Welcome to North Idaho

To live in a place other people dream of visiting is incredible. Through the lens of my camera OnLocation North Idaho will bring you a slice of life as we know it in the Idaho panhandle. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind ... Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne.
And here's a hand, my trusty friend and gie's a hand o' thine
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang syne

This 24 foot wide wreath on the Coeur d'Alene Resort pays tribute to the year about to close. We celebrate the year to come here in our beautiful North Idaho. Thanks to all of you who've visited here in 2007 ... I promise to take you "on location" throughout 2008.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hi Honey, I'm Home

One of the few reasons for me to ever leave my North Idaho home...family...is the reason for the gap in posts here in the past week. A wonderful Christmas with the youngest daughter in Utah took us through Montana, south eastern Idaho and northern Utah. Some beautiful scenery to be seen but I do love North Idaho best.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Susie's First Christmas

Our friends received an early gift of a darling Boston terrier puppy. Susie made quick work of the Christmas decorations and wrapping paper.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
They're green when summer days are bright;
They're green when winter snow is white.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!

I'm continually awed by the quiet beauty in our snow-covered North Idaho forests. Along the winding road at Kidd Island Bay on the way to Harborview Estates Mother Nature displayed the perfect way to decorate a tree.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Great Moves

The sledding hill at Cherry Hill Park in Coeur d'Alene is filled with all manner of sleds and tubes. It pays to pay attention as this acrobatic dad did when a collision seemed inevitable.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sticks and Stones

In a humble cottage at the base of a beautiful hill lives a modern day Johnny Appleseed. Or maybe he's a combination of Johnny and Gepeto, who brought Pinnocio to life.
The Stick Man's passions are the walking sticks he fashions by the thousands, working in a covered carport year 'round. He sands the rough outer wood until it gleams with the beauty he knew was there all along. Garnets and opals are embedded in just the right places. Children come to visit as do the grownups to this magical place where sticks are always gifted, never sold. In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, to be acquainted with the Stick Man is a gift all on its own. Another reason to love where I live.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snow Birds

We like to refer to those North Idaho residents who choose to bask in southern sun during the winter months as snow birds. In the case of this snow-covered robin's nest at Kidd Island Bay, the term snow bird is most appropriate.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crystal Ball

There's beauty in even the simple things when Jack Frost blows through North Idaho. A hanging garden ball on the patio takes on all of the icy hues of the season on a chilly morning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Towering "tree"

About a quarter of the estimated 130,000 cellular towers across the U.S. are camouflaged, some as trees, others as flagpoles and still others as church steeples. Hiding the towers is a challenging but essential part of many wireless companies' strategies. How do you hide something that stands 100 feet tall?
On a mountain top at the east end of Lake Coeur d'Alene and visible from I-90, one "tree" seems to stand out from the crowd. Upon closer inspection, it's actually a cell tower with scrawny branches that Charlie Brown would be sure to love.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby

North Idaho lakes are beginning to freeze over, especially further north in the Panhandle. Smaller lakes, like Upper Twin pictured here on December 8, have about an inch of ice depth. Until there's been sustained freezing temperatures, both day and night, be cautious when out on the ice this early in the season.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Turkey Town

Residents of Fernan Village at the east end of Sherman Avenue in Coeur d'Alene have been waging a battle against an ever-expanding deer population but wild turkeys just might be the creatures who take over the town. This week in a three-block radius and within about 15 minutes of being on location with my camera I saw several deer and at least 50 turkeys in yards and on the streets. The turkey pictured here in close-up took great exception to my camera poking out of the driver's side window and rushed up to give me the evil eye. He even pecked my tires a time or two for good measure. They're not shy birds by any means.

Eagle on the trail

Another view of one of North Idaho's beautiful winter visitors as it perched regally only about 15 feet above the Centennial Trail on a foggy morning this week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pretty enough to eat

There's no better way to banish the winter time blahs than with a gorgeous and delishious fresh salad. Nothing says "summer" like a salad and this one from Cafe`Carambola on Northwest Blvd. in Coeur d'Alene was perfect.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A splash of color

It's been so gray and dreary the past few days I couldn't resist the bright colors of only a month ago. The flowerbeds at the entrance to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds were in full bloom far into the fall as this photograph from late October shows.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Soar with the eagles

A bald eagle comes up empty after diving for salmon at Higgins Point on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Dozens of eagles have returned to the east end of the lake this month to feed on the dead and dying salmon which have spawned in recent weeks. According to local rangers the number of salmon is down so the eagles are expected to depart for southern climes closer to the first of the year. Don't miss this incredible sight.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas on Parade

The small North Idaho towns of Rathdrum, Hayden, Smelterville and St. Maries will usher in the season with festivities, including parades, caroling and special programs on Saturday, December 1. We love going "on location" to these celebrations where crowds are in the hundreds, not thousands. This Lakeland School District school bus was a favorite in last year's Christmas parade in Rathdrum. *click on The Guide to North Idaho link to the right for the FYI North Idaho calendar of community events.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

World's Tallest Christmas Tree

The world's tallest Christmas tree, at 161 feet, is more than twice the size of the tree at New York's Rockefeller Center (75 feet tall). The 120-year-old Grand Fir (Abies grandis) overlooks Lake Coeur d'Alene from the waterfront home of Duane Hagadone (outlined in lights in the background of this photo) and features a 10 ft. tall star on top. The Coeur d'Alene Christmas tree is green in more than one way, decorated with LED lights, which use 90 percent less energy than conventional light bulbs. The bulbs will use the same amount of power as 21 average household light bulbs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First Snow

Like clockwork, Old Man Winter arrived with our first real snow of the season during the last week of November. North Idaho is a winter wonderland and an outdoor recreationist's dream.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Hundreds of starlings descended on a Post Falls (Syringa Street) neighborhood, blanketing front lawns and trees in their search for food. It was incredible to see them darken the overcast sky, swooping and flying in unison. The starling is a song bird and can mimic other sounds. According to the Birds of Idaho field guide, starlings gather in the hundreds in the fall and feast on insects, seeds and fruit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Santa's workshop

North Idaho is closer to the North Pole than some might realize. An evening on the lake during the fireworks and downtown lighting brought us up close in our "on location" travels. The lights along the Coeur d'Alene Resort boardwalk marina are plentiful but only when you venture across the lake to Casco Bay will you see Santa in his element. In the summer months Santa's workshop is a boat garage and the beach and grounds of Duane and Lola Hagadone's summer home are now ablaze with delightful lighted figures. My favorite? A towering display that lights up on cue as The Twelve Days of Christmas rings out. Lake Coeur d'Alene Cruises, 765-4000 or click on The Guide to North Idaho on the right side of the page for everything going on for the holidays in our hometown.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Room at the Inn

A few blocks from the spectacular lighting display in downtown Coeur d'Alene, the historic Roosevelt Inn was being decked for the holidays by innkeeper John Hough on Thanksgiving eve. Red bows, garland and lighted wreaths in the three-story brick building's windows remind of a simpler time. On the corner of 1st and Wallace Ave., take the family for a stroll by to see it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Wild turkeys in Coeur d'Alene's French Gulch are regular visitors to Bliss and Annette Bignall's yard. This flock is celebrating not making an appearance on someone's Thanksgiving table tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tree Toppers

Crews prepare the lights high atop the Christmas tree on the Hagadone Corporation offices on Monday afternoon. More than 1.5 million lights will sparkle across Lake Coeur d'Alene as the Holiday Light Show, the largest on-the-water resort holiday light show in America, readies for the day after Thanksgiving kick-off.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Icy Art

In North Idaho we're a week or so away from what is traditionally the first real snow of the season but there was no shortage of ice on Saturday in the Montrose neighborhood of Post Falls. An early holiday celebration included a local company, Northern Ice Works, and their ice sculptors. The team made quick work of several blocks of ice using chainsaws and smaller tools to create the detail as shown here on an icy tree trunk.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Off Road in North Idaho

This group of riders enjoyed a fall afternoon on the Fernan Saddle. North Idaho has some of the best off-road ATV and motorbike riding opportunities in the whole country, with over 95% of those located on National Forest or public land. There are nearly 4,000 miles of trails/roads to ride in the Idaho Panhandle, where the number of registered ATVs number approximately 13,000.
Top Rides in North Idaho:
Canfield Mountain-Horse Haven Trail (Coeur d'Alene)
4th of July Pass (East of Coeur d'Alene)
English Point Trail System (Hayden Lake)
Steamboat Area (Silver Valley)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sunrise silence

The sunrise this morning silhouetted the point at Tubbs Hill on Lake Coeur d'Alene. I see more sunsets than sunrises but was "on location" in the towers at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Standing on the balcony in robe and slippers, the silence of the cold morning on the lake was beautiful. A low fog clung to the water, rising up to meet the clouds, changing colors as the sun crept up behind Tubbs Hill.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Take the Deal!

North Idaho is an incredibly generous place for a number of non-profit organizations. There are hundreds of charity auctions and benefits annually in our communities. The Post Falls Chamber of Commerce put a new spin on their annual auction by recreating the Deal or No Deal game show for their recent gala. Tapping 21 local luminaries for numbered case duty, it was great fun for all. Proceeds will help construct a new visitor center near Cabela's, where a million people are expected to shop in the coming year.
*(l-r) Shannon Brown-2002 Post Falls Jr. Miss, Lt. Pat Knight-Post Falls Police Department and Sarah Polk Stehno-1994 Miss Idaho Teen USA.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Land of the Free

...because of the brave.

The Killed in Action monument at the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza in Coeur d'Alene pays tribute to local fallen heroes from the Spanish-American War up to Iraq.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Art of the Lure

There are all kinds of lures in life and the waters of North Idaho draw fishing fans throughout the four seasons. Lakes, ponds and reservoirs, including alpine lakes, are open all year for fishing. Winter stream season runs from December 1 through March 31
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov has comprehensive information on fishing in North Idaho.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Thousands of people will be heading indoors for the official opening of Cabela's in Post Falls tomorrow ... stocking up on everything they need to enjoy the great North Idaho outdoors. World-famous outfitter Cabela's will open a spectacular 125,000 sq. ft. retail store near the Washington/ Idaho state line. The store features a towering mountain replica, running waterfalls and streams, a gigantic freshwater aquarium stocked with fish native to the area, museum-quality representations of many wild-game species, and a world-class gun library.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vox Pop

It's election day in North Idaho, when the voice of the people is heard at polling places in small towns and big cities. The Kootenai County Elections office will be tabulating ballots for Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum elections, with live feeds of the results available on-line after 8 p.m. http://www.kcgov.us/elections/results/

Monday, November 5, 2007

Skating with a View

The Coeur d'Alene Resort is adding a 4,000-square-foot outdoor skating rink overlooking Independence Point for their Holiday Light Show. Miles of tubing was ready to be installed last week. The rink will open to the public on November 9.

Balanced Breakfast

This spotted woodpecker displayed a knack for balancing as he took over a front porch birdfeeder in Post Falls on Monday.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tick Tock

North Idaho is in the Pacific Time Zone and like most of the country we'll be falling back one hour in the wee hours of Sunday morning for Daylight Saving Time. This wall full of clocks at Watches by Gosh in the Coeur d'Alene Resort Plaza Shoppes will take quite an effort to rewind!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spooky Cat

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shells of summer

Just like the falling foliage will leave trees bare for the winter, tarps are being taken down at North Idaho marinas before the snow flies. The crew at RedLion Templin's Marina on the Spokane River enjoyed a sunny day for their task this week.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Got Ballot?

As much as the changing colors of nature, a sure sign of the season is upcoming elections. Although the national/presidential elections are not until next year, in small towns all over North Idaho, citizens will be voting at the local level on November 6. The Kootenai County Elections Department, located on 3rd Street in Coeur d'Alene, is the hub of democracy in our hometown.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beautiful views

On the eve of the first hard frost of fall, empty chairs at Sanders Beach on Lake Coeur d'Alene offer a front row seat to a picture postcard view. Gone for the season are the ski boats and swimmers but the beauty of North Idaho remains.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Less is More

The incredible views of fall foliage throughout North Idaho are somewhat distracting in recent days. These last blossoms on the shore are a beautiful but melancholy reminder of the different colors of summer.

Packing Away the Picnic

North Idaho has been enjoying a late October respite from chilly temperatures and blustery wet weather. While the parks and trails look inviting in the bright autumn sun for picnics, park workers in Post Falls' Q'emiln Park on the Spokane River are preparing for the winter ahead.

Monday, October 22, 2007

North Idaho's Natural Beauty

There's beauty all around and Post Falls' Tracey Brown became the fairest of them all on Saturday at Albertson College in Caldwell when she was crowned Miss Idaho USA. Tracey is no novice to all things sparkly and royal. She was Post Falls Junior Miss and went on to take the Idaho's Jr. Miss title in high school. In 2005 she was crowned Miss Idaho and took the stage at the Miss America Pageant. Now she's earned a place on the Miss USA stage in 2008. Tracey is more than just another pretty face, she's a talented ballerina and an honor student at Whitworth College. *see the "Think Pink" post in the Sept. archives for one of her noteworthy accomplishments of late. Moments after being crowned Tracey phoned her father with the news. Congratulations to Tracey, her parents Bill and Debbie Brown and her big sister Shannon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Norskis in North Idaho

Norwegian Heritage Day at the Harold Haarfager Lodge of the Sons of Norway in Post Falls celebrated the local group's one year anniversary at their new location. The 100 or so members welcomed visitors to enjoy a Norwegian-style lunch, complete with home-made lefsa and plenty of Scandinavian pastries. North Idaho has a large population of people of Scandinavian descent, many of whom migrated from Minnesota and North Dakota to work in the logging industry a century ago.
The craftsmanship of the tine` boxes are a colorful remnant of Norwegian heritage. This style of storage box dates back to Viking days when they were used to store cheese and dried meat aboard ship.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Haunting Season Opens

The nationally renowned Post Falls Lions Haunted house opens tonight and runs through Halloween. Featured as #2 haunted house in a USA Today poll a few years back, the attraction has put North Idaho on the map of spooky places.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We grow 'em big in North Idaho!

As Halloween approaches lots of spooky and creepy things are popping up all over North Idaho. This giant spider has taken up residence in a Post Falls pasture in the 3500 block of N. Greensferry Road.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hunting Season

A whitetail deer dashes through a yard in Fernan Village in East Coeur d'Alene. Hunting season is open but the dozens of deer who populate the Fernan Lake area are relatively safe from hunters.

Monday, October 15, 2007

All about Autumn

I've always viewed the stunning colors of a North Idaho autumn as a gift from Mother Nature. She knows how reluctant we are to give up sunny summer days in our outdoor paradise and this is her way of easing the transition to the beautiful but cold winter to come. This tree trunk on the banks of the Spokane River is encircled by a leafy vine in full fall colors.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday sunset

The sun set in spectacular style to cap a gloriously warm and sunny North Idaho weekend. Elk hunters were out in the forests this first week of the season and enjoying the mild weather.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Splish Splash

It's not common to see robins this late in the year in North Idaho. This well-fed fellow was making himself quite comfortable in a Post Falls birdbath on a mild October day. Maybe he missed the memo on migrating south for the winter.