Saturday, August 30, 2008

Idaho Vacation 2008 - Part II

Aug 12-13, 2008.

One of the reasons we like to visit Idaho this time of year is to do some birding outside of Ohio. If there has been some rain, the Kootenai National Wildlife Reserve is a great place for birding. We saw a lot of diversity of waterfowl, raptors, and passerines there, including this Eastern Kingbird.

I didn't do a lot of photography at the reserve since we can't really get close enough to the birds for good photos. We had our spotting scope along, though, and saw a lot of great birds.

This is the evening view from our room at the Lodge at Sandpoint. It's so nice to sit out on the veranda and just take in the evening air. We spent a couple of evenings watching an orb-weaver spider repairing its web for the evening haul. Talk about relaxation time!

We were a little more energetic on Wednesday, although it took us a while to get going. We were really good about getting out on the lake to kayak in the morning, but then we goofed off for a fewhours, through lunchtime, and then went off to do some other stuff in the afternoon, including checking out Sandpoint a little more thoroughly.

On Wednesday afternoon we did a mountain walk up at Schweitzer Mountain. First thing we saw up on the mountain was a white-tailed deer. We were hoping for moose, though.

A fritillary butterfly - the hydaspe one, I think.

Castilleja (Indian Paintbrush is the common name), a parasitic plant in the family Orobanchaceae, which is one of the families I spend my time on at work.

A view of Lake Pend Orielle.

Phlox, Queen Anne's Lace and Castilleja are some of the flowers here.

More Castilleja - these wildflower "gardens" on the hillsides are spectacular.

The ragweed was covered in bees collecting pollen.

The resort village at Schweitzer Mountain as seen from above. I can imagine this place is packed in the winter for downhill skiing. We were there at the weekly twilight mountain bike race. We came back down the mountain at about the time the race was getting started.

A typical ski village sculpture.

Steve was trying to aim the hiking pole to be up the nose of the figure at the top of the hill. . .

We saw a lot of birds up there, but didn't see any moose tracks. Someone on a bike had told us that there was a bull moose on the trail we were on, but we didn't see it - darn!

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