Sunday, December 26, 2010

Owl Attack

Friday afternoon I ran out to see if I could find some Long-eared owls at Market Lake.  I found some pellets, but no owls.  I was able to locate three Great-horned owls and enjoyed working them.  The male owl decided I had gotten close enough.  Here he gives me a warning by snapping his beak.

I back up a few paces continuing to take pictures - it was not enough.

Swooping down he almost gets my hat before he pulls up on his attack.  I gave him plenty of room the rest of the day.

Just another hair-raising experience in the Wilds of Idaho.

I hope all of you had a Merry and safe Christmas and are looking forward to the new year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Stormy sunrise

Storms, storms and more storms continue to roll in.  Sometimes the sun gets a chance to peek through the cloud either in the morning or evening.  Tuesday morning as I was leaving for school, we had a beautiful sunrise to celebrate another snow/rain storm moving in.  This was taken from my back steps.

Half way to school I captured this scene.

A great way to start another wild day in Idaho.

See other sky pictures at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wildlife at Howe

On my way home from fishing Mackey Reservoir ( see for that story) I spent about 30 minutes looking at the raptors and other wildlife near Howe, Idaho.

Several people feel Howe may support the largest number of raptors during the winter in the state of Idaho or even the nation.  In 30 minutes I counted 78 hawks and 12 eagles.  The most numerous were the Roughlegged hawk that have just migrated from the Artic Circle.  Here is a beautiful one working a hay field.

Golden eagles were perched on hay stacks and sprinkler lines while Bald eagles were feeding on a few sheep and antelope carcusses around the area.

Herds of antelope filled  the fields along the road.  I estimate there were about 1000 pronghorns in a nine mile stretch.

A great way to end another wild day in Idaho.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Backyard birds

With a foot of snow on the gound, the songbirds left around my yard is always looking for food.  Today with the warmer weather, they were still emptying my feeders.

Black-capped chickadees are very numberous.  Here one leaves its perch to attack the sunflower seeds.

The niger seed sack was a battleground for the American Goldfinch.

Here a Housefinch tries to crack a captured sunflower seed.

Just another wild day in Idaho.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Winter sunset

Storm after storm after storm has rolled through Idaho in the last 10 days.  But several evening had a little clearing - enough to harvest some beautiful sunsets.  This was one of them taken from my back yard near Rexburg, with a foot of snow on the ground.

The end of another wild day in Idaho.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trumpeter swans on the Henrys Fork

Yesterday while coming back from ice fishing Henrys Lake, the Henrys Fork of the Snake River was full on migrating trumpeter swans.  Here two adults (white ones) tend a flock of seven young ones.

Groups from two to nine continually drop in to join the 200 already on the water.

Here four come in for a landing.

Two pair of adults start arguing over the you five juveniles.  Reminded me of some divorced humans fighting for custody.

A lot of yelling, flapping of wings and raising all heck.

The fight finally increases coming to blows and bites while the kids start sounding off.

Other adults arrive to calm the situation as the two pair are separated.

A half hour was way too short to watch this great action movie, but it was a great way to spend a little time in the wilds of Idaho.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Sundog

After three days of blizzards, Thanksgiving Eve was clear and cold.  As my wife and I came home of picking up our repaired snowblower, we were amazed at the beautiful sundog.  Sundogs are made much like summer rainbows are.  Only a sundog is created by the sun shining through ice crystals instead of raindrops.

A great way to end another wild day in Idaho.

See other great sky pictures at

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Snow sunset

About a foot of snow fell in the Moody Mountains and I spent Tuesday evening getting stuck and unstuck, but the view was absolutely beautiful.  Here is the sky just as the snow storm was leaving.

And here is the sky after the clouds had cleared and the sun was setting over Rexburg.

A beautiful was to end another wild day in Idaho.

See other pictures of the sky at

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Sunset after the storm

Last weekend after a day of rain and snow, the sun colored the western sky over southeastern Idaho with brilliant colors.  This was taken from the Moody Mountains east of Rexburg of the buttes on the Big Desert.

A great way to end another wild day in Idaho.

See other sky pictures at

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mountain Happiness

My friend came up with this saying:  "If you are lucky enough to be in the mountians; you are lucky enough."  I agree and since my wife wants me to get an elk to eat this winter, I have been spending evenings and weekends in the mountians.  All the elk have escaped me, but this week I have seen over 30 moose.  It is breeding time and there are usually numerous bulls with the cows.  Here is a cow with a lazy bull  sleeping behind her.

I have seen over 20 deer.  If you look close you can see four in this picture alone.

But the most thrilling were four more Great Grey owls and two Great-horned owls that I saw this week.  That makes nine Great Greys that I have seen in a week.  The most for me ever during a fall or winter.    Usually they work the old clear cuts that have some patches of grass for them to hunt rodents in.

Sorry for the sideways picture on this one, I just could not get it to straighten up.  But this one was successful  as it has a gopher in its right talons. 

What an exciting week.  Five partial or full days to spend in the wilds of Idaho.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Great Grey owls - five of them.

Yesterday I hit the jackpot - I observed five of them.  I flushed on out of some scattered pines.

Two others soon joined it.

They were working an area with scattered pines and aspen

I was finally able to sneak up behind several pines to get about 30 feet away from this one and get this shot through the trees.

It finally flew off with the other two.

As I was coming out of the mountains, I found a pair of them hunting the CRP ground about four miles from the other owls.  The light was bad but I was able to get this shot after it harvested a rodent.

Its mate continued to fly over me as it hunted the same area.

  By the way, I spent today looking for the five and I found all five of them again.

What a great way to end another wild day in Idaho.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fishing Henrys again

With rain and snow predicted at Henrys Lake, I still ran up to get a few hours in.  We thought the storm would roll in about 11, but it rolled in about 9.

I got there early and had caught eight cutts before the sun started to come over the eastern skyline.  The clouds were rolling in, but a beautiful eastern sky made catching fish a little more enjoyable.

Before the weather chased me off, I was able to fish next to some fishing friends.  Dave from Utah who is "Utah's Greatest Olympic Diver"  (another story for another time) and Garth from Burley, Idaho, helped me laugh about some old experiences.  A very enjoyable few hours. 

The cutthroats were willing as I caught a total of 14 for the morning before I headed in to protect my camera from the rain and snow.

Another wild day in Idaho.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Harvest sunset.

Yesterday evening I decided to go scouting for elk.  I saw two elk, two Ruffed grouse, three wolves, a golden eagle and six moose.

Here are two dating moose.

Then they start kissing!!!!!

As I was driving out of the mountains, the sun was just setting.  The dust from the potato harvest along with the thin clouds in the sky, made for a wonderful sunset.

A great way to end a beautiful sunshine filled day in the wilds of Idaho.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fishing with moose and coots.

Yesterday, my son-in-law, Jesse, and I went fishing on Henrys Lake.  We had a wonderful time and the full report can be found on  We got some spawning brook trout and saw some amazing wildlife.  Here is a male spawning brooktrout over five pounds that Jesse caught.

Canada geese flew over us several times.

Coots were working the shore and we saw seven moose along the shoreline.  Here is a young bull that was feeding in the willows as we were fishing.

Just another great day in the wilds of Idaho.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - storms

When clouds start rolling in mid afternoon, you might just camp out in a scenic place to see what happens.

Storms started rolling in during the afternoon today with a few sprinkles.

Then as evening came, a break in the clouds allowed the sunlight to sneak through, coloring the western sky.  I stayed outside until all the light was gone.

Another verson:

The end of a really wild day in Idaho.

See other great sky pictures at:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Church Conference Sunday

I slept in until 6:30 today but was still greeted by the sun as it peeked over the Tetons.  The impurities in the air colored it a brilliant orange.

I decided to go for a drive out to Market Lake, but the duck season opened yesterday and there were more hunters than birds.  West of Market Lake and the freeway, I found a newly baled hay field with 19 hawks in it.  Swainson's, kestrels, Ferruginous and the Red-tails that have started moving down out of the mountains were all killing gophers and mice.

I watched as a pair of Swainson's were trying to teach two immatures how to harvest gophers.  Here one of the adults carries a gopher out in the field to drop it.

The other adult yells at the youngster (and me) to get going.

Both parents chase after the Red-tails that were trying to get it, but eventually the immature Swainson's gets it before one of the Red-tails comes back to the post.

Then the parents try to chase the other youngster off its perch to try to get it hunting, but like a lot of stubborn children, it is easier for mom and dad to provide.

Just another wild day in Idaho.  I make it back home by 10a.m. for the Conference broadcast.