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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend at the Leaf

So I mentioned the other day that we were going to pick up Ann's sheep and bring them to The Leaf. Well, Ann flaked on us. So, Katy and I loaded up some of my sheep and brought them out there on Saturday morning. This was not quite as easy as it sounds. Katy and I spent the better part of an hour sorting my flock into three separate flocks ... the black-headed Dorpers in one set, my original sheep with a few lambs in another set ... and all the rest in the third set. The trick was ... the third set were some lambs being separated from their moms. Rrrrgh.

Anyway, we got it done ... and Katy now has a set of what seem to be a good flock at her place. I am interested to see how they do out there.

Then off to the Wilder Bar we went. Sat with John and had several beers and chatted about everything under the sun. It was a nice way to spend a very hot Saturday afternoon. Much better than working on fencing! Although, not nearly as productive.

Later in the afternoon, we went back to The Leaf, picked up my truck, drove back to my house, picked up the black-headed Dorpers and the rest of my dogs. We met up with Janie at a couple's house who wants to use our sheep to graze down their pasture. Dropped them off and headed back to the Leaf. Fed dogs and let them run for a bit before heading back to yes ... you guessed it ... the Wilder Bar. On bicycles. 5 miles. It was a great ride! I love the farmland out there, and going out on a bike gave us time to check it all out. So in we walk ... smelling like sheep, as usual.

At the WB, they were setting up for a "Beer Pong" tournament. $7 entry fee. Jason asked me if I was in. I said no. Then he asked Katy. She said sure. Well, I couldn't let her do that all by herself. So I entered also. Had I known what I was getting myself into, I would have let her do this all by herself! Some friend I am, eh?

Ok ... wait. Now let's talk about the Wilder Bar. Here are the demographics for the town of Wilder itself. To say it's a small place is an understatement. But in this tiny town, is a place called the Wilder Bar.

This is Jason. He and his wife are the owners. I don't have a photo of his wife, but she is very sweet and lots of fun.


The sexy one on the left is John (one of the bartenders). He also works as a naked DJ.

The WB is a lot of fun, as there are many locals that gather on a regular basis and just enjoy life.

Pool. One of my favorite games ... and one of the most frustrating ...

Sorry sorry. I'm getting sidetracked. Back to the WB. Great place ... great owners ... fun bartenders ... good cold beer!

They even serve Corona Light! They need to learn how to properly cut a lime and quit being so cheap with the fruit, but they'll get there. If I bitch enough, they'll give in, I'm sure. ;-)

Ok ok ... so now Katy and I are entered in this Beer Pong tournament. The idea of the game is this. There's a 4x8 sheet of plywood laid flat over a table. That's our pong table. There are six cups in a triangle shape place on each end of the plywood, all the cups being 1/3 full of beer. The beer of choice for the night started out being PBR, but changed to Coors Light at some point. The idea is to throw a ping pong ball at your opponent's cups in hopes of landing the ball in one of the cups and making your opponent drink the contents. This goes back and forth until one player has no more cups left. Loser drinks the winner's remaining cups. To fill the 12 cups, it took approximately 1 pitcher of beer.

Katy was up first. She lost her first round and drank lots of beer.

I was up third. I lost my first round and drank lots of beer.

Katy was up again and won her second round and still drank lots of beer.

I was up again and played Jason ... and lost hard ... and drank lots of beer.

Katy was up again and played Jason also and lost and drank lots of beer.

And we laughed a ton. And drank some more.

And I am sure we still smell like sheep.

1:00 a.m. rolls around and it's time for us to head out. We hop on our bikes and start strolling down the very dark road on our merry little way.

A car is approaching from the opposite direction. No biggie. We merge to the right and continue riding. The car is a Parma police officer, and he passes us, turns around, and then slowly follows us for a bit. We just pull over.

The cop gets out of the car, give us a short lecture on bike safety and mentions how we have no headlights, and very few reflectors, and double-checks to make sure we are in agreement that it would not be good to drink alcohol prior to riding on a bicycle at 1:00 a.m. in the dark on a long dark road in the middle of farm land. We wholeheartedly agree and we continue on our way. Whatever made that cop think that us two girls were drinking when seeing us at 1:00 a.m. on bikes in the middle of nowhere about 3 blocks from a very small town bar is beyond me.

Had the cop followed us for a few more blocks, he would have seen us non-drunks pull over to pee on the very dark non-drunk street. Stone cold sober.

Slept for a few hours (not nearly enough) and woke up feeling ... like shit! My head hurt and I was moving very slowly. We finally got it together and Katy mowed the front of the Leaf, and I mowed the foxtails down in the recessed yard by the driveway. The foxtails are so bad right now. They are all drying out ... and they are everywhere. I've been battling them at my house for a couple of weeks now trying to make my place as safe for the dogs as possible. I am losing.

Anyway, we went to breakfast, and went back to the Leaf and finished up what we were doing, although we got nothing done in the way of demolition of the corral area or construction of the new (insert what Katy wants here). Pretty unproductive weekend. But at least Katy has some sheep now who can hopefully start chewing up some of the growth in the pasture.

I came home and slept for a couple of hours ... hard. And I've been on the computer ever since. Echo had a foxtail in her nose earlier. She was none too pleased with me when I kept shoving her face in water. It got to the point where she wouldn't readily come near me. But it seems it worked. The sneezing stopped, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that she got it out. Damned things. Everyone's feet are getting checked and trimmed way back tomorrow.

Happy tails,


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North Idaho Trip

Well ... what a trip! I know that the masses will find this inherently boring, but I had a blast!

Jaenne and I left town Friday after work, went to Janie's to drop off Zip and Jag, and Janie made us dinner. Thank you Janie! Then off we went ... out the back way, and up the 95 to Riggins. We stayed at the Salmon River Motel.

Salmon River Motel is just something you have to experience to fully understand it. LOL. The photos do it no justice.

We pulled in about 11:00 p.m., promptly headed to bed and got up at 6:00 a.m. and we woke up to different terrain. Woo hoo!

Echo was content in her crate knowing we were going some place cool.

Even the puppy was pretty relaxed and just going with the flow ... but was quite interested in all the goings-on.

We stopped in Coeur d'Alene and had lunch with my friend Ted, and then headed up to Colleen's. She was at the grocery store when we pulled up, but this ... THIS ... is the view from her backyard. MacArthur Lake.

Bird boxes and bird houses are everywhere, understandably so.

A really bad photo of a really ugly bug.

A visitor to one of the bird houses.

A cool looking woodpecker.

Drift & Mo playing on the deck.

Take THAT, Mo.

Mo brought in reinforcements.

Ms. Jaenne:

MacArthur Lake in the evening.

On Sunday morning, we got up and went to the Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Area, right up along the Canadian border. It was a gorgeous morning, and boy was it early! When Colleen woke us up, and I saw it was nice and light out, I figured it was about 8:00. When I saw the clock and it said 5:00 ... I immediately thought Colleen was messing with me and set the clock back. She's never up that early! Hell, I am never up that early! And I'm up early!

The drive was beautiful ... and there are some of the prettiest wildflowers up there.

I wish I would have taken a photo of a hillside where these were plentiful in. The color it turned the hill was amazing against the green.

Here are a few shots of the BCWMA.

I suck. I had plenty of time to get a nice clear shot of these guys, and this was the best one of the bunch. Ugh.

My hopes were up.

Here's Colleen & Jaenne

We drove along the north side of the WMA with the binoculars and the camera, taking photos of everything and anything that moved. There were tons of ducks and herons and turtles, etc. We had to be quick though, because the minute they heard the truck, they would leave. Some of these pictures aren't the best. Colleen, I brought my bird book in when I was editing the photos, but now I can't find my book. If you saw my room, it would explain things. Katy can attest.

A Cinnamon Teal. He wouldn't lift his head. Apparently he was skimming for bugs or something. Cool looking duck, though.

Couple of turtles.

I love the reflection of the turtle butt in the water.

Here's a ... ok ... time to clean my room. I'll post these pictures, and then when I find my book, I'll have to go back and edit the post with the names of the various birds.

This might have been the Osprey we saw. Colleen, can you tell?

Here are 4 different types of birds on one log.

(told you some of these pictures were pretty rough ...)

Some Canadian Geese.

Here's a Northern Shoveler, I think.

The male and female Shoveler. Oh to have super telescopic lenses.

Anyone know what these are?
I marked them as Canada Geese, but that's not what they look like.

Here is a very large brood of Canadian Geese. There were 20, I think.

A Great Blue Heron.

We had to be quick or they'd fly off. See?

This is a building owned by IDFG where it houses space for employees to sleep, has a nice kitchen and areas to work in, and lots of equipment.

Here's the view from the back of the building.

We grabbed our bikes and headed out on this trail.

It was a great ride. Some of the trail was this nice hard two-track you see in the picture. Most of it, though, was basically mowed grass ... so we got a workout. It's good the weather was perfect for it, though.

One of our first stops.

The tree line is the Canadian border.

The reflections in the water as we were riding along were amazing. I wish I could have taken photos of it all.

Taking a break ...

I got totally carried away taking pictures.

Here's a shot Colleen took that I will frame and hang in my house.

I'll be impressed if anyone can identify this.

More scenery.

We got off the bikes, and hiked up a small hill where Colleen will be putting in a hiking trail. The trail leads to this old, very cool barn.

A few from inside the barn.

There were some calculations on the wall, and we wondered if it had to do with the cattle operation that was here at some point.

Another inscription in the barn.

And here you can see the date and mention of cattle.

An outbuilding adjacent to the barn.

Artsy Fartsy.

Here is some type of spider hanging from its web stuff preparing a dragonfly for dinner.

A Woolley Bear Caterpillar.

A Garter Snake.

More scenery. The view from below the barn.

Hike ten feet and you have a whole different view.

(I'm only about 1/2 way through the photos ... hang on to your hat.)

We got back down to our bikes, and we were greeted by several Turkey Vultures in one of the trees.

There were a couple flying around, but I had a hard time getting a decent shot of one of them flying. Here was my best attempt.

Here, to me, was the highlight of my trip. The rest of this hike.

We rode into an area where there was a beautiful red-tail hawk flying around, obviously unhappy with our presence.

Here's what she was protecting.

Not being able to leave well enough alone, I walked towards the box so I could get better photos. And I was really really wishing I had a long lens.

Standing here, I think was the first time I thought about selling my travel trailer so I could get a good lens.

Or wishing I had a rich husband to buy one for me.

And coming up with all kinds of illegal and immoral things I could do to "earn" enough money for one.

I wish I could fly.

For just a little space in time, I was able to forget that my "real" life existed at home -- the one full of work and bills and responsibilities and such.

We left the hawk and kept on going. We come around a turn and see this.

My adrenaline started pumping! I had only seen one bald eagle in the wild and it was from a long long way away. And here was this giant majestic bird right out here in front of me. I rode closer and he took off and landed in a tree up ahead. As I approached the tree, he took off again. And then the show started! My hands were shaking like crazy while I was trying to take photos.

I'll spare you the other 4,000 photos I took of him.

We ate lunch in the grass back by the IDFG building, and then headed back to Colleen's house. Jaenne took a nap while Colleen and I did geeky birding things on the porch. She has a spotting scope that is really cool to check things out from. She also had some bird call CD's and was identifying two different calls we kept hearing. I broke out the laptop and was checking out the photos of the eagle I had just shot, and pretty much convinced myself that I think I would do just about anything for several thousand dollars in camera equipment.

At some point, we went across to the other side of MacArthur Lake to check out the Bald Eagle nest over there.

Saw this guy on one of the tree limbs next to the nest.

Colleen and Jaenne checking it out from my truck.

Hey Col, did you know the name of the street over there? Isn't that funny?

We bought all the dogs and let them run. Including Mr. Drift. He was having a ball chasing all the other dogs around. Hey, you know what they say. If you want to hang with the big boys, you gotta piss in the tall weeds. And he did plenty of that.

Random shot. Not sure what this is. Cool markings on the head.


Here's what she was lookin' at.

We went to dinner a local restaurant. The food was pretty good, but they really need to get a handle on the rowdy crowd. ;-)

Headed back to the house, had a fire in the fire pit outside, and making smores. Fun stuff!

The next morning, we got up (not quite as early) and Colleen took us out on the boat around MacArthur Lake. I didn't take my camera for obvious reasons, but wow, it was really neat to see the lake from the water. Checked out all the bird boxes and tooled along slowly by the shoreline all the way around.

When we were headed back to the dock, there were a couple of guys on the shore that were fishing. They saw us, and quickly packed up their stuff and RAN back to their truck, and peeled out as they left. We're not sure what that was about.

We let the dogs out to play on the lake.

Here's Kip and Mo going for the ball.

Kip won.

At one point, Jaenne threw a toy out in the water, and none of the dogs would go get it. So Colleen did. Here she is after returning from her swim.


Being Echo.

Kip and Mo again.

Roy even got in on the action.

Non-dog, Reena, thinks it was all so pointless and beneath her.

Echo didn't care what Reena thought.

Kip thinks girls are bitches.


Drift learned to swim this weekend.

And if you knew Kip, you'd know why this photo is just amazing.

That's the dog who wouldn't even get in the pool last year.

After the dip in the lake, we headed back to the house, packed up, and Colleen took us to Lake Pend Orielle (pronounced "Ponderay" ... don't ask). It's one of the deepest lakes in the U.S. (?) and has a naval something on it. I have to research it and make another trip back up there, hopefully to get a better look at it.

Overall, one of the best trips I have ever taken. Colleen, thank you for the wonderful hospitality, and I was very glad to spend such a good time with you, my friend. Jaenne, I had a great time traveling with you and look forward to the next time!

Happy tails,