Friday, September 11, 2009


Orcas Island, Washington State. The reddish trees are Madronas (Arbutus menziesii). They grow along a broad band of the Pacific Northwest. "The Madrona, clad in thin, smooth, red and yellow bark and big glossy leaves, seems in the dark coniferous forests of Washington and Vancouver Island, like some lost wanderer from the magnolia groves of the South."

Bowl made of the wood from a Madrona tree by Rob Thornber
"The wood of the madrona is especially hard, but is tricky to season, and rarely used for buildings or furniture making, although the beauty of the wood makes it well worth the effort for those up to the challenge."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NOT YET!!!!!

What is it with everyone in the northern hemisphere bloggisphere waxing poetic about autumn??? There are still ELEVEN days of summer left on the calendar. If I have to look out the window at snow drifts when the weatherman declares it is spring, I'll be darned if I am going to give up summer when the air is still warm enough to do without a parka and moon boots. Eleven more official days of green grass, fresh roses, corn on the cob, watermelon, sand between the toes and birds singing. Never mind that a frost took out the zuchinni (that was a good thing, really) and the leaves on the trees are looking less green every day. I am not giving up my summer just because the kids have gone back to school. ELEVEN MORE DAYS. You colored leaf, long shadow, pumpkin people give it a rest! Whheew, I feel better. :D

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Big Fair--Things to Make You Scream

Part Two of the Eastern Idaho State Fair 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The BIG Fair--Things to See and Eat

Idaho Russet Potatoes
Hot homemade bread and honeybutter
Scones a.k.a. Tiger Ears--your choice of topping Fudge!

Things to do at The BIG Fair---next time

Sunday, September 6, 2009

SIDE TRIPS--The Final Chapter

About an hour out of the way, between Missoula and Butte, is Anaconda, Montana. The town was founded when the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in Butte built a smelter in Anaconda for refining its copper ore. The smelting operation was shut down in 1980, but the smokestack still stands. It is 585 feet high and is the tallest freestanding masonry structure in the world. I only drove through the city. My impression was of a tidy place with plenty of historic architecture and that smokestack jutting up like a Titan Missile.
Montana Highway One was a pleasant break from Interstate 90. Farms and pastures filled the valley.

The switchbacks up into Deerlodge National Forest gave some remarkable views of the geology.
But what made me do a cartoon double-take and a u-turn in the middle of the rural road was the sight of a life-sized metal rhinoceros.
Along with that copper–colored rhino were
an elk,

a donkey,
a steel bear,

and a wooly mammoth. These and other metallic creatures adorned the yard of the Ohrmann Museum. The figures outside were produced by a retired rancher with his welding torch. Inside were his oil paintings and bronze sculptures. My week away was over. I was left to marvel about the human passion for creativity from the arts to architecture, agriculture, engineering and just making use of whatever was at hand. At home I found all was well. The paintings and photographs I had left with instructions to be entered in our county fair netted --

a third place over all and two peoples’ choice awards. Pardon me while I have a little Sally Fields moment. “You like me! You really like me!”
(total miles--1,850 (2977km)--mpg 31.5 --love that Subaru)