Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Boise Report

Here's looking at you, kid

A trip to Boise last weekend resulted in a pile of photos, a pile of books, and one (1) new bird on the life list: a sweet little merlin.* Both Scott and I were relieved, I believe, when it failed to catch the songbird it briefly chased while we watched. Oh, I know raptors have to eat too but I don't have to witness the kill and I'd be happiest if they contented themselves with tasty starlings. Of which we saw very few in Boise. In addition to the merlin, we saw a fine downy woodpecker, a number of birds wintering over water, some finches, a kingfisher or two, and a number of geese, seemingly wintering near water. Considering how short the visit was, it was some pretty decent bird action.

As hinted in the first line, we also spent some time (and cash) at Boise's excellent Trip Taylor Bookseller. Scott found a Ruskin (Modern Painters) with nice heavy paper and color reproductions (so nice for increasing the heft of our luggage) while I picked up a few books that had, one way or another, come up in discussion earlier in the visit. I also bought a Gorky I'd never heard of before (Foma Gordeyev), largely because it had excellent cover art.

It was a fine visit, with pleasant friends, plentiful cocktails, excellent food, delightful walks, and some opportunity for lobbing snowballs. But it's also nice to be home with Gradka.

*Alas, the merlin report turned out to be inaccurate. It was, it seems, a sharpshinned hawk. In Boise River plumage.

Honestly, would anyone believe this bird was naturally occuring?

Just a mess of goose / duck prints in the snow

Grimple watches while Scott demonstrates how to make the Boise Arnaud.

Non-breeding plumage common merganser and Lady Mallard companion


  1. That's actually a female Common Merganser in breeding plumage. Congrats on the Merlin, hope it caught a starling later. What I'm truly impressed by is that you got such a lovely photo of a Canada Goose -- I have never found them to be terribly good subjects and usually just trash any photos I take of them, but yours is delightful with its close-up view and atmospheric background.

    I forget -- are you done now with your hectic November, or is Vancouver still in the offing?

  2. The thing is, now that Grimple knows how to make arnauds, he refuses to make them!

  3. Alex, I actually got more than one Canada goose that I liked (as you likely saw on LJ). This particular goose was extremely forward but I failedtot get the shot I wanted of its open mouth with little pink tongue showing. Tish, I thnk Grimple thinks *you* should know how to make the arnauds and he doesn't want to risk getting him impeccable paws sticky.