Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Florals/Fun: "Good News" Stories Featuring Sandpointers

I'll just call her "Bessy of Filipowski Cows."  

Bessy had something pretty heavy on her mind as I passed by her pasture at the Leedy farm last evening with my camera.

I had not planned to take a drive, but THE MOSQUITOES all around our yard drove me crazy.  So, I had no choice. 

Fortunately, they left me alone long enough to take a few photos of the beautiful blooming show around the Lovestead.

Twas that last photo of lilacs in the north lawn that finally drove me to the car and up the road to snap a few more photos.  

I actually drove almost to the end of North Center Valley Road before turning around.  In that stretch, a brief visit with one of the residents who was out biking led to an agreement that the mosquitoes seem worse than ever this year.   

More of them and more aggressive than usual to suck our blood. 

As usual, there was pretty stuff along the road during that golden hour for photography.  And, when I returned to the driveway, the mosquitoes held off from attacking me in the car so I could take a few photos of the evening Chuck-it session.  

As usual, Liam was letting no grass grow under him, and Kiwi was content to run "shotgun" with her ball between her teeth as Liam raced and leaped for his ball. 

This morning, I've included three links toward the bottom, which all deal with "sons of Sandpoint." Each link describes an impressive accomplishment.   

In regard to the first link, I don't know much about his new book yet because I haven't heard back from James Martin (also originator of the North Idaho Fishing group site on Facebook).

Was hoping he'd be on Facebook this morning and see my note, asking for some highlights of how his newly released book evolved.  

So, there's the cover and there's a link to Amazon where you can order the book.  

Bill and I have known James since he was born, and we've enjoyed the various phases of his life as a Boy Scout, English student, talented musician, college professor, fishing aficionado and a whole lot more.  

Well-rounded seems insufficient for describing him.  Plus, he's a really nice young man who truly loves and admires his family and their family roots.

Congratulations, James, and, of course, Mama Jean, you must be very proud!

The second link involves a rather ambitious project taken on by two Sandpoint High classmates Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich.  Maybe you've seen mention of them before!

Well, Luke and Garrett and Garrett's wife Emily, along with a thousand new Idaho friends have officially crossed the threshold with their efforts to have a Medicaid expansion initiative appear on the Idaho General Election ballot this fall.  

News came out yesterday that more than the minimum required signatures had been validated stateside.  

So, once again, congratulations to these positive minded visionaries and good luck as you continue your quest to see this Initiative pass in November.

Finally, one of the earliest of the native sons to appear on the national front will be returning to Sandpoint High School today.  

Green Bay Packer legend and Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer will present official documentation of his recent selection to the NFL Hall of Fame today at 1:15 p.m.  

Jerry has relatives down the road who compete with me in the "yard beautiful" annual campaign, and I promised Janice that I'd try to make it to the program.  

So, check out the last link below.  

It's definitely another day when we can chant, "We're from Sandpoint, and we couldn't be any prouder."
Congratulations to all these folks who have worked hard and with honor to make good things happen.

We are proud of you!

New Release by Sandpoint native and Montana State University professor James Martin.  

The iconic American banana man of the early twentieth century--the white "banana cowboy" pushing the edges of a tropical frontier--was the product of the corporate colonialism embodied by the United Fruit Company. 

This study of the United Fruit Company shows how the business depended on these complicated employees, especially on acclimatizing them to life as tropical Americans.

Above James Martin.  Below, James at Schweitzer with his mom Jean and his sons. 

Link No. 2

Luke Mayville

Garrett Strizich

Link No. 3

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Trail Creek Hike 2018

The friendly folks at the Naples Store didn't know for sure if the gate at the lower end of the Trail Creek Road off HWY 95 had opened yet.

So, after our purchase of a fresh cup of coffee for me, along with a hotdog and Chic-o-Stick for Bill, we crossed the highway onto the road, hoping for the best. 

The gate was open.  The road was rough, soupy in some places, but we made it to the next gate where there's an opening, a Forest Service john and corrals for trail riders.

Changing into our hiking shoes, spraying ourselves with mosquito repellent and grabbing our trekking sticks, we headed through the second gate and up the trail, which is actually a road. 

A light rain spit on us for a while, but it eventually stopped and with the temperature much cooler than down in the valley, conditions were perfect. 

The road is a gradual uphill most of the way with a few level spots for taking a breath.  Bill and I have taken this hike every year for the past three years and usually at the same time.

Most snow has recently melted, wildflowers are beginning to dot the hillsides, and trees are just leafing out or showing off their new needles. 

Bill was treated to one of his ultimate viewing delights---fresh needles on larch trees.  That has already happened  down in the valleys, so on yesterday's hike he enjoyed a double dose of what he considers the most beautiful color in nature. 

Shortly into the hike, which provided us some relatively soft surface for walking along with a few really smooshy spots, we began studying the tracks:  a human, some vehicles, moose and a wolf. 

All had passed through recently, and, for a time, we thought we might even see a vehicle. 

Eventually---about two miles up the trail, we could see where the human had turned around.  The wolf tracks continued to show up from time to time as did the moose.

With all these tracks, the closest thing we saw resembling wildlife was a noisy stellar jay, flitting between tree branches and making sure we knew of its presence.  

Bill wished that he had some peanuts, recalling one day in the woods when he held them out in his hand while a jay came to sample them. 

Yesterday's 5-mile hike up and down the gated off Trail Creek Road was quite satisfying for me.  

Having been tormented with a sore shoulder for the past few months, which seems to be improving, I noted that this hike had provided a good test for me personally. 

Thankfully, the endurance is still there, even though walking down hill awakens some soreness to the knees, but this ol' body still has what it takes to totally enjoy a reasonable hike in the mountains.

Regardless of any age during the life of this almost 71-year-old, I've never been keen on hiking straight up and straight down terrain, but moderation, like yesterday's walk,  almost always works okay for me.  

So, the relative ease of the Trail Creek Road made me more than pleased that I can still get out and enjoy the back country on my own two feet. 

We were pretty amazed on our way down to inspect some huckleberry bushes and to find berries already formed on some bushes, none on others.  Could be early hucks this year and could be spotty.  

During the hike I posted a photo on Facebook and was not surprised to hear within minutes from my friend and fellow backwoods lover/photographer Don Swanstrom.  

Don, who grew up around Naples and worked a few years for the Forest Service,  texted me a note, saying he had come up the road on Mother's Day to find the gate closed.  

He was happy to learn that it is now open.  

"Don will be up here tomorrow," Bill said as we walked. 

"Yup, probably so," I said. 

Twas a great afternoon adventure, and I hope if Don makes it up there soon, he enjoys the trip as much as we did. 

By the way, Bill suggested that sometime we need to plan some logistics where a rig is left at Boulder Meadows and one left at the horse corrals, so we can walk the entire distance down into the meadows or vice versa.

Whaddya think, Don?

Happy Thursday to all. Enjoy the photos.    

I don't remember ever seeing this wildflower before.  Any idea what it's called?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Just Miscellaneous Drivel

I drove to Hope and back after dinner last night.  Out here in Selle, we can take various routes to HWY 200. 

Last night I chose East Shingle Mill Road where the sun on Randy and Carla Poelstra's roadside barn created a lovely evening image. 

Randy and Carla owned the last big dairy in Bonner County.  They've since sold out, but nowadays they provide raw milk, available in a fridge, for folks to purchase---on the honor system. 

What was mud flats a few weeks ago near the Lower Pack River Bridge on HWY 200 is now filled to the brim and a whole lot prettier. 

Last night I saw a blue heron and some geese in this area, too far away for photographs. 

I don't know what this is, but I do know it's pretty. It's in someone's yard on the old highway in Hope.

Everything was SO pretty on the drive to Hope BUT my camera lens and sensor were SO dirty.  

So, most of the shots I took of spectacular evening scenery were too zit-filled to even consider posting.  Darn!

Still, I was able to salvage a few photos. 

I have driven past this barn on the corner of Jacobson Road and Colburn-Culver so many times and have wanted to take a picture.  

Last night on my way home from Hope, nobody was looking and nobody was hovering on my bumper, so I finally fulfilled my wish. 

Ya know you're in farm country when . . . .

Who sez ya can't dance and hold a ball in your mouth at the same time?  No Border Collie ever!

This and the rest of the photos were taken this morning while I waited for CB to eat his oats.

They just represent some of the peaceful scenes that go along with doing the morning barn chores.

Sure does beat the good ol' days of just a few weeks ago when I complained so much about the mud.

North Idaho can be so dismal during the dismal season, but when it bounces back to life, there's nothing like it.

With the lawn freshly mown, I'll focus on Festus today and throwing in some seeds to the one empty planter.  Since I love the smell of dill, it and other herbs will be among the seeds.

It's time for Festus to get monitored for his glucose level. Monitoring leads to the next box of syringes and supply of insulin.

Our old kitty seems to be doing just fine with his diabetes, and I've gotten pretty good at giving shots over the past year or so.

All in all, things are going just fine, and we're loving the weather, except the mosquitoes can go away any time they want. 

Happy Wednesday.