Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring in North Idaho

Scenes from April in Idaho's Panhandle


                                          Rathdrum Prairie field with new snow




                                          Along Wyoming Ave.





                                         Meyer Road


                                         Spirit Lake Post Office

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Touch and go show at Boyington Field

It wasn't an airshow. Not really, but the pilot of the Navy P-3 landed with a bit of burned rubber and some rabbit squeals as the plane's tires tipped the tarmac this afternoon at Coeur d'Alene's Pappy Boyington Field.
The plane raced down the runway and lifted off again, made a wide arc over the Rathdrum Prairie, stopping traffic on Huetter Road as it circled.
It dropped altitude, slipped over the newly-tilled fields and its arc became a circle. Its nose headed northeast, its landing gear down, and the P-3 touched the tarmac again, raced on the smooth surface and lifted off.
This happened over and over.
The plane and its crew were doing what plane-people call "touch and go," according to airport personnel who grabbed binoculars to watch the show.
It lasted a half hour, maybe longer. 
Then the plane headed west toward the Coeur d'Alene River country and Montana. A bit later it nosed again over the mountains, and made its last appearance before beelining toward home: Whidbey Island and the sea.

-Ralph Bartholdt 











For a recent story about the Coeur d'Alene airport and Pappy Boyington Field, go here:
http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_f99ef798-5001-5a37-b31c-2ec020a022e0.html

-rb

KW serves up big

Keller Williams Realty earned a quarter of the market share of sales in the housing industry, according to a recent survey.
Keller Williams brokerages represented 24 percent of the top 500 brokerages ranked by closed transactions, and 28 percent of the top 500 brokerages ranked by closed volume, according to REAL Trend Inc.,a leading source of analysis and information on the residential brokerage and housing industry.
The number of KW brokerages on the list surpassed all other major franchise players – with twice the number of brokers represented by closed transactions, and almost three times the number of brokers represented by closed volume compared to Coldwell Banker, currently the largest real estate company in the U.S. by agent count.
In March, the company announced it had surpassed Century 21 as the second largest real estate franchise in the country.




Friday, April 1, 2011

Tree Farmer of the Year

Don Heikkila of Harrison was recently recognized as Idaho's Tree Farmer of the Year/ Ralph Bartholdt


For 64 years Don Heikkila has lived on a farm at the edge of a mountain that overlooks Lake Coeur d'Alene.
The farm was homesteaded at the turn of the century and later sold to Heikkila's father. It edges a plateau that towers over the azure waters of the lake and is fondly referred to as the Harrison Flats.
Compared to a pine board, or the plains of Dakota that many early homsteaders to the area left as they came looking for water during the Great Depression, the Flats don't deserve the name.
They wobble, careen and disappear in wooded swales and scrap-rock gullies filled with fir. A northbound traveler on Hwy 97 who breaks from the wooded hills of Peterson Creek doesn't notice this. He or she see only the vast open ground from Indian Mountain, where Heikkila's farm is, to Lamb Peak miles away with nothing in between but rolling hay fields.
The land was cleared a century ago by homesteaders. The pioneers of what then was a high plateau of larch, fir and pine with cedar mixed into the draws, signed on to improve their sections, so they cut trees, pulled stumps and raised wheat.
But, Heikkila says, "The soil is better for growing trees than it is for growing wheat."
The former soil and conservation district board member who served on the state's soil and water commission under three governors, was recently awarded Idaho's most prestigious tree farm award.
Heikkila was named Outstanding Tree Farmer for 2011 at a recent gathering in Moscow.
His trees have always been there, and although he supplements timber harvesting with plantings, the forest is in its original state. His 240-acre wood is a mixed stand of diverse native species of all ages from seedlings to mature ponderosa pines.
Heikkila is one of a handful of old timers - there are some that are older, but not many - with a foothold quietly planted in the soil where he was raised, never having left, or strayed very far in more than six decades.
"Not too many people have lived here longer than 64 years," he says.

See more here: http://www.idahotreefarm.org/

-Ralph Bartholdt