Favorite Season

Though it’s been getting downright chilly in Boise, Idaho—with a dusting of snow flurries here and there—winter in the United States officially begins with the Winter Solstice (also known as Yule, or the Longest Night) on Saturday, December 21, 2019.

I took this photo in Garden Valley, Idaho, this past summer, when we were camping at their lovely fly-in airport campground. They start getting ready for winter early, and for a good reason, their elevation is much higher than ours, so they get snow—in earnest—early!

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Regardless of your geographic location (I realize many of you are entering summer-type weather right now), what is your favorite season?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Plight of the Pollinators

One of my daily treks along the Boise Greenbelt revealed a new addition—a native plant and pollinator garden.

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A posted sign explains: 

“As the human population grows, so does our impact on the natural world. Buildings, roadways, and crops crowd out or completely eliminate the natural habitat needed by some species to survive. Pollinators are among those whose numbers are in decline.

“The City of Boise has installed an ‘insect hotel‘ at this location to provide a safe nesting site for insect pollinators. Its proximity to flowering plants ensures an adequate supply of nectar for feeding, and the hotel’s nooks and crevices offer a safe place for rearing offspring.”

In 2017, my sister gave me 1,500 ladybugs for my birthday. They arrived via special delivery with a “hotel.” And while the ladybugs didn’t take up residence in it (they were having too much fun eliminating aphids in the rose bushes), lots of other insects did. We have it located against the carport wall, underneath one of the rosebushes. It looks like a miniature version of the one in the native plant and pollinator garden along the Boise Greenbelt.

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Do you, or does your city, take steps to promote native plants and pollinators?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Banana Belt In the Pacific Northwest

We live in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, more specifically, Boise. Len flies out of the Nampa Municipal Airport—just a hop, skip, and a jump from home. So it was with eye-popping interest that I read an article stating the following:

The Treasure Valley area around Nampa is known as Idaho’s Banana Belt.

The article defined a banana belt as, “Any segment of a larger geographic region that enjoys warmer weather conditions than the region as a whole, especially in the wintertime.” That’s certainly true for the area we live in.

Kari Prassack, a paleontologist at Hagerman Fossil Beds, elaborated: “It’s called a “banana belt” because it is an area that receives warmer weather and less snowfall than the areas surrounding it—like a belt of the ‘tropics’ in Idaho. 

“This happens because warm air lifts upwards over the mountains, expands and cools, producing rain. And then, as drier air, it descends along the other side—in this case into the valley here where the air compresses and warms.”

I was surprised to learn that we live in the banana belt of the Pacific Northwest. Furthering my flummox, I learned that we live relatively close to a fossiliferous Pliocene-aged site!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about your geographic location?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Cream of the Crop

I was excited to receive a LINK from my friend Lyndajo to an article that lists The Best Library In Every State. When I read that the designation in Idaho is the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, we made a point of visiting it on a trip to that neck of the woods.

“When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian.” —American Library Association

I was delighted to discover that they carry my book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.

“When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.”
–Rita Mae Brown

I was wowed by this set of moose bookends—they’re taller than I am!

“The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.” —Libba Bray

October 14th was Indie Author Day. I hope you had the opportunity to attend the festivities at your local library; I had the privilege of speaking at the Boise Public Library that day.

“The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy, and community.” —Paula Poundstone

When was the last time you checked a book out from your library?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Craters of the Moon

On the return leg of a road trip to Montana—we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. To see it, you’d think you’d just stepped off a spaceship onto another planet. Here’s a photo of the terrain:

According to the brochures we received at the visitor’s center:

“Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush—a volcanic wonderland that is fun to explore. In 1969 NASA astronauts Alan Shepherd, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle explore the monument while training to visit the moon.”

It made me think about life on other planets; lifeforms we refer to as “Martians” or “Aliens.” If they visited us, they’d probably feel extremely out of place. On the flip side of that coin, we’d probably feel extremely out of place on their planets too.

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When was the last time you felt out of place?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Full of Hot Air

Typically the term, full of hot air is used in a derogatory fashion. For example, “Don’t pay attention to her, she’s full of hot air.” Not so at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic that takes place annually on Labor Day weekend. In fact, it’s a requirement!

The sound of hundreds of dragons breathing fills the air as spectators get an up close and personal look during inflation and liftoff. And while these ginormous bags of hot air look a bit unwieldy on the ground, they exude delicate dignity as they float gracefully against the backlit morning sky.

No strings attached, the pilot and passengers aren’t tied down to anything; they’re quite literally untethered.

Do you have any strings attached?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Eye of the Beholder

Typically when the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is used it’s because someone’s perspective doesn’t quite line up with someone else’s. For instance, one person might say, “Look at my new haircut, don’t you love it?” While the other person is thinking, “Oh my goodness, have you looked in a mirror?”

Then there are times when our perspective matches up beautifully with another person’s. Last week we enjoyed a visit from out-of-state friends. It was their first time in Boise so we gave them a tour—areal and ground level— to show them first-hand what we’ve been bragging about.

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We enjoyed every one of their ooh’s and aah’s as they snapped photo after photo and drank in the luscious Boise-area landscape.

What’s your most recent “eye of the beholder” experience?

By the way, if you haven’t dropped by my Facebook author page, please take a moment to check it out. I think it’s pretty cool. Once you visit, if your “eye of the beholder” experience aligns with mine, I hope you’ll click the “like” button.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com