Archive for the 'People' Category

Dec 27 2012

Just a Couple of Clowns

Published by under People



 Here is my son and daughter-in-law, Christmas day 2012.

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Nov 27 2012

Happy Birders

Published by under People,Scenery,Wildlife

On a recent trip to my Sagehen Bluebird Trail I had two very willing assistants help remove old bird nests from the nestboxes. On several occasions I remained in the car while they charged up the hills and cleaned out the boxes for me. Aren’t they a very happy looking pair? They’re Cheryl and Cathy.

Below is a scene looking down the hill toward Squaw Creek. Don’t you feel sorry for me to have country like this in which to pursue a hobby?

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Aug 14 2012

A Bird in The Hand

Published by under Birds,People,Scenery,Wildlife

Activity on my “bluebird trails” is winding down for the season. The nestling in the photo above was one of the last birds banded in 2012. About 835 bluebirds were banded this year.

I wish to express my appreciation for the willing help given to me by students at BSU and members of Golden Eagle Audubon Society and Southwestern Idaho Birders Association.


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Jul 15 2012

Bluebird Trail

Published by under Birds,People,Scenery,Wildlife

I finished grammer school and worked on a cattle ranch while between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. Imagine the loneliness of a 12 year-old kid, fresh from the city, spending the hot summer days at an isolated cabin with only a friendly dog for company in a very rural Owyhee county while my guardian older brother spent many days working for neighboring ranches.. It was in this setting that I learned from Nature’s textbook firsthand the many things that surround us. I was introduced to snakes, lizzards, birds and animals that one never sees in the city. One day at the age of 16 I was introduced to my first Mountain Blubird. that image stayed with me the rest of my life.

About 35 years ago at the age of 55 after many vocations my interest returned to bluebirds. I established a bluebird trail with 25 nestboxes. The birds responded immediately. Most of the boxes were used by the end of the second year. I added more boxes from year to year until until they numbered 135. Early on I applied for and received a banding permit from the Bird Banding Laboratory, Fish and Wildlife  Service. I also established other bluebird trails and to date I have banded in excess of 26,000 bluebird nestlings and adults.

I love the Owyhee bluebird trail because of its remoteness and solitude, but I’m never lonely. I have all of the wonderful creatures I grew up with as a kid. Whenever I can I share this wonderful ourdoors with others through fieldtrips and personal tours. The young lady in the photo above accompanied me one day to monitor and band bluebirds. One must say that the bluebirds made a hit with her. She and other grad-students of BSU may soon be monitoring this bluebird trail as a class project. Then I can retire. These ninety years, aching bones and tired muscles tell me I may soon have to sit back and visit my bluebirds in memory.

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Mar 29 2012

Bear River National Wildlife Refuge

 I recently visited the Bear River National Wildlife Refuge on the return trip from Kearney, Nebraska with a group of friends. The weather was threatening rain and the wind was blowing. In the scene above we find the Wahsach range capped with storm clouds.


The wind was howling and rain was falling. A group of American Avocets lines up in the lee of a tumble weed. There were large flocks of Avocets totaling perhaps 3000 individuals.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds took refuge in the tules, all facing toward the wind

 On this memorable day, my 90th birthday, the four of us had breakfast at Denny’s in Tremonton, Utah. From left to right: Bob Breen, Al Larson, Denise Hughes and Cheryl Huizinga. I ate for free since it was my birthday.

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Feb 12 2012


Published by under Animals,People

My great-granddaughter, Natalie, celebrated her third birthday yesterday. After the cake and icecream had been served and eaten she retreated to her new toys. Jane, the dog, seemed interested in the game as well.


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Jul 05 2011

A Home With a View

Published by under Birds,People,Scenery,Trees,Wildlife

Last Sunday I was accompanied by three ladies interested in my Bluebird Trail. We managed to monitor 62 of the 127 boxes on the route. We banded 46 nestlings. This trail is located in the Owyhee mountains along the Triangle road. Most of the nestboxes are mounted on juniper trees out of sight from the road.

The above photo was taken near Toy summit at the top of Bachman Grade. The box is mounted on a Mountain Mohogany tree near a pass overlooking the Snake River Plain. I call this box “a home with a view.” The lovely lady is Susie Thayer who was my chauffeur for the day. I am always happy to share “my bluebirds” with friends.

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Jun 03 2011

The Gardner Cemetery

Published by under Cemeteries,People

On Saturday May 28, 2011 members and relatives of the Gardner family met at their cemetery located near Clear Creek, Boise county. The primary reason for the gathering was a memorial service and inter the ashes of Floyd Warren Yonker. The cemetery is located on a hill and the road leading up to it is nearly impassable during winter and inclement spring weather, so the delayed memorial. It is also customary to clean up the ground around the graves near memorial day at the end of May.

The weather was cold and threatened rain. A bonfire helped warm things up. Refreshments were served potluck. This seemed more like a family reunion than a funeral.

Warm your toes, anybody?


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May 16 2011

Spring Clean-up

Published by under Miscellaneous,People

My family, Jim and Kelli, Pat and Wayne, Jeannie and Hilda, volunteered some yard work yesterday. They trimmed shrubs and trees and cleaned up the mess. Many hands made short work of the many hours of labor I had not been looking foreward to. Fathers Day came a month early for me this year.

Thank you, you guys!

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May 02 2011

Spring Seems a Little Late

Published by under Birds,Flowers,People,Snow,Wildlife

It was rather cool for our field trip on the last day in April. A light skiff of snow fell a couple days earlier but the temperature stayed low and there was very little melting. On the entire trip 53 species of birds were seen but the number of individuals was down. Our group of birders were good sports and a good time was had by all.

Eleven days earlier I checked all of the bluebird boxes on this route. A couple of the boxes had completed bluebird nests. The majority of the boxes displayed some bluebird activity, if only just a few blades of grass. After that the weather turned cold and stormy. The bluebirds seemed to have lost interest and little or no progress was evident in nest building. Barely a half dozen bluebirds were seen on the day of the field trip.

I am concerned that with this delay in nesting some birds may not nest and those that do may not finish raising their first brood in time to start a second. Broods produced in late summer have to contend with high temperatures, less insect prey and increased numbers of predators. This looks to be a repeat of last year’s problems when nestling production was way down from previous years.

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