Archive for the ‘photo shots’ Category

Nov. 15 – Our winter begins

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Nov. 15th is “D-Day” as in deadline day. If it ain’t ready for winter by today, I’m dead. Yesterday while putting on the final touches in preparation for winter I found this little girl (very likely a queen) hiding in the fold of a rag in the shed.

She’s very much alive but is tucked away for a long winter nap. Unlike a dead bug, her legs are folded downward rather the crinkled up. And her wings are also folded in front of her. Even her antenna are folded down behind her head. I love to see God’s handiwork in his creation.

Jesus Causing Trouble At The Fair

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Not too many people have a reputation for walking on water. Apparently though, Jesus has been to the local county fair in the past and stirred up trouble. As a result, they’ve had to put out signs in anticipation of his return.

Sign: Please Keep Off The Pond

Sign: Please Keep Off The Pond

County Fair, Part 3

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Rock-n-Roll chicken band. Not much more to say here.

County Fair, Part 2 – Cows

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

What would a county fair be without 4-H cows? Not much. I learn something every year. For those who haven’t seen the great deal of effort that goes into raising and presenting a winning cow, you’re missing  a lot. Here’s an example. note that this is the has been washed, groomed, picked up after, and is wearing a nice clean halter. If I didn’t know better, it looks more like a stuffed fur mattress than a cow. (click images to enlarge)

Next up is the a tribute to Buttons, the cow (Actually, I’m to learn from this that Buttons is actually a steer). A combination of cow, sewing and a play on the name.

And finally, this amazing picture came out blurry because I had to snap it very quickly lest I be seen.

How does one clean a prize cow? The answer is shown here as this proud woman uses a vacuum cleaner.

Night time on Little Blacktail Mtn.

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

A friend Dave and I road up to the top of a near by mountain to catch to photos of the moon rising over Lake Pend O’Reille. I love night photography. (click images to enlarge images)

Moon rise

Moon rising over Lake Pend O'Reille and Cabinet Mountains

Sandpoint Idaho at night

Sandpoint Idaho at night

Lake Cocolalla at night

Lake Cocolalla (one of those lights in the middle is our porch light)

Good Morning Moon Shine

Monday, January 31st, 2011

We do get to enjoy some great sunrises… and moon rises. (click to enlarge)

Short Range Hunting

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Viewing the beauty of God’s creation never seems to get old. And shooting them with a camera is, to me, just as exciting as any sport except that I get to shoot them over and over again. Yesterday was an exceptional day of hunting, all without leaving the comfort of our deck.

The most exciting news is that momma and papa quail appear to be getting used to us enough to allow some great shots. They like sitting on the rocks in the yard because it gives them a good vantage point but also it’s usually warmer when the sun hits it. Here’s momma with 8 (of the 10) babies huddled together. (You can click images below to enlarge)


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In addition to the Doodle family (that’s what we them), we also saw a deer pass through and the hummingbirds are in full swing now that nesting season is over.



Air show @ Fairchild Airforce Base – Spokane

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Bribing Jenny with a nice lunch in Spokane, she accompanied me to an awesome air show in Spokane. Unlike Chicago, we got to sit (if we so chose) not 25 feet from the front row and in many cases we could have elbowed our way up. But there was no need since the planes were flying almost overhead. It was an amazing day for photographs.




Click the thumbnails below to enlarge.

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A day for the birds

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

TREE SWALLOWS: Yesterday we noticed that our birdhouse was actually being used by a pair of tree swallows. Today, I caught them on silicon.


Click the thumbnail below to see the “landing” sequence of momma bird. Note how she slows herself down by flying backwards before landing. And note the little beak over her wing peeking out of the hold.


QUAIL: We also have a family of quail who have taken up residence in the yard somewhere. About a week ago Jenny and I were walking out to see a wild rose bush I’d found and I almost stepped on the babies as they scrambled through the tall grass below my feet. Today they’re about the size of a baseball and can take flight if frightened. Here they are crossing the fire pit.



Flowering Trees

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

These probably don’t look like flowers to most people. I have overlooked them for years. But this year I realized that they were when I touched one and a small puff of yellow dust (pollen) was released into the air. For those who don’t live near a large grove of pine trees, you don’t know what it’s like when these things spread yellow dust all over everything. At least that’s the excuse we can use when company comes over.

Ponderosa Pine Flowers

Lodgepole Pine Flowers

39 again

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Jenny celebrated another birthday recently. 39 of course. Happy Birthday my sweet.


Ripping up the mountain

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

I’ve never seen a snow mobile do this. This shot it right side up — he’s not.


These were taken at the last of the snow celebration at Schweitzer mountain where snow mobiles are allowed to rip up the ski hill.

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Why Idaho?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

In 2000, Jenny and I took a vacation to Emerald Lake in British Columbia, fell in love with the northwest and the rest is history. Also marking history this month is our 20th wedding anniversary. On our 10th, 15th we wanted to venture back to BC but couldn’t make it happen. This year however, with no air-fair or rental car, we could afford to return. This is why, Idaho.Still the most beautiful place in the world that we’ve ever seen.

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Snow Shoes, out of season

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

I guess the snow shoe hares (now, is it hare or hares?) didn’t get the memo about the mild winter. Forth mildest on record by the way. Eagle eye Jenny spotted them. Not that it was too difficult.They still had their silky white winter coats on. Maybe the zipper is stuck; Preventing them from putting on their warm weather brown coats.



Idaho Forest Group Mill

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Grangeville, Idaho, March 23 – Jenny was there visiting a perspective client, but who cares about that when it includes a tour of a state-of-the-art lumber mill. There were meetings, dining, charts, discussions… but did I mention the tour?


The tour begins with safety. We’re assured that the bright green vests aren’t for use in target practice by Shannon, the mill manager. Shannon is unique to this mans’ industry in several ways. In short, she’s a gracious manager who cares about her crew as much as the company. Both of which share her with her family. And thankfully, having earned the respect of her team, she doesn’t need to assert foul language, or a gruff masculine attitude to get the job done.


Everything here is big. For perspective, our new friend Dennis, stands next to the “giant tree grabber machine” (technical term). This machine lifts a full truck load of trees in one scoop.

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It then drops them onto a giant conveyor as the trees begin their journey.


While the logs weigh hundreds of pounds, they’re handled by machines that toss them around like toothpicks.


It can’t be stressed enough how there is a fine balance between man and machine. While machines do a lot of handling and analysis, humans are monitoring the progress and manage the machines at every stage of the game. The key is to push the machines to the limit, pushing as much lumber through the mill while not causing log-jams (pun intended) at the next stage of the process.


After logs are scanned and analyzed by computers, these automated saws then slide up and down the length of the log cutting them at the optimal length for the longest boards, and thus the most profitable, than each individual log can yield.


There are more cameras here than a high security prison, with people in towers and soundproof rooms, monitoring each log at each stage of the process. Because of automation, cameras and computers, one person can manage several stages of the process.


This is really cool. Even though each log is very unique, it can be scanned and a computer make the determination of the optimal cuts that will again, give the best yield. New to me is the idea that they don’t just produce 2x4s one day, and 2x6s the next. The saws adjust on the fly, cutting all different sized boards.


Not the best shot, but the logs pass through a series of band saws. Each of the two wheels on the left is the top of band saws. The 18ft bands are changed multiple times per day; lifted in with special cranes. They’re then sent down stairs (who would have thought a saw mill had a downstairs) for sharpening.

The big black thing is a scanner. It determines the size of the wood which is then sent off to be sorted by size and length.


The wood is automatically stacked and loaded on a tram system that takes it off to be kiln dried.


This is the final product. Idaho’s largest asset and biggest industry. A forest of cut lumber ready to go anywhere in the country by the railroad line that goes through the property.

Many thanks to Shannon and Dennis who were very kind hosts to Jenny and I during our visit. Hopefully you’ll allow us to return the favor when you’re in this neck of the woods.