Archive for January, 2009

ATVing, Snowshoing, Photography

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

I’m not sure what heaven is going to be like, but it must be like riding with a friend on an ATV, up a mountain, where you snow shoe out to a ledge overlooking a lake and see clouds held in by the mountains like a giant cauldron. Or, it was just like yesterday when I did and saw just that. Truly euphoric.
Here’s a shot over the lake where all you can see are the clouds that have have been trapped by the mountains.


In this shot, you can see the clouds as they lap up the edge of the mountain.


I’ll have another. Thank you.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

What if your mule gets a flat tire? After a day of riding my friend Jesse around a mountain on the Rhino (my ATV), I passed his son-in-law Shawn on the way home with his pets. Here’s a picture. Notice anything strange?


Here’s a hint (click to enlarge):


Yes sir, like a good boy scout, Shawn’s always prepared. If one of his mules gets a flat, he’s brought along spares? Actually, Shawn raises mules and these are his students. They are packed with heavier cargo depending on their experience level. If you look closely you can see large logs on the end mule.

Mystery Mounds of Pine Needles

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Take a look at this picture of a mound of pine needles.


So, what is it? Hints: This mound stands about 2-1/2 feet high and is about 2 feet around at the base. I’ve seen them in the summer and have been meaning to get a picture of them for this blog. You’ll find them here and there when walking through the forest. This is the first time I realized that snow doesn’t gather on them. You definitely don’t want to get too close to it. My friend says he soaks them in gasoline and burns them whenever they get this big. Answer: It’s a fire-ant hill and if you disturb it, they start spitting acid at you.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Spelling is not that important in small town newspapers, I guess. There are times when getting it right will make or break your efforts. For example, when you’re writing about the winners of the local spelling bee in the Education section of the newspaper. If you read this blog, you know I can’t spell very well. I don’t claim to be able to spell. So, if I catch a typo, it’s got to be pretty bad. Enjoy.

I’d like to recommend that the Daily Bee hire any of these children to edit the paper.  I should probably hire them to edit my blog as well.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Winter. Cold. Dreary. Cabin Fever… Solution: get some skiers together at the top of a mountain. Hand them some flares and have them ski down the mountain in a slalom pattern. Add music, fireworks and promote it as a big event to the people of the town. And they will come by the thousands. Sound Crazy? Milder weather appears to have attracted a huge crowd of at least a thousand towns-people to this years “Torch Light Parade.” This, of course, got Jenny and I (and some unsuspecting friends) to come out and watch as well. This was our third time – so now it’s a tradition. Click the still image below and see how excited these people get over such an event…

torch light parade

First moose of 2009

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

On the way up the driveway today, eagle eye Jenny spotted a moose in our yard. I don’t think we’ll ever get over seeing these creatures. It was hard to get a good shot through the trees. To the untrained eye, she’s just relaxing in a ray of sunshine but I know better — she’s crouched down, sneaking around the woods and hiding behind trees so nobody can spot her.


2009 K-9 Keg Pull

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

What in the world is this man doing with that rake?

He’s preparing the course. Today marked the 13th annual K-9 Keg pull in downtown Sandpoint. I’d been waiting a year for this since we missed it last year. I couldn’t count the athletes but there were dogs everywhere.

Dogs of all sizes compete to pull a beer keg down a 50 yard course. The kegs are fitted to the dogs by a special harness. Some dogs take it in stride.

Other dogs are fierce competitors. This is the winner by the way.

There were big dogs with big kegs and of course small dogs with small kegs…

…Smaller dogs with small kegs… (To Paula, my sister and owner of a Pom. Where were you this winter?)

Funniest of all were the surprised looks on the dogs when they realized that there was a large metal object in tow. Many of them had no idea what the program was. All the dog calls in the world were no matter for some dogs who gave up in the first 10 feet.

It was a great event and we had a lot of fun. Cabin fever cures come in all shapes and sizes.

Raking Snow?

Monday, January 12th, 2009

December brought a record snow to the area with 60+ inches falling in one month. Thankfully, it was very cold and so, all the snow was light and fluffy.Still with this much snow, there have been several roofs in the area that collapsed. Ours would only be in danger if we got a heavy snowfall or heaven forbid rain which was in the forcast. The snow would soak up the water like a spunge. Many folks in the Northwest participated in the ritual of raking the snow off of their roofs. This included the Leo household. After untold amounts of money on experimental roof-rake poles, I think I found a good solution this year. Here’s a shot that shows the depth of the snow that needed to come off the roof and then another from the yard.


You might notice the garbage cans on the front porch. This is due to the almost impossible task of retrieving them from the back porch in winter. I just gave up and put them in front. Nobody visits in winter anyway.


Snowshoes … The Enablers

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Did I mention that we got 60+ inches of snow in December of 2008? With that much snow on the ground the only place one can walk is on the driveway or the road. Even the dogs, deer, moose, hairs, and other wildlife tend to use the roads more. Ah, but that was last year. We celebrated the first day of 2009 by trying out our new snow shoes. It turns out that Jenny and I both like them. And getting back into the woods behind our house we are the only humans to see the beauty back there. Now if I could only lose 50 lbs. so that my snow shoes wouldn’t sink into the snow so much.

Here’s a shot of Jenny returning home after a trip around the yard.