Winter Sticks and Bridges

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February 3, 2014

Feeling cooped up on a cold weekend while Jessica is away, I suggest a walk along the river. The inversion is finally gone. It should be nice.

One way or another
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One way or another
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“Tree house or the sandy place?” I asked Brenna, using our code names for different stretches of the Boise River near our house.

“Sandy place,” she answered.

Hunter glumly declined our invitation, par for the thirteen-year-old-course, I suppose (about the same age Kayla stopped joining us). It was just Brenna and I leaving the asphalt path, Boise’s Greenbelt, for a brisk dirt walk in the woods behind the Cottonwood apartments.

Save water, drink whiskey
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Save water, drink whiskey
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A weathered wooden bridge spans the River Run pond effluence.

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A hundred yards up the river we reached the sandbar where I realized Brenna was right to exchange her flip-flops for boots. I should have done that.

Worthy stick search
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Worthy stick search
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Someday I’ll learn why the algae in this little backflow is orange.

Building a bridge
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Building a bridge
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Brenna was concerned that I couldn’t get across so she began building a bridge. Throwing rocks into the water at my feet had the expected result.

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I saw through the brush a figure walking strangely (stumbling?) across the sandbar and began keeping track of his position relative to little Brenna who had run ahead. When I caught up I saw he was an older man. He had carefully draped a hand towel across one of the down trees to sit facing the river.

“She’s full of energy,” he observed.

“Always after adventure,” I answered.

Outflanked
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Outflanked
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Deep sand in the shadows sometimes makes big mushrooms that the kids discover and put on display.

Blue hour
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Blue hour
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“Blue hour” might refer not only to an evening hue appreciated by photographers but the color of bare winter toes (refer to previous flip-flop comment).

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You say 暈け I say bokeh
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You say 暈け I say bokeh
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Severed limb
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Severed limb
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Best stick yet
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Best stick yet
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She karate chopped it at length before the reconciliatory hug.

Social network
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Social network
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shallow roots
across trampled sand
another Facebook friendspa

Universal salvation
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Universal salvation
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Cottonwoods in Boise are usually circumscribed by a chicken wire beaver defense.

I just try to keep up
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I just try to keep up
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Hi-viz lichen
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Hi-viz lichen
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Less nervous this time
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Less nervous this time
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Getting ditched
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Getting ditched
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She ran ahead to hide, jump out and scare me. Except I stopped to take pictures and she had to yell for me to catch up. It happens.

Fox news
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Fox news
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Attention to external “evils” — beavers, liberals or the devil himself — is futile if done at the expense of inner development.

Required new camera shot
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Required new camera shot
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Undercut
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Undercut
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“A century of dams has dramatically reduced the sediment that flows down the river. Cottonwood seeds find fertile ground for sprouting in freshly laid sediment left by floods in the Boise River plain. Fewer floods means fewer new cottonwoods to sprout, and fewer trees to provide bird and animal habitat. And fewer sources of shade to cool the river water in which fish thrive.”¹

  1. Idaho Statesman, “Idaho Wrestles With Water Issues” (February 2, 2014): idahostatesman.com/…/idaho-wrestles-with-water-issues