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!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring stream

This stream along the road at Lake Coeur d'Alene's Kidd Island Bay makes its way through the deep snow, hopeful greenery showing promise that Spring really is on the way.

Sign of Spring?

Traditionally, robins hopping in the wet grass in search of worms are the symbolic sign of Spring. This past weekend's snow storms seemed to befuddle dozens of robins in my Post Falls neighborhood. Saturday morning upwards of 50 fat, round robins clustered close to the back deck sharing the shelter with dozens of sparrows, several starlings and even a Northern Flicker. Everywhere I looked, every bush, shrub and tree branch was covered with robins. Usually more aloof and definately not seed feeder or suet visitors, they should be feathering their nests right about now, not seeking shelter from the snow. Here's hoping April showers will be of the rainy kind and that Spring flowers will be close behind.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lawn. What lawn?

My husband takes great pains and pride in manicuring our lawn, often it's as well-groomed as a putting green. It may be a while before the lawn mower and fertilizer replace the snow blower and shovel, though, as this weekend photo of our back yard would indicate. According to North Idaho climatologist Cliff Harris, Saturday marked the 124th consecutive day that snow has been on the ground here, breaking the record of 123 days. Since snow started falling in early winter, 13.5 feet have fallen in Coeur d'Alene, nearly 100 inches more than normal for this period. In Rathdrum, more than 15 feet have fallen, and at stations between Spirit Lake and Priest Lake, the total is as high as 18 feet. Sigh.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Potentate's Ball

I go "on location" to a variety of places around North Idaho but this was a very special event, the annual Potentate's Ball. The Shriners Calam Temple's newly-installed Potentate is a childhood friend and neighbor from Coeur d'Alene. Bill Hamilton and the Shriners do great work through the Shriners Childrens Hospitals around the country. Also hailing from Coeur d'Alene is Bob Turnipseed, a past Imperial Potentate of the Shriners of North America.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sandpoint is a 10!

Sometimes we're surprised when people discover what we've known all along, North Idaho is a special place. In the company of The Hamptons, Hilton Head Island, Key West and Aspen, one of our own North Idaho treasures captured a Top Ten ranking in a national poll this week. From AOL Travel/Across America: Best Resort Towns- "Our top choices are all in the lower 48 states, and are accessible from major and regional airports. Furthermore, each town offers the upscale luxury you demand, the accessibility you need, and the ability to see and be seen while you're there.
In the Northern Idaho panhandle, breathtaking scenery is just the beginning. Sandpoint, with a population of less than 9,000 people, is becoming a destination that is accessible, although it feels far removed. Heading outdoors for recreation on Lake Pend Oreille, and on the slopes of Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort will quickly erase stress. New visitors are sure to enjoy the artistic and cultural depth found here. Galleries house impressive works of local and regional artists, the Festival at Sandpoint concert series draws great musicians, plus the Lakedance International Film Festival has quickly gained recognition."

Home Grown

When the Miss USA Pageant airs on NBC April 11, look for Miss Idaho USA Tracey Brown. We're doubly proud that not only does she hail from the Gem State, she's a Post Falls hometown girl. Tracey's far more than just a pretty face, she's an honor student at Whitworth College, an acomplished ballerina and the driving force behind Idaho's Breast Cancer Awareness specialty license plates. OnLocation North Idaho will go On Location to the Miss USA Pageant in April so check back here for some behind the scenes views. If you'd like info on where to send a good luck card or note to Tracey while she prepares for the pageant in Las Vegas, leave an email contact in the comment section.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's a bird, it's a plane ...

There are no shortage of incredible sights to see in North Idaho but after spotting this sign on 7th Street in Coeur d'Alene, I'm wondering if there won't be an addition to the tourism promotions. A flying hound dog? I've passed this yard several times but have yet to see the talented pooch in action.

Memo to Mother Nature

That balancing act of changing weather continues this week with more snow falling. This ring-billed gull seemed a little surprised to be grounded on the snowy sand on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Memo to Mother Nature: Didn't the official first day of Spring arrive in North Idaho over a week ago?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Balancing Act

The days between winter and and the arrival of spring can be a balancing act. What to wear when the weather seems to change every few minutes is just one of the daily dilemmas for North Idahoans. On a beautiful, yet blustery cold afternoon this Canada goose braces itself against the wind on the beach at downtown Coeur d'Alene's Independence Point.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shapely Shrubs

Bonsai is the ancient Chinese art of growing and shaping dwarfed trees and shrubs. This creative fence I spotted near the Coeur d'Alene Library made me think of Bonsai... North Idaho style.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Reflective Robin

Robins were loving the weekend rain and the puddles that provided worms for the taking. Signs of spring are everywhere in beautiful North Idaho!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ice Mosaic

There is no artist as prolific as Mother Nature and surely some of her best work appears in North Idaho. Ice breaking away from the shoreline of Beauty Bay, at the northeast end of Lake Coeur d'Alene, formed a mosaic as dusk fell.

Friday, March 21, 2008

And the Lion Roars!

Not to be outdone by the first day of Spring's little flurry of fluffy white flakes, Day 2 roared into North Idaho with more serious snowfall, several inches blanketing the landscape. This marble lion, on Highway 41 just south of Rathdrum, sums up the month of March ... out like a lion, indeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Out Like a Lion

The difference a day makes ... the photograph below of the starling taken yesterday contrasts with today's snowy sparrows. The first day of spring arrived with an inch of snow. But it's North Idaho and it's March so no surprises here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Starling Scout

In the past few weeks, a pair of starlings discovered our back porch bird buffet. Like our Northern Flicker, they prefer the suet hangers to the seed feeders. I'm surprised that the resident house sparrows seem unconcerned with the much-larger birds coming by for a bite. Starlings generally travel in murmurations (flocks) of hundreds so I'm hoping these two aren't the advance scouting party. Starlings are so pretty in the sunlight, with purple and green flecks of peacock color on black.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spectacular Spring Spill

This is the best time of year to see the incredible power of the Spokane River as it rushes over the dam at Post Falls. Avista opened the spill gates a few days ago to allow for spring runoff of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The overlook platform at Falls Park is a popular place to view the falls.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig

Irish eyes will be smiling Saturday, March 15 for the annual St. Patricks Day Parade. Bagpipers, Irish royalty, floats and of course, Irish Setters will take to Sherman Avenue in Coeur d'Alene at 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Birthday Girls

With party hats and fairy wings Mindy Newby and Alyssa Shaw took a noontime run past Independence Point on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Mindy thought it the perfect way to celebrate her 24th birthday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Watery Welcome

The long awaited water features at the I-90 on-ramps at Spokane Street are just weeks away from completion. Water will flow over the granite slabs in a three-diminsional welcome to Idaho's River City. The town's namesake falls are just a few blocks south of the freeway.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Even with ten days left of winter on the calendar, North Idaho golfers are a hardy bunch. On a sunny Sunday at Prairie Falls course in Post Falls, the driving range was filled with people getting the kinks out before the snow melts on the mountains and the grass turns green again.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Ahead!

On the second Sunday in March, clocks are set ahead one hour at 2:00 a.m. local standard time, which becomes 3:00 a.m. local daylight time. North Idaho is in the Pacific Time Zone while southern Idaho is Mountain Time Zone. This historic clock in front of Clark's Jewelry in downtown Coeur d'Alene has been keeping time for a century.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Doggie in the Window

A wild turkey appears to boldly stare down a dog behind a living room window in a Fernan Village neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

In like a lamb

March has come in more like a lamb than a lion in North Idaho. A few light snow flakes and morning fog turning to ice crystals are making way for sunny skies this week. This house sparrow found a frosty branch to his liking this morning.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Looks Good Enough to Eat

The restaurants at the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Casino Resort, 25 miles south of Coeur d'Alene, are among the best in the region. The High Mountain Buffet, Sweetgrass Cafe and Twisted Earth Grill are dining destinations in North Idaho. Collectively they were named Best in Show at Wine, Stein, Dine over the weekend. These fruit parfaits were as delicious as they were beautiful.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Four in a Row

In a field 20 miles north of I-90 on Coeur d'Alene River Road where we were on location Sunday, what looked like four rocks in the distance became members of a large herd of elk. There's still quite a bit of snow up in the Kingston / Prichard area so herds searching for food down from the mountain will likely last for several more weeks.