Friday, June 30, 2006

Pollen Tree

Brand new needles are making an appearance on the lodgepole pines, so this year's growth has turned from brown to green. June is also the month for pollen. While some trees aren't forming much pollen, others have so many pollen cones that it looks like the whole tree is in bloom. I call them pollen trees.

Monday, June 26, 2006

War On Thistles

I have declared war on the Canada Thistle! This is a noxious weed which is highly invasive, spreading not only by seed but also by far-spreading roots, giving rise to the alternate name of Creeping Thistle. Last year, being a new property owner, I did not know I had it until it grew up and went to seed. It has the most uninspiring blossom of any thistle I have seen, and the leaves are the prickliest of any.

This year I am attacking it with a hoe wherever I find it. My goal is to prevent it from growing up to seed and to reduce the energy being fed to the roots by all the green foliage. It is easy enough to spot the plants in the gravelly area around the well ...

... but much more difficult where it has spread into the grass and wildflowers.

Friday, June 23, 2006


The eggs have all hatched! Every nest is brimming with chicks. I don't know what kind of birds these are, but one parent is jet black, and the other is dark, dark gray. The only sound I have heard is an angry chirping whenever I am in the yard, rising to a screech if I approach the chicks.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Cat

We finally got a kitten to keep our cat company. The kitten came from a cat rescue place, and she is the sweetest, neatest little calico female about three months old. She has a wonderful personality, very cuddly and affectionate, and she gets along great with our fluffy orange cat, Eggnog. We are calling the new kitten Sparkle.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Winter In Australia

Today is the so-called first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. At the same time, it is the first day of winter in the southern hemisphere. So, in honour of winter in Australia, here are some pictures of some friends from Australia who visited here in early April.

Here we are about to leave the kennel. Ghost and Walnut in lead, Gravity and Charge in swing, and Coconut and Raisin in wheel. The snow level is five and a half feet (1.7 meters).

Fred and Joyce out on the trail. Note the hooded
raincoat that Joyce was wearing. She got the prize for best dressed as we got rained on while we were out! Thunder and lightning and the whole works! We had fun, though. There is nothing quite like warm weather mushing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Rainbows are fairly common in the mountains because of the very localized storms that create rain in one part of the sky while the sun is still shining brightly in another part of the sky.

Here a rainbow arches over the Hungry Bear Market, across the street from my house.

The end of the rainbow appears to rest in the Island Park Cemetary, which is just north of the Hungry Bear. Perhaps someone with gold fillings is buried there?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bird's Nest

I seem to have suffered from some sluggishness when it comes to blogging lately. The dogs are all fine. I have been spending most of my time planting new trees and shrubs. Lacking an abundance of money, I have had to get small seedlings, which won't rise above the tall grass for, oh, five years maybe? But who would have thought it would be that tough to dig holes through all those grass roots? I have been sweating every day trying to get the shovel down to actual dirt so I can get the trees planted before they croak.

The swallows finally gave up and left after having their houses repeatedly squirted down, crashing to the deck below. They didn't give up easily, but they finally figured out that they had better move elsewhere if they ever wanted to finish their house building and lay any eggs.

Some other birds have been more fortunate, having chosen our fir trees to build their nests in. They only use the firs; they won't touch the spruces. The nests are fairly close to the ground, but none of the dogs have noticed them. The dogs are far more interested in chasing the ground squirrels, which they never can catch.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The swallows have found our house to be perfect habitat and have been building nests like crazy. Last year we only had one nest on each end of the house, but this year there are several dozen. One day I counted 50 birds on the south side alone. Mike has been knocking the nests down with a strong spray of water from the hose, but they keep rebuilding. They make a huge mess, pooping and dropping mud on the deck and on the freezers. We really need to build some kind of fake eaves for them to nest on out in the yard. They are pretty birds, and they make cheerful noises and eat lots of bugs.