeah, yeah, winter is coming. A week of summer is remaining and the first snow has fallen here in Lemhi County, Idaho. Within a week’s time we’ve gone from shorts and T-shirts to jackets and boots, and A/C to heater. Windshield scrapers will be replacing the fidget spinners that have been marked down several times in search of an impulse buy at the checkout counter of the hardware store. Let’s slow things down a bit. The leaves have yet to turn color. Winter, please be patient.
“Paint Your Wagon” is one of our favorite movies. I can hardly wait until the gold prospectors, all hunkered down in the storm, start singing with beautiful harmonies:
The rain is Tess,
The fire’s Joe
And they call the wind Maria
What do we call the smoke? It’s left out of the brilliant song by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe. We can’t call it Karl, which is reserved for San Francisco’s famous fog. Hurricanes and tropical storms get their own names. More than half of the country is affected by thick smoke from western fires that are burning hundreds of thousands of acres. And we’re the lucky ones. We’re didn’t have to evacuate our homes as the flames raced through the forested mountains of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia and the rest of the West. We just have to deal with smoky air and fine ash covering everything, as if the forests are redistributing themselves.
If you have any influence, please send Tess. Lots and lots of Tess.
Some neighbors came over for dinner last week. It was the first time to meet one of them. Besides the items they said they would contribute to dinner came a bouquet of gladiolus (more on them another day), raspberry preserves, apricot preserves and zucchini fresh from the garden. What a nice welcome to the neighborhood.
We were told that there are a two times a year here when you lock your doors and roll up the car windows: zucchini season and rhubarb season. However, we were more than happy to accept the abundant produce and now know a sneaky way to get rid of excess rhubarb next spring. One of the zucchini, however, was about half the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. I was about to hollow it out and slap some wheels on it when a better idea emerged: check recipes on Pinterest. This one from the Dash of Sanity blog used the most zucchini. I added some nutmeg. The yield was two loaves today and two yesterday, plus some leftover grated squash for tonight’s dinner.
More zucchini is lurking in the kitchen. Check your doors and windows.
Paying homage to Doctor Dolittle, I nicknamed these twin fawns Pushmi-Pullyu. Mama was barely a leap and bound away from the pair, which had just nursed. They are regular visitors to the pasture and it has been fun to watch them grow. This photo was made with a 300mm lens and 1.7 converter for the equivalent of 510mm. They are very tiny in the original, uncropped frame.
A leisurely half-day scenic float on the Salmon River began at Island Park and ended at Morgan Bar BLM Campground on Aug. 20, 2017, in Lemhi County, Idaho. These cliffs are along the way. Idaho Adventures, based in Salmon, offers several kinds of river tours with this one being the shortest and calmest. Guide Chris offered some history lessons and helped us spot several ospreys and eagles. (© 2017 Cindi Christie/Cyanpixel)
This tiny bird came to rest on the back deck. It appeared a bit stunned but not with an obvious injury. Maybe it had just left the nest and was making plans for its next adventure. No matter how it came to rest just outside the sliding glass door, I knew that golden retriever Freyja would love to give it a ride in her mouth — especially on the way to her stomach. It didn’t chirp or flutter as I scooped it up and placed it out of harm’s way, but fortunately within range of my camera’s long lens. I am happy to report that it took wing shortly after its modeling session.
Members of the Idaho Birding group on Facebook didn’t agree at first on what kind of bird it is, but orange-crowned warbler(Oreothlypis celata) got most of the votes. I appreciate that they so readily shared their knowledge and pointed me to some identification tools to use in the future. There are some really fantastic bird photographers in these parts. In my old caption-writing days, given the chance of being incorrect and having to answer phone calls or be the subject of letters to the editor, I would just call it a young bird. What I do know for sure is it didn’t become Freyja’s midday snack.
What’s not to love except for the occasional scary thunderstorm? There is green grass, fun critters to watch and flying discs to catch. You need more than one as she is reluctant to give up her prized possession. Drop by and toss a few.