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!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Home Snowy Idaho Home

Here's a photo of my parents' home at Kidd Island Bay taken on the last day of January as my brother-in-law faces the daunting task of snow removal. A team of people will tackle the project on Friday. My mother says that this is the most snow she's seen on her mountain top in the 30+ years since they moved from the city. Don't tell her there's more snow on the way this weekend!

No School!

Most school districts in the Idaho panhandle have had multiple "snow days" this week which means opportunities for the kids to enjoy the local sledding hills. This one is in a residential area in Coeur d'Alene, at Dollar Street and Lost Avenue near south 15th Street.

2008 - Day 1 and Day 31

As New Year's Day dawned in North Idaho two summer chairs on Sanders Beach sat in the snow over looking Lake Coeur d'Alene. Those chairs were covered in snow as January came to a close.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bambi I and II

A pair of deer find the footing on the shoveled front walkway of a Fernan Village home much better than in the deep drifts on the hillside. The increasing snow is driving North Idaho wildlife closer to neighborhoods in search of food.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snow Dog

Shadow, the year-old Standard Poodle/Schnauzer mix, is loving the record setting snowfall at his Fernan Hill home in Coeur d'Alene. Here's a dog who uses his head (and face) to push through the drifts in search of adventure.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ice, Ice Everywhere

Ice on North Idaho roadways and driveways and sidewalks is never a good thing, as this FedEx truck driver found out the hard way on I-90 in Post Falls Monday morning. But viewed as Nature's art suspended from the porch roof, it's beautiful to behold.

Got Elk?

A herd of wild elk winters on the Rathdrum Prairie every year and can often be seen in the fields off of Idaho Road or further east off of Burlington Road. The band intended to breakfast on bales of hay Monday morning but were frightened off by the farmer's dogs.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Think Spring!

As North Idaho is buried in what is shaping up to be record-breaking amounts of snow, this Mexican restaurant on Seltice Way in Post Falls offers an optimistic reminder that May flowers are just 99 days away.

Snow Birds

My "on location" adventures in recent days have been close to home but with the several inches of the snow that's fallen on North Idaho in the past 24 hours and a community of hungry sparrows to feed, there's no shortage of beautiful views from my back door.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


A chickadee breaks open a seed for Saturday morning breakfast on an icy branch.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Soaking up the Sun

A quartette of sparrows bask in the sun on a chilly and single-digit cold morning in North Idaho.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I went "on location" to Kootenai Medical Center for a few days last week, an unexpected detour brought on by a coronary event. I love how festive that sounds, much better than heart attack. But we are fortunate in North Idaho to have state-of-the-art medical facilities and some of the finest physicians and specialists in the country. In my Main Street column this week- http://cdapress.com/articles/2008/01/23/columns/columns03.txt -I talk about a young woman who's in the right profession. If you can make someone like me laugh out loud in the coronary care unit, you're doing something right. She was concerned that I not have to worry about writing a column this week.
Here's the visual of what CNA Belinda Rowe gifted me with while I was a patient there.
For more information on North Idaho's available medical services go to www.kmc.org

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cold? What cold?

The Arctic Express arrived in North Idaho and single digit temps have everyone shivering. But looking out my back door and seeing snow covered pine trees with bright blue skies in the sunshine is enough to warm the heart if not the hands and feet.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

View from Above and Below

On Sunday afternoon it was nothing but blue skies in North Idaho. A Northern Flicker clung tight to the top of a tree in the wind while down below a herd of cattle on the Rathdrum Prairie endured drifting snow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snow Dunes

A few days of thawing, brief high winds and now frigid temperatures transformed the snow in our front yard, resembling a sparkling white version of sand dunes. Again I marvel at the beauty of our own little spec of earth in these too short days of winter.

Monday, January 14, 2008

North Idaho Bird Dog

There are 60 to 80 sparrows and chickadees, along with about three dozen quail, who are guests at my backyard birdfeeders each winter. The other day I took a couple of day old biscuits out to the feeder and never gave it another thought. Evidently our resident bird dog, Phoebe, thought the biscuits were too good for the feathered crowd. She jumped up on a deck bench then climbed a mound of snow to reach one of the feeders to retrieve the prize. After a couple of tumbles into the snow she gave up the quest and the birds soon made short work of their treat.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Snowy Fun

The sledding hills will lose a bit of their snow in the next few days as the sunshine makes a return, bringing with it icy cold temperatures. But remember, it's only mid-January in North Idaho where winter hangs around through March. There's lots more snow to come!

Twin Lakes

This Saturday view from the boat launch on frozen Upper Twin Lake captures the stillness of winter. Clouds clinging to the pine trees ... a vacant summer cabin on the far shore waits patiently for the seasons to change.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hot Dog on a Cold Day

At the Hot Dog Hut in Dalton Gardens the owner showed her creative side when faced with a parking lot full of snow ... she created a 7 ft. long sculpture of her namesake product.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Snowed Under

Record snowfall, in duration and amount, hit North Idaho. What made the storm remarkable was how long it lasted ... beginning before dawn on Tuesday and continuing to fall on and off until midday Wednesday. The Coeur d’Alene area measured six inches of accumulation. Sandpoint had 4.4 inches and Bonners Ferry 3.8 inches. The relatively “heavy” snow made clearing of streets and walkways more work than usual and even this inflatable, sunglassed Mr. Sun was bowing to the weight of the winter weather.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Paul for Prez

Idaho’s primary elections are not until May, five months after the hooplah in New Hampshire, but that didn’t stop local political operatives from promoting their candidate. Paul Bunyon has tossed his ax into the ring, at least according to the readerboards on the Northwest Blvd. and Post Falls drive-ins bearing the legendary lumberjack's name. The iconic Coeur d'Alene burger stand opened in 1952.

Bumper Crop

The barely freezing temperatures and prolific snowfall have created some interesting "snowball" trees and shrubs in North Idaho. And I always thought they grew on vines...

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year Resolution- North Idaho style

Idaho has over 40 different specialty license plates available, including the Idaho wildlife plate that features the Mountain Bluebird.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Up With People

The chairlift at Lookout Pass was sitting room only on a recent Saturday morning. It's a one-way ride to the top, the only way to get back down is via skis or snowboard. All of the North Idaho ski resorts have fun special events planned in the coming week. Check the calender on The Guide to North Idaho link on the right for details.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Falls on Ice

One of the spectacular winter sights in North Idaho is right in town and even includes walking trails and handicap-accessible overlook platforms. Falls Park is located just south of the I-90 off ramp at Spokane Street in Post Falls. A few more weeks of the cold January temps will make for an icy wonderland where the Spokane River spills over the dam ... so don't miss the view.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Heart North Idaho

The heart sculpture at the new Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center overlooking the lake provided the perfect frame for one of the last sunsets of 2007.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Day at the Beach ... brrrr

For at least 29 years hardy and/or foolish locals have jumped in the lake at the stroke of noon on New Years Day. The Polar Bear Plunge has become a fun way to start the new year, for the participants and the spectators. Sanders Beach on Lake Coeur d'Alene was covered in snow and the outside temperature was barely 20 degrees but that didn't deter the determined.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Winter White Welcome

Exit O atop Lookout Pass is over 6,000 feet in elevation. The ski and recreation area is just yards off of Interstate 90 and popular for winter as well as summer outdoor pursuits. Although with the amount of snow there at the Idaho/Montana border on the first day of the new year, summer seems a world away.