Friday, December 30, 2011

Hawk attacks Eagles

Last week I decided to go birding during the holidays and found these two Bald eagles perched over a warm canal.  They were probably waiting for a fish or duck to show up.

A Harlin's phase of a Red-tailed hawk decide it did not like them there and attack them.

The bald on the outside flew off with the hawk in chase.  It chased the eagle away from the canal.

The other eagle watched closely as the chase continued.

When the hawk started back to the canal, the second eagle also left.

It was a lot of fun to watch the battle of the preditors in the wilds of Idaho.

Happy New Year to all of you

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cold but no snow

I spent Tuesday evening looking for birds and fishing for perch at Mud Lake.  The fishing was slow with only three perch, and even the birding was slow.  It has been very cold with no snow and the winter birds have not showed up yet.  I did find this Northern Shrike that posed for me.

Then as the sun was getting ready to set, the ice started popping and cracking, forming pressure ridges on the lake.  The last open water had frozen over the day before.

Trumpeter swan looking for open water to sit on for the night kept coming in, but had to land on the slick ice.  What a funny show I watched with my binoculars as the inexperienced swans would slide across the ice crashing into each other or taking a tumble.  I wish I would have been closer and with more light to get some pictures of the skating party.

What a great way to spend another wild evening in the wilds of Idaho.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

First Ice Fishing trip

About 8:30 I decided to skate my way 70 miles to get to Henrys Lake for my first ice fishing trip of the season.  The roads were slow going, but I made after two hours on ice and packed snow.

There were a few fishermen at Staley Springs, but I told a friend I would fish the County Boat Dock area, so I met him there.

Gary was in the process of landing this nice cutthroat  when I arrived.

After a couple of hours of slow fishing, catching four and breaking off two, I landed this large brook trout.

On the way home I watched the waterfowl, especially the Trumpeter swan.  With the water so deep in the river, ducks and geese would swim behind the swan picking up the plants to eat the swan picked loose.  Stealing food.

A great way to spend a wild day in Idaho.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Travels with an Old Man-1

I am out of school for potato harvest and decided to spend the day enjoying the outdoors.  I loaded my fly rod, shotgun, chain saw and camera and headed out at 5:45 in the dark.  About 10 miles out of town it started raining very hard and I almost turned around and headed home but then I thought, "If you wait for rain to stop, you may miss a life-time of experiences."
The rain had slowed to a misty wetness as I pulled into Sand Creek Pond #4.  The planters were hungry and I was enjoying them when other fishermen showed up.  The giggling told me some were teenage girls.  They went down the pond and soon the giggles turned into excited shouts - they were catching fish also. 
I found out that a young man was a very smart young man and knows exactly what to do with young women - pick them up at 6:15 in the morning and take them fishing.  They will never forget you.  Actually he and one of the girls are students of mine.  Here he is will a large rainbow - the girls also caught large fish.

The rain had subsided as I left the Sand Creek Ponds with the trees just starting to change into their fall colors.

I headed across the high mountain desert successfully finding sharp-tailed and sage grouse.  This is Split Butte, one of the dozens of buttes caused by volcanic eruptions.

As I climbed higher the clouds had dropped around the shoulders of Fog Butte - aply named.  There I was able to get a load of fire wood.

As I climbed higher and did some scouting for deer and elk, I found beautiful pockets of colored aspen.

After experiencing a sudden down pour, I found this Swainson's hawk trying to dry out its feathers in the wind.

What a great day spent in the wildness of Idaho.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harvest sunrise

Harvest dust creates great sunrises and sunsets. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A lot of bull

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to Camas National Wildlife Refuge to try to locate some migrating avocets, but got side tracked by two bull moose.  I saw one about a quarter of a mile away and decided to stalk it and see if I could get some good pictures.  Before the day would be over there would be a lot of bull out there.

The one bull moose soon turned into two bulls and I watched them heading in a general southwest direction.  I located a small knoll with a few sage brush on it and made my way there.  At time the bullrush was so tall only their antlers would be showing.  When this happened I would work to another sagebrush to try to intercept them.

Their eyesight is not very good - probably a good thing when you realize how cute the females are - but their smelling and hearing are excellent.  I tried to move as silently as I could when I needed to move.  But here the two act like they smell something funny.

But they continuely move closer to me.  The larger one is suspious and moves away while the smaller one continues working his way toward me.

I start to get very nervous when he gets about 30 feet from me and I can hear the crunching of the veggies as he eats.  Finally he hears the camera and smells me; comes to attention and decides to leave.

He flashes me as he heads back to the other bull, who has decided to tak a nap.

When he gets to the larger bull he starts eating.  Then I realize there is a bull elk in the background watching this whole bachelor party, but not willing to join in.  You can see him if you enlarge the picture by clicking on it.

It was quite a bachelor party with a lot of bull there.  With two bull moose, a bull elk, a bull human and lots of bullrushes, I even saw a little bs come from the smaller bull moose as he got too close to me.  Just another wild day in Idaho.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Busy Summer

Oh, what a busy summer.  Two weeks without a post, so I am sneeking one in.  Guiding fishermen, fishing with family, getting in wood, working on a grant, keeping the garden weedless (almost), attending grandkids activities, attending weddings and building a few things keeps be busy from before sunrise to after sunset.

Someone asked me what I do in my spare time; I replied "sleep, if I can find the time."  But I always manage to find a few things to photograph.

Coming back from guiding a fisherman, I discovered a family of Mountain Bluebirds and stopped for a half hour to work them.  Here the dad sits in all his royal colors, trying to stay between me, the intruder and his family.

Meanwhile, Mom is catching bugs, killing them by pounding them on a hard surface and then feeding one of the four babies begging for food.

Occasionally Dad leaves his command post, catches bugs and feeds the hungry bottomless pits.

All this work is so hard, he appears to take a nap - not really - he is actually scratching an itch. 

And as I go to leave, he gives me a wave good-bye.

What a great way to enjoy the Wilds of Idaho.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yellowstone -first for 2011

Got back last night from a three day trip though Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with some of our family.  We had a great time and saw a lot of great things including snow and lots of water.  There is still over 400% of snow in the mountains to come down - if it will this year.  Here is part of the Teton Range covered with snow. It will be a month or more before we can hike over these mountains.

On Sylvan Pass there is so much snow that the Big-horned Sheep are feeding along the road.  This ram has an itch he is trying to get some relief from.

Everytime we stopped to have a picnic, birds would try to join us.  Here a Clark's Nutcracker begs for something from the kids.  Illegal to feed her - she had to find someone else or crack open some nuts.

Grizzly and Black bears are abundant this year.  We caught this young grizzly feeding on the millions of midge flies hatching on Yellowstone Lake. 

It was a beautiful three days with lots of sun.  We caught this bull moose resting in the shade of some aspen as the flies bothered him.

But the most enjoyable time was watching some of the grandkids enjoy the hikes, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Though not in the wilds of Idaho - we had a great time enjoying the wildness of the national parks around us.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Summer Tanager and attack birds.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the rare Summer Tanager that I  got on Friday, June 17, at Market Lake, Idaho.

While looking for the Summer Tanager, I captured a coot feeding her baby.

I also stumbled on a baby sandhill crane who chased me, hissing and snapping its bill.

As soon as I back peddled far enough, it took off for its parents out in the grass field.

What a way to spend the morning of a wild day in the wildness of Idaho - and then I went fishing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rare Summer Tanager at Market Lake

Here are some pictures I got last night and will add some that I took this morning later this evening.  Today I got within 15 feet of it as was sallying for bugs in the open field.  It is at the Market Lake Wildlife Management area near Roberts, Idaho.

It is probably a first year male that got lost, but it has been here at least for two days.

Always a great way to spend in the wilds of Idaho - chasing birds.