Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spencer, Camas NWR

On Monday I drove to Spencer, Idaho to do research for an article about the fire opals that are found there.  Instead of going on the main roads, I went cross-country and covered two scenic byways, the Fort Henry Historical Byway and the Lost Gold Trails Loop.  My first major sighting was this Belted Kingfisher that had been hit on the bridge crossing the Henrys Fork of the Snake River.

A little farther down the road, I flushed a Great Blue Heron hunting frogs and mice in the tall grass.
Once on the desert any water even the mud puddles attracted birds like this Sage Thrusher and sparrow.

This buck Pronghorn in a pasture on the green grass, but keeping a fence between him and the cattle.
Not far from the pronghorn was this young Red-tailed hawk hunting mice in a meadow.

Once in Spencer, I visited all four shops, interviewing many people.  Spencer fire opal is a precious gem and is found in layers of common opal.  This picture shows the layers of the rock.  The story about the opal, stores and mines should run in the on-line newspaper, the East Idaho News, next week.

One of the stores has a mini-mine where they bring rock and put it in a pile to allow would-be miners to hunt for pieces of opal.  I spent about two hours there and found a few pieces.

On the way home near Dubois, I found this young Burrowing owl hiding behind the sagebrush near a burrow.

My last stop of the day was at Camas National Wildlife Refuge where this White-tailed buck was hiding in the tall grass.  He would only lift his head high enough for me to see his eyes when I whistled at him.
Just another day spent in the wilds of Idaho.


Mary Cromer said...

Poor Kingfisher! Burrowing Owls, I did not even realize they were in Idaho, I always think of Florida. That Red-tailed Hawk was a beauty. Stop by, have a great weekend!

Barb said...

That photo of the Burrowing Owl is wonderful, Bill. I also love the one of the buck. When you are out and about, you see so much wildlife. You still live in a wild and wonderful area.

Monts said...

Hi Bill sounds as if you had a great day, with some fine images to boot.
Nice one.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

You had quite the all around day!