Monday, June 8, 2020

Rockhounding for Kaleidoscopes

I have a rock tumbler (Harbor Freight, in case you want to get one), which is a great way to get into working with rocks one collects while hiking, camping, or enjoying the outdoors. These rocks just came out of my latest tumbled batch: some agate, petrified wood, and other colorful stones.

Some of the smallest pieces are translucent and colorful. Having received a book about making kaleidoscopes for Christmas, I thought those small, glassy, colorful fragments might be a nice addition to the object compartment in my kaleidoscope. Here are a few images through the kaleidoscope.  All of them show rocks I collected along with beads and other items which add interest.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Totality, 21 August 2017, as seen from the Lost River Valley at the foot of Mount Borah, Idaho's tallest peak.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Black-chinned Hummingbird - Archilochus alexandri (Slow motion video)

I suppose this is my first slow motion video.  The black-chinned hummingbird has a gorget that flashes bright purple when the sun hits just so, but usually it looks black.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Birding Southern Idaho

On our way home we visited a wide variety of habitats, taking secondary roads instead of the Interstate.

Woods' Rose
Rosa woodsii

 Red-naped Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus nuchalis

House Wren
Troglodytes aedon

Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided)
Junco hyemalis

Franklin's Gull
Leucophaeus pipixcan

Friday, July 31, 2015


The last day of the conference we set out on our own to visit some nearby areas, including a hike into the Jedediah Smith Wilderness.

Bluebell Bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Cyndi photographing the Bluebell Bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Red Clover
 Trifolium pratense

pollinator on False Hellebore
Veratrum californicum

Columbian Monkshood
Aconitum columbianum

False Hellebore
Veratrum californicum
and Cyndi with Coneflower and  Red Clover

Bumblebee and Larkspur
Bombus and Delphinium sp.

Explorer's Gentian
Gentian calycosa

Ruffed Grouse
Bonasa umbellus

Mourning Cloak butterfly on Cow Parsnip (I think ... all feedback about identifications is welcomed).

Sticky Geranium
Geranium viscosissimum

This large lichen was growing on the forest floor.

Grand Teton, near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Botanizing, Grand Targhee Ski Area

The Grand Targhee Ski Area opens its lifts in the summertime so mountain bicyclists can take their bikes on the lift to the top, and ride the trails down for that adrenaline rush all speed junkies crave.  Cyndi and I went on a field trip with the naturalist, to view the alpine wildflowers.

Small-flowered Penstemon
Penstemon procerus

Sulphur Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja sulphurea

Alpine Milkvetch
Astragalus alpinus

Colorado Blue Columbine
Aquilegia coerulea

Shooting Star
Dodecatheon conjugens

Desert Parsley
Lomatium cous

Green Gentian or Elkweed
Frasera speciosa

Alpine Wildflowers

Grand Teton

Alpine Wildflowers 
including the orange Wyoming Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja linariifolia

Ochotona sp.

Parry's Primrose
Primula parryi

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Yellowstone National Park, Norris Geyser Basin, Steamboat and Vixen geysers

Late in the day we arrived at our destination, the Norris Geyser Basin, welcomed by a slight drizzle that became more pervasive as we walked the loop.  The Steamboat Geyser has been the highest geyser on the planet, a few years back, so one is tempted to sit and wait, just in case it does it again.  It was shooting 10 to 30 feet in the air while I watched in eager anticipation.

The Vixen Geyser is worth the brief wait for its frequent spurts of activity.