Wednesday, July 5, 2017


This old barn (not ours) is more dilapidated every year. Note distant haze.

On the Fourth of July, I slipped out of bed and put on my “fourthiest” t-shirt – dark blue with a shiny flag on the chest. Mike, however, wore a shirt that would work better for St. Patrick's Day. I know we're both thinking of the impending family reunion this coming weekend, so this year's Fourth of July was not a focus for us. We didn't even watch Fourth of July programming on tv, opting instead for the Tour de France.

Our house in the distance -- rapeseed fields.
Mike always walks the dogs in the morning, and this time I slipped the camera around my neck and went along. As the pictures show, our rapeseed fields are now turning brown as they bake in the sun. It’s been hot, especially in the afternoon, but we still have that cool mountain breeze that makes it more comfortable here than in town.

Mike and dogs
Mike examines wheat
When we came on Monday, Mike rode his motorcycle while I drove the pick-up with the dogs and our supplies. We are now skirting as much road construction as we can by going through Tammany to Sweetwater, doubling back through Lapwai, and crossing the bridge to pick up Hwy 12 on the other side of the Clearwater. I’m not sure it’s worth the extra trouble / miles. It depends on whether they stop traffic and how long the wait would be, and one just doesn’t know. We could go Hwy 95 through the Camas Prairie, but one leg of our journey (Craigmont to Nezperce) also involves a rather lengthy detour. You know the old joke that applies to many northern states: we have two seasons – winter and construction, and this is a particularly difficult year. At any rate, it was a fairly quiet, traffic-free drive, as one might expect on a long holiday weekend.

"Where did it go?"
My first task when we arrived here was to make hummingbird nectar. About as soon as it was in the feeders, the little guys began to arrive. We have two feeders, and when one is empty, they swarm the other. 

Mike and I have discussed whether or not the deer travel through the dense rape fields. He took the position that they don't, but I said they're too bold to let it stop them. He reported that this morning he saw a young doe in the road and she turned into a rape field. Last not I saw a young buck at the pond. He contemplated the yard, then thought better of it and headed back south.

June's field with an obscured view of Cottonwood Butte in the distance.
So, the Fourth here at Gilbert was a quiet day. In the past, our neighbor has gathered his family for target-shooting on the Fourth, but they weren’t here this year. In fact, Mike went for a bike ride before lunch and reported that he didn’t see a soul – not a person, not a car. I guess we liked that quietude because we didn’t seek out a fireworks display, but as I happened onto the front porch last night, I discovered a private display of fireworks on the far side of Little Canyon. We enjoyed that for a couple of minutes – and then it was over. KW

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