Thursday, April 30, 2009

Covered Wagon

This "covered wagon" is the entrance to a southwest-themed decorator/gift store. It's located not far from one of the historical main Oregon Trail routes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stormy Skies...Again

Storm after storm after storm rolled through Boise yesterday. Rain, big thunder, lightning and hail - all the storm tricks, including a couple of rainbows late in the day. This is the view into downtown from the foothills last night.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Highway View Gravel Pit

Stormy skies above this gravel pit along the main highway that mostly skirts Boise (I-84). When these pits are dug closer to a waterway, they're usually filled with water when the mining is done and become "ponds." We're in for rainy weather for a few days.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ferry Crossing

This miniature carved stone in the shape of the State of Idaho marks a piece of Oregon Trail history along the Boise River. The McClelland Ferry took pioneers over the Boise River, and back then, the Boise River was much wider and wilder. Now, it's a controlled river that was redirected as the area was developed and as dams were put in place upstream.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

I've posted a picture of this Boise icon before - the Westside Drive In. We stopped by for dinner last night. The restaurant is being featured on the Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," May 11th. I think it matches the last two categories. There is only outdoor seating, and that was too chilly for us last night. I'm pretty sure the famous "ice cream potato" will be featured during the Food Network show.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Silly Goose

A Canada goose chose the top of a stack of hay bales as a nesting site on the Hewlett Packard campus. The stack is about 20 feet high. How will the chicks get down?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Boise River View from the Capitol Blvd. Bridge

The Boise River looking east from the Capitol Boulevard Memorial Bridge, built in 1930. The bridge is dedicated to the pioneers of the Oregon Trail. Beyond the trees on the right-hand side is the Boise State University campus. Click to enlarge and you'll see on the left-hand side that someone is trying to coax their dog into the river to play. That water is SUPER cold right now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Curiosity in Julia Davis Park

It looks like this may have been a fountain, possibly a drinking fountain? It's now a crumbling thing overgrown with bushes in Julia Davis Park, downtown Boise. The plaque says it's dedicated to the first whites to visit the Boise Valley in 1811 - the "Wilson Price Hunt expedition" - dedicated by "sons and daughters of Idaho pioneers" in 1931.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dumpster Diving at the Library

Looking for a good read? Check out the dumpster at the Boise Public Library. I couldn't really see much inside, because the dumpster is tall and I am not. Mostly book covers, some books, some covers for school yearbooks - I wonder if those would spark interest in eBay. Specifically, I saw a cover for a Fresno, CA, yearbook.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Patriots' Day Celebration - Helicopter Lands at School

A Blackhawk helicopter landed in the playground at my daughter's school yesterday. They let the kids crawl all around inside, too, and they loved it. This was a tie-in for Patriots' Day. The funny part was that local TV stations sent camera crews, who were standing just on the edge of the playground when the chopper was landing. They picked up their cameras and ran because of the extreme wind turbulence and debris flying through the air.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I had a post the other day about referring to the sagebrush sea that surrounds Boise. It's the scrubby habitat of the area before irrigation, and it's still prevalent in natural areas. Here is a sagebrush shrub not far from my house. Sagebrush is a native high desert plant that gets its "sage" name because some think it smells like that herb when it's wet. I think it smells more like a minty-menthol after the rain. It's a very strong smell that helps discourage critters from eating it, although pronghorn aren't deterred. It stays a silvery-gray-green throughout most of the year. I have friends who like to cut a small sagebrush shrub and use it as a Christmas tree - that might be illegal in some areas. Also, you don't want to mess with sagebrush too much, it can cause a rash.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A New Critter to My Yard

He's listed as a common bird, but I've never seen him in my backyard before. A yellow-headed blackbird. According to my field guide, he likes marshy, wet places. Add bird feeders to that "like" list since that's why he was visiting.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


A closer look at some of the "ducks" at the pond in the park near our home shows they are "dabbling ducks" - American wigeons. You won't see their little rear ends up the air diving for food. They feed only by skimming goodies from the top of the water. They make cute little squeaky noises.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Irrigation for the Sea of Sagebrush

One of the many irrigation canals criss-crossing the valley. The Boise area is often referred to as a "sea of sagebrush." It's not as evident anymore because the land is irrigated and green, and agricultural on the outskirts, for the summer. The water comes from dams upstream that hold the melting snow from the mountains.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Landscape is Greening Up

The early grasses are greening, which provides contrast with the plants yet to come alive this spring - except for some colorful blooming trees. This is a view within Boise city limits, looking northwest.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Canal Kitty

I stopped by one of the irrigation canals that runs through Boise to take a picture. The canals are filling up for the irrigation season, and this small kitty was vying for my attention. Being a long-time crazy cat lady, I thought the young cat looked like a sweetie. Under its front paws is a dead black mouse the cat had just caught. There are quite a few stray kitties that make their living on the mice, and likely other small wildlife, along the canal banks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cloud Shrouded Mountains

A glimpse at Shaffer Butte this morning. Stormy weather is back and maybe more snow for the Boise Valley tonight. Just over that peak is our local ski resort. The last day of skiing was last Saturday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hyatt Wetlands

I took a small hike through the Hyatt Wetlands this week. This natural area is part of the Boise City park system. It used to be a gravel pit. It was restored a few years ago when a new road extension skirted the area. I saw some blackbirds and one very shy pied billed grebe. I'll feature him on the Boise Daily Photo Book Nook in a few days because he fits nicely with my reading of "Ornithology," by Frank Gill. I was disappointed I didn't see more wildlife, but I know why - I saw seven dogs running around off-leash and in and out of the water, so I'm sure water fowl high-tailed it out of there. And, the grasses and shrubs are not green yet, which will probably lure more critters. I'll check back in a couple of weeks to see if the area is more alive with wildlife.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


My friend Karen from across the street knocked on the door to let me know I had ducks sitting on top of my house yesterday. I popped outside to take their picture, and the one on the left gave me a classic pose of aggression to let me know he didn't want to be featured on this blog! I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ready for the Bunny?

The results of my daughter's Easter egg coloring project this week. When I was growing up, these were the eggs the Easter bunny hid around the house. That's not what the Easter bunny does for my child, though, out of concerns about gastrointestinal dangers of eating boiled eggs left at room temperature for hours. These eggs are strictly for fun and snacking - right out of the refrigerator. The eggs the bunny will hide are plastic and filled with candy and small toys.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Metropolis View in April

A view of downtown from the Boise Foothills. This is it - the "big buildings" we've got downtown.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Egg Tree

I spied an Easter Egg "tree" while out an about this week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Table Rock in the Evening

I was in the East Boise Foothills last night, which gave me a nice view of Table Rock. There are hiking trails up to the top. I've done the hike only once in my life, though. I know people who make the hike just about every weekend!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gone Fishin'

A small fishing pond at a public park. It's a popular spot after work. This pond is not connected to a river or stream, so it is regularly stocked with fish. And yep, you need a fishing license to throw a line in the water.

Monday, April 6, 2009

State Stickers - Is Your State Featured?

These state stickers were in a mailer promoting a magazine for kids. Some of them are cute. The Idaho one? Well, I don't know about the big googly eyes on the spuds. I figure they do that just to ensure that anyone who doesn't know Idaho's potato association won't mistake the taters for a pile of poo, or mud, instead.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Skiing?

We've got a weekend of sun and warmer temperatures, and that means folks are out busy spiffing up their yards. This is a view of Schaffer Butte. Just over the top is our ski resort, Bogus Basin. There's an old saying around here that you don't put the garden in until the snow has melted from the Butte. The Butte is at about 7,500 feet elevation and got a big pile of new snow during the past week. Boise is about 3,000 feet.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stormy Skies

Another day dawning of stormy weather Friday. There's a rumor that we might have a nice weekend, which would be a great way to kick off my daughter's spring break.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gray Cat Catching Some Rays

Storm after storm rolled through Boise yesterday. When I was out running errands, I spotted this cat catching a little sun break on top of a fence.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Delsa's is Being Revived

Construction trailers are parked outside and the new sign is up. Delsa's on Ustick is being revived. It suddenly closed last year. It's a Boise icon. I received an email tip a while back telling me that the owners of the Capri restaurant downtown are the new Delsa's owners. See the picture I took almost exactly a year ago when I found out Delsa's had suddenly closed. Of course, the construction along Ustick could have been partially responsible for cutting the customer count at the time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Yellow" - CDP April Theme Day

"Yellow" is the City Daily Photo theme day for April today. Click here to see all the interpretations. This yellow-blooming plant is a forsythia. I know it's commonly mistaken as the Idaho State Flower - the syringa. The syringa is also a shrub that branches out, but it has larger flowers that cluster, and are white. The old saying around here is that when the forsythia blooms, it's time to prune the roses. I started on two rose bushes earlier this week, but the cold wind drove me back inside before the job was half done!