Monday, January 18, 2016

Off the Couch . . . .

Stolen from a Twitter Post, but I don't think whoever posted it there would mind if this meaningful message were passed on.  

Just like the story I've heard a time or two about a massive, beautiful field of fluttering daffodils where an astounded admirer wondered how the creator of the remarkable scene had achieved such a phenomenon. 

The answer: a simple, persistent but effective approach created the beauty:  one bulb at a time.

On this Martin Luther King Day, in a year where daily personal insults, bigotry and hate, especially spewed loudly in the public arena,  seem to be acceptable, I'm hoping that these are just anomalies and that, really, a vast silent majority of our population is quietly continuing the dream of Dr. King.  

Just like the planter of all those daffodils, millions of our citizens plod along at a steady pace, giving of themselves with one good, caring and loving deed at a time. 

In the tale about those pretty yellow flowers, the sheer numbers of those healthy, proud daffodils allowed no room for ugly, invasive weeds.  

Maybe it will be the same some day, thanks to all the rainbows in other people's clouds. 

On this Martin Luther King holiday, Bill has gone to work.  He'll be meeting a logger near Cocolalla Lake.   

Meanwhile, I'll be going about my usual daily routine, probably thinking a lot about the busy but wonderful weekend . . . 'cept for the Seahawks loss, of course. 

One aspect of our "on-the-go" couple of days involved hosting a family from Moscow for a couple of hours on Saturday.  

Seems that when one posts a photo of a bird rare to the area, the word gets out.  

I've learned there is truly a communication pipeline among birders.  Last week I received a call from my friend Florine who had told some of her friends in Coeur d'Alene who happen to be birders about the brown thrasher photo on my blog.

She said they got excited.  It's possible some of them may even drive up this way.  

"They don't want to see your house, and they probably won't care much about you," she told me. "They just want to see the bird."

I told her to give them the green light for later this week, should they choose to come. She said someone would send me an email.

A couple of days later, I received an email.  Assuming it was one of Florine's friends, I read it aloud to Bill.  The person wanted to know if it was okay to come to our home to see the Brown Thrasher on Saturday.   

Then, I noticed that this person was from Moscow.  Hmm.  Those birders are on the move, I thought. 

Then, Bill told me he actually knew this person because he's also a tree nursery expert. So, I told Bill he could do the hosting because I knew Saturday would be a busy day for me.

Well, the Dumroese family all came, including Kas, Debbie and Niklaas.  

And, the bird performed perfectly.

I announced the strategy.  

We would quietly walk around the corner of the house; then I would move ahead and "flush" out the bird.  Everyone agreed.

We hadn't even turned the corner of the house when the thrasher flew from the spot where it had been eating, landed on a poplar limb and POSED for several minutes, pretty much like the pose in my photo below.  

"This is too easy," Kas said, as he stood inside our living room snapping photo after photo of the thrasher. 

Later, Bill took the trio snow shoeing through our woods and inducted them into the Lodgepole Society.  Very nice people, and, so far, I must say the birders among us are all nice people. 

Looking forward to the Audubon ladies from Coeur d'Alene. 

Bill read me a very disturbing article in yesterday's Spokesman-Review, showing that not all hosts are as hospitable as we are when a rare bird shows up.  Not a nice story.  Be warned, especially if you love birds.  

In other news, yesterday morning started out all about the Seahawks.  I was proudly wearing my No. 12 jersey and had pulled out several pieces of Seahawks chocolate caramels before turning on the TV---only to see the Seahawks were already 14 points down.  

I ate one piece of candy, thinking it would make a difference.  No way.  The whole first half was depressing.  Facebook posts were revealing true fans and fair-weather fans (one saying they were embarrassed to be a Seahawks fan).

Well, I held on, and ate another piece of candy when the second half started.  I ate several more, and the Seahawks almost came back but ran out of time, needing just one more touchdown to win.  

The end to this year's Seahawks run signaled a good time to get out of the house, even though had already spent some time before the game on a walk down our road. 

As I turned onto the road and headed north, I could see a man with three dogs coming my way.  Turns out it was a neighbor from the other end of the road.  We visited, talked dogs and photos and agreed to be Facebook friends. 

Later, when Bill and I left after the Seahawks game, we took all of our dogs and headed toward Clark Fork to see the herd elk which hangs out in a field near town.  They were in their usual spot, waiting for dinner.  

Once again, I loved having the new camera and its telephoto which brings them up a lot closer.  After taking a few shots, we headed up Lightning Creek.

The last time we had seen the creek, it was dry as a bone in late summer.  So, it was great to observe that the bed has filled up with rushing, cold water and a good supply of snow to fill it up even more.

We walked about two miles from where the road is no longer plowed but still packed down, thanks to snow machines.  

It was a great outing for the dogs, and I'll report that Liam knew he was experiencing a workout during the longest walk he's ever taken.  That Border Collie tongue was dragging, especially as we trudged up a long uphill stretch on the way back. 

It was good to get out, especially after finally getting past the never-ending cold.  Nice to be feeling good again and enjoying our outdoor beauty.

Happy Monday.  Enjoy the photos. 

The Dumroese family of Moscow. 

I loved this scene of the empty cottonwood tree.  Then, I noticed there were two and then three.  I put all three photos for the artists among us.  They seem like nice inspirations for watercolors. 

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