Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Still Snowing!

It's almost noon and it's still snowing.  Unbelievable!  This is what we get when there is a La Nina!  It's starting to look like it's going to be another short season for the garden.  It could be a sign that I should take a long vacation this summer.  Hmmm. Where to go?

What the #*!! is this white stuff? Where are my crocus? Pansies?

8:30 a.m.  Jon cleans off the dishes.  This event had to be recorded.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Elk on Greens' Ridge

 You can barely see the elk at the top of the middle cottonwood tree in this shot.

This is a zoom shot. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grizzly Bear

Today's Naturalist Class subject was mammals.  They had a nice display of bear hides and this bear.  He looked very friendly here, but I would not care to meet him in the woods. 

Just take a close look at those claws!

Today's Wildlife

This morning (5:45 a.m.) there were eight deer grazing in the field.  I tried to get a photo of them but it was still a little dark for a good shot.  When one of them looked like she might jump the fence into the garden, I went outside and yelled to scare them away.  I was not very effective as they are still in the field in this shot.

This afternoon there was a coyote in the field near my compost pile. The coyote was a female who squatted, urinated and then scraped with her hind legs.  She spent quite a bit of time in the field and seemed to be looking for something.  Then she turned around and went back into the woods.   Neil has a photo of two coyotes taken with his trail camera  near our field so Jon figures that she was looking for the other coyote. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trip to the Cabinet Fish Hatchery

We all took a ride out to the hatchery.  Jamie worked there when he was working his way through college.  They had 10,000,000 Kokanee eggs this year so the hatchery is full of tiny fish.  They also have some Cutthroat.  Collin and Rylee enjoyed looking at all the fish.



Easter Weekend Photos

 Lichen - with insidia (brown tips on the lichen). Insidia is a reproductive organ unique to a few lichen, which contains both the algae and the fungus.

 Female Robin

 What?  I'm only here to eat the grass, and then your crocus and tulips, maybe some blueberry bush branches.....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interesting Info from Master Naturalist Class

Dr. Dan Leavell, a botanist for the USFS, gave an excellent presentation about ecosystem management.  Of interest to me was the fact that the mountain tops in the Bull River Drainage receive 80-90 inches of rain per year.  That's a lot of rain for this area especially when you consider that Missoula receives 13 inches of rain a year and here in Hope we probably get around 40 inches. I took this photo last summer when we drove up Bull River and stopped at Ross Creek Cedars.  Ibex Peak, Cabinet Mountains.

Happy Un-Birthday, Elle-Bell

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Class Begins Tomorrow! Oh no! Class? Study?

The Idaho Master Naturalist Course was created by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.   This is the first time it will be offered in Bonner County.  The first class is tomorrow and I am looking forward to it.  It should be a lot of fun and  a real learning experience.  Forty hours of coursework which includes field trips and then forty hours of volunteer work to become a certified Idaho Master Naturalist.  I have started a Nature Journal to go along with the class.  This is a link to one of the Idaho Chapters:  Idaho Master Naturalist Program

And More Moss

Oops!  Not moss!  One more shot of Idaho Goldthread.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Moss Identification Project

Jon collected these three today.  We are trying to identify them but no luck so far.

Another photo of #1

Cougar Creek Concord Cherry Blend

Bottling April Dawn White Wine

We bottled 31 liters yesterday and I finished with the shrink-wrap and the labels today.  I have the Concord Cherry Blend in the bottles.  They are ready for corks and to be moved to the wine cellar.

This morning we had another 1/2 inch of fresh snow on the ground.  The forecast is for a chance of snow the rest of this week.  Hello Spring.......

Friday, April 15, 2011

Second White Wine Bottling

Jon and I moved the white wine yesterday to get ready for bottling.  Moving it stirred up the sediment in the bottom so we are waiting for it to settle again.  The Concord Cherry Wine is ready to bottle.  It will be next on the list. 

Temperatures 10 Degrees Colder Than Normal This Year

 Tomatoes on the vine with more on the plant in the background-see #3

 Second lettuce crop

 Tomato seedlings for the garden

 Two of four trays of pansies

 The delphiniums are starting to get their first true leaves

White and lavender alyssum



More pansies

It's really been cold and rainy here.  We should have temps near sixty and they are barely getting to 45.  My pansies and petunias are going to have to go outside under plastic as I am running out of room under the lights.   They will definitely be hardened off in a couple of weeks.