Monday, December 12, 2011

The Green Desert

 The lush deserts of southern Arizona are unique among the deserts of the world.  The rains of December bring out the vibrant colors of these amazing plants.  The picture to the left is from Organ Pipe National Park where we drove the 21 mile Ajo Mountain loop gravel road.  This habitat also has its unique compliment of bird and animal life, such as LeConte's Thrasher, Black-throated Sparrow, Verdin, Antelope Ground Squirrel and Desert Cottontail all new for our trip.

We spent a day walking the grounds of the Sonoran Desert Museum.  We certainly would recommend this outstanding facility with its exceptional native animal displays, landscaping, education programs, staff, volunteer corps, and overall attention to detail.  We enjoyed the many changes since our visit many years ago.  Pictured to the left is a pair of Harris's Hawks, part of the 5 family group in their free-flying Bird of Prey Program.
Here it is mid December and fall colors have come to Tucson, Arizona.  We spent the day hiking the trails of Sabino Canyon along the beautiful creek and waterfall (pictured to the right).  This riparian area is a magnet for overwintering birds and wildlife.  Some of the birds we saw here were: Rock Wrens, Crissal Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia. and and Phainopepla.

This photo was taken at the Saguaro National Park in East Tucson, where we enjoyed the wildlife drive and nature trails.  You always equate Tucson with the Saguaro, the image of everyone's  perfect cactus.  We are enjoying our visit with friends that left Green Bay many years ago, John & Patti Hancock.  We have been watching the Packers win at Touchdowns,  enjoying Christmas programs at their church and catching up visiting.

Best to all,  Ty & Ida

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Salton Sea & the Desert

From sea to shining sea! Leaving the Pacific Ocean, we arrived 186 feet below sea level at the Salton Sea.  Our campsite at the Salton Sea Recreation Area overlooked the abundant bird life consisting of thousands of Am. White and Brown Pelicans, Gulls, Herons, Egrets, Grebes, and Cormorants.  Some of our favorite birds were the Black-necked Stilts, Am. Avocets, White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks

This salt flat with the Red Hill in the background is part of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.  This barren landscape four years earlier was inundated with water and today is a stark contrast to the nearby lush refuge food plots and impoundments. We spent hours from the Red Hill vantage point watching thousands of overhead migrating Snow and Ross's Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and Cattle Egrets settle into the refuge.

On one of our early morning forays, we encountered this 'grounded' Western Grebe.  The bird strongly objected to the rescue attempt.  The bird no doubt mistook the heat waves on the blacktop highway for water and made a hard landing.  With it's rear 'mounted' legs it could not stand or run much less take flight, nor could it dodge the fast approaching trucks.  The episode ended well with it's safe release into a nearby wetlands.

A side trip took us to the Anza Borrego State Park, a desert badlands.  We hiked the three mile boulder strewn stream bed between steep canyon walls to Borrego Palm Canyon Oasis.  This water source, the life blood of the desert, provides homes and sustenance for California Palms, Desert Pup Fish, song birds, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lions and Rattlesnakes.   We added White-winged Dove, Black-throated Sparrow, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Gambel's Quail and a low perched Long-eared Owl.  This takes our 'big year' bird list to 450 species.

We are thankful to our Creator on this Thanksgiving Day (and everyday) for His handiwork, His blessings and His unmerited favor.  May God richly bless you,    Ty & Ida

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Malibu Beach & LA

It was wonderful to get connected with our son Travis and his wife Tina in Los Angeles, thankfully our gracious hosts chauffered us around the bustling city.  This photo was taken on Venice pier with Malibu Beach and the Santa Monica mountains in the background.

We walked along the Venice canals, and Venice Beach Boardwalk, went to an Art exhibit, and went to Universal Studios City Walk, plus driving tours of Beverly Hills, Studio City, and Hollywood, sampling LA cuisine at some of their favorite dining spots.  Spent some time at the LaBrae Tar Pits (pictured with the Mammoths).

 We spent the better part of an afternoon exploring the large LA Zoo, we enjoyed the nice collection of animals and botanical garden throughout the grounds.  As much as we enjoyed this fast paced lifestyle, it was nice to retreat 20 miles north along the coast to Malibu Beach RV Park.  Here we enjoyed the roar of the waves which replaced the traffic noise, the many Hummingbirds that came to the abundant flowers on the hillside, daily visits by Black-hooded Parakeets, and breath-taking sunrises and sunsets.

We enjoyed our daily walks along the beach watching large pods of Common Dolphins and California Sea Lions leaping through the waves after fish.  Large concentrations of Western Grebes, flock of Whimbrels, plus Great Egrets spearing Fence Lizards.

We walked a half dozen times to the nearby Solstice Canyon Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, rich with birds and wildlife.  The old live oak trees here have survived several fires that have destroyed all man-made dwellings.  This oasis with its year round running water is a magnet to birds as they migrate south.

We are heading east tomorrow, leaving the ocean shores for the desert.  Happy trails to all.
Ty & Ida

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Morro Rock to - Channel Islands National Park

We drove along Big Sur - gorgeous coastline of rock cliffs, sand dunes and beaches.  Spent the night under the most southern Redwoods next to a clear, babbling brook.  A walk at night yielded Western Screech, Spotted and Great Horned Owls.   On the road south we saw Ferruginous Hawk, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, large numbers  of raptors, coyote, elk and would you believe, even a herd of Zebra on the Hearst Castle Estate.

Pulled into Morro Dunes RV park next to this huge 578 foot monolith - pictured to the left, home to nesting Peregrine Falcons.  
 This photo to the right captures a small segment of the thousands of shorebirds that littered the 5 mile beach to the north of the rock.  If you look carefully you can find: Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Whimbrels and 76 Snowy Plovers camouflaged in the background.

After a few days in Santa Barbara and Ventura, we boarded a catamaran for Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the 5 Channel Islands National Park chain.  On the 26 mile voyage, were dozens of Common Dolphins racing our boat, thousands of Western Grebes, and a new 'life bird' a Xantus's Murrelet.  Upon landing, we signed permits and were led by a Nature Conservancy naturalist into the closed property.  Our small group of 5 got to experience the endemic flora and fauna. Our number one goal was to see the Island Scrub Jay - found nowhere else in the world.  We found 6 of these dark blue colored, large birds.  Pictured below is the rich waters around Santa Cruz Island teaming with sea life, fishes, seal lions and birds.  Our best to all from sunny California.   Ty & Ida

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Monterey Bay

 Who says "Spiders can't fly"?  High in and above the Sequoias hundreds of spiders were observed 'ballooning' on air currents at over 7,000 foot altitude.  Flying sure beats walking even if you have eight legs.  Our High Sierra RV park had hundreds of these webs from ground to upper canopy of the Redwoods.

Yes, we are still birding and were blessed to get a 'life bird' in Santa Cruz.  Cued by a hotline tip, we found a Yellow-green Vireo less than 20 feet from our RV in an urban park.

 We visited two different Monarch Butterfly Habitat Preserves with eucalyptus trees: the Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz and Natural Bridges State Park.  This sheltered canyon provides a winter home for thousands of monarch butterflies. A few of the early arrivals are depicted in the photo to the right.

Down the coast at Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough we encountered thousands of shorebirds: Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Willets, Long-billed Curlews, Marbled Godwits, both Dowitchers, and many others.  Plus we saw a Barn Owl in an abandoned barn in the preserve.
This picture to the left is a Sea Dragon, one of the new displays at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This showcases one of God's truly unique creatures. Since our last visit 14 years ago we found many new exhibits including the children's interactive area.  It is amazing all the wonderful creatures that were there, so many that we had not seen before: the cuttlefish, sea horses, octopus, sharks, the huge ocean sunfish (looked like it was made by a child), and a variety of eels.

We recommend a visit to this wonderful area of California.   Until next time,  Ida & Ty

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yosemite, King's Canyon & Sequoia National Parks

 Over 50 years ago, as a child looking through a View Master photo disc of Yosemite National Park, I longed to one day visit this unique place. Here we are looking at the famous 3,600 foot wall of granite of El Capitan rising straight out of the valley floor. The picture doesn't do it justice on how majestic these mountains are. Not only was the scenery spectacular but we added some specialty birds to our growing list:  White-headed Woodpecker, Mountain Quail & Pygmy Nuthatch.

We were staying in Oakhurst and had a great birding area right outside the RV, adding Nuttall's Woodpecker, Phainopepla, California Towhee, California Thrasher & Oak Titmouse.

Next destination - King's Canyon & Sequoia National Parks.
Once again, breath-taking scenery and massive trees.   Pictured here a 320 foot tall Giant Sequoia with a base of 98 feet in circumference.  It was amazing to see so many of these over 2,000 year old trees that were thankfully saved for generations to enjoy.

This curious coyote greeted us at one of the park pull-offs.  Mule Deer and yet another Black Bear (this was bear #55 for the trip) made up some of the park's rich fauna.

From Sunny California,  Ty & Ida

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

N. California Redwoods

 As the sun sets over the coast of Oregon, we reflect on a memorable month in this beautiful state.  The scenery, wildlife and especially the abundant bird life filled numerous pages in our travel log.  This picture is of Goat Island at Harris Beach State Park, our home for a few days, was taken from the 700 foot cliff above the tide pools and beach.

 On to California and our much anticipated "must see"- the majestic Redwoods, and they did not disappoint! Walking and camping among these ancient monarchs is nothing short of humbling.  Picture with us that these 2,000 year old trees were here and growing when Christ walked the earth.  It is impossible to effectively communicate our total emersion experience, but the picture on the left and the video on the bottom will have to do until you can see them for yourself.

Shafts of sunlight rarely filter to the forest floor from the towering 380 foot high canopies above. The giant tree pictured in the video measured 68 feet in circumference.  Epiphytes, such as ferns, moss, lichens and shrubs grow profusely from upper story branches and trunks.  This cool, dark and moist forest floor environment gives off the aroma of creation.

From "sunny" California where its been foggy or raining for the last two full days (critical to Redwood growth).   Farewell for now, Ty & Ida

Monday, September 19, 2011

From Mountain top to Sea Coast

We traveled the 33 mile rim of Crater Lake, high in the Cascade Mountain range of Oregon.  This former volcano is now a 1,943 foot deep lake, the island in the lake is the former lava dome.  There were a surprisingly number of birds at this altitude, (between 7,000-8,000 feet), such as Clark's Nutcrackers, Am. Pipits, Mountain Bluebirds, Mountain Chickadees, and a Black Rosy Finch. We found camping at this altitude is rather cold, 29 degrees one morning, plus all these roads close in Oct. for the winter.

Southeast of the crater were these pinnacles of  pumice and volcanic ash deposits as seen in the pictures to the left. There was a large gorge with these eroded formations for several miles.

We took the 80 mile scenic Rogue River forest road back to the coast,  single lane with pullouts.  We saw a majestic bull elk and a Sooty (Blue) Grouse along this mountainous, meandering road.

At Cape Arago we heard before we saw, hundreds of Steller's & California Sea Lions, and Harbor Seals basking on the rocks of Simpson Reef.  In the midst of all the pinnipeds, after significant searching turned up the prize, one massive Elephant Seal (Good luck in finding him in the picture). Several Gray Whales made their appearance north of the reef.

We spent the better part of a day exploring the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.  We enjoyed the hands-on tidal pool critters, walked through a shark tube and the the pulsating jellyfish exhibit.  Best to all,  Ida & Ty

Monday, September 5, 2011

North Oregon Coast

 How can it be September already?  Time moves along.  We are enjoying God's air conditioning at the Pacific Ocean as the rest of the area is in the sweltering heat.  The picture at the left is taken high above the beach at Ecola State Park.  The birding has been great along the "haystack" rocks, beaches, bays and jetties of the Oregon Coast.  Migration is in full swing with flocks of shorebirds winging their way south.  Of particular interest are the Surfbirds, Wandering Tattlers, Black Turnstones, Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits, Sanderlings and Baird's, Western, & Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Along the towering rock formations we are observing colonies of sea birds including these Common Murres (photo to the right), Tufted Puffins, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Black Oystercatchers.

Each day we take several walks along the beach or surrounding woodlands.  This Banana Slug (pictured below with a quarter) has become a fairly common encounter.

Our best to all of you, back to the beach for us.
Ty & Ida

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mount St. Helens National Monument

It has been 31 years since the eruption of Mount St. Helens and in some places it looks like it happened last week.  The Johnston Observatory overlooks the mountain on the north side where it caved in, started by an earthquake that caused the largest avalanche in recorded history that triggered the blast of magma out of the side of the mountain.  There were great exhibits and films that showed the biological, geological effects and survival stories that were amazing.  The theater is built in such a way that at the end the curtains rise on a glass wall overlooking the volcano which makes a dramatic impact.

In the picture below, these trees still show the effects the stone-wind had several miles away.
Closer to the blast everything was destroyed by the wind of several hundred miles per hour, then covered with pyro-plastic mud and hot ash. Several thousand tons of ice and snow melted, flooding down the mountains in torrents, carrying trees and rocks with it for miles.  The picture of Spirit Lake below still has thousands of logs floating on it after all these years.

On the drive up windy ridge, we saw the eerie landscape that is slowly returning to a living forest. At this altitude we were able to see Mt. Rainier to the north, Mt. Adams to the east, and Mt. Hood to the south; their snow covered peaks in the blue sky towering above the forests.  We circled the mountain on beautiful forest roads with large trees giving you an idea of what it looked like before 1980. We are staying in Cougar, WA for 2 days. We walked to a nearby park this morning where an outdoor church service was taking place and we were happy to join it.  God always provides, like the last site in an RV park because someone cancelled right before we arrived.  We are enjoying our retirement very much and send our best to all who read this blog.     Ida & Ty

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Washington's Pacific Coast

For the last two and one-half weeks we explored the coastline of Olympic National Park.  Tide pools  at low tide were decorated with orange and purple sea stars plus anemones, mussels, oysters, and many other creatures.  The huge haystack rocks were home to colonies of many alcids and other sea birds, the rocks below were rising 100 feet above the water.  The beaches were strewn with huge tree trunks as pictured below which was 33 feet across.

Some of the wonderful creatures we observed were gray whales, sea otters, harbor seals, river otters and porpoises.  We spent hours scoping the ocean waves for birds and were rewarded with record numbers of Pacific & Red-throated loons, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Sooty, Buller's & Pink-footed Shearwaters, Heermann's Gulls, South Polar Skua and numbers of shorebirds.

In between coastal areas we visited the Hoh Rain Forest with beautiful moss covered trees and observed our 52nd bear for the trip and saw the Roosevelt Elk (a herd of 16 cows and calves).

We are now at Copalis Beach for the next few days, ready to explore the endless beach that is crowded with shorebirds and gulls and not too many people.  Our best to everyone. Ty & Ida

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Olympic National Park

 At 7,000 feet, we felt like we were on top of the world, great view of the Olympic mountain range with it's snow and glaciers.  Yes we walked on snow in August.  It was a beautiful drive up Hurricane Ridge through old growth forest and beautiful wild flowers along the road sides ( as seen in picture below).
The week before this we spent at Birch Bay, Washington, enjoying the sun after many days of rain on our travels south.  We had beautiful weather the whole week. After crossing on the Port Townsend ferry, we are traveling northwest along the coast of Washington, we are finding many birds, already 140 species in the state. This weekend we are camped along Crescent Bay looking at sea birds through the scopes; Ancient & Marbled Murrelets, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets, Surf, White-winged, and Black Scotors, Harlequin Ducks, Heeriman, Mew, California, and Glaucous-winged Gulls, a few shorebirds.  Also watching cruise and cargo ships pass by in the Juan de Fuca Strait on their way to Victoria, Canada or Seattle.  Looking forward to spending more time along the beautiful coasts of Washington and then Oregon.  Our best to everyone.  Ty & Ida

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

From Canada to Washington

 We stayed three rainy days in Prince Rupert, this Black-tailed deer visited us each day, sometimes with family.  We birded the island coast in the fog and mist, seeing 40+ Rhinoceros Auklets, and a few other sea birds.  We took the opportunity to have service done on the RV, filters, oil. etc.
Moving south to escape rain, high prices (gas & food). rain, lack of new bird species, rain, the metric system, rain, and looking forward to being back the good old USA.
Passed through miles of vineyards and orchards in Canada and Washington.  Then bird species and numbers increased exponentially as we traveled the high desert habitats.  Then into the dark rain forest of the Northern Cascades, yes more rain, but not today.  The huge old growth rain forests, as pictured below, festooned with mosses, lichens, ferns was very impressive.  We are enjoying camping among the large trees.  Our plans are to see all five of the volcanos of Washington and then the ocean coast.   Our best to all.  Ty & Ida

Monday, July 18, 2011

Skagway & Hyder Alaska

We made our last two stops in Alaska, for both you had to travel through the Yukon, into British Columbia and back into Alaska. Other than that the two places couldn't be more different.   This lake is on the road into Skagway called Rainbow Lake for the beautiful colors reflected off the marl bottom.  The land was full of boulders and small trees and a myriad of lakes at alpine altitude.  The steep decline into the town was amazing.  This is a tourist town, Cruise ships, helicopter rides, trains, (think Wisconsin Dells +).  Walked the Historic Gold Rush District with about 10,000 people from the 5 ships per day.  On the way out of Skagway we were blessed with a Canadian Lynx sighting, running across the road and up a long bank. Our last Alaskan destination was Hyder with a population of 100 (in the summer) with streets of dusty gravel.  We attended a small Baptist church with 11 others, 6 visitors.  We drove to National Forest Salmon observation platform, as tradition has it, people who discover the first Salmon in the river get the fish named after them - we are now famous and some grizzly bear's lunch.  Then drove 23 miles up hairpin, cliff edge gravel road to summit over Salmon Glacier (pictured below) at 5,000+ feet.  Ty had to climb the extra 1,000 feet to the mountain top - at this alpine vista added the target birds of Gray-crowned Rosy-finch and White-tailed Ptarmigan, plus Golden-crowned Sparrow and Semi-palmated Plover.   Today we had a record bear day of 8 giving us 51 for the trip including a sow grizzly with 3 month old cubs, a black bear swimming a fast, wide river followed by a harbor seal, and a coastal brown bear with a curious standing cub.  God Bless you all,  Ty & Ida

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Going full circle

We are in Haines Junction, Yukon for the third time as we started here before going into Alaska, and 5 weeks later out then to Haines in SE Alaska and 1 week later back again.  Also journeyed through Tok twice.  What wonderful places we have seen,  what beautiful scenery as this mountain refection.  And wildlife, amazing!  Ty wanted to see bears on this trip and we are up to 37!   We have an answer for any of you wanting to get rid of dandelions, get a black bear, we watched a number of black bears devouring ripe dandelions their heads covered in seeds.   We are now on to a new journey in Canada and possibly back into Hyder, Alaska.  Below is our first attempt at sending a video, hope it works.  This is called Million Dollar Falls,  we camped there last night in a very peaceful environment.  Ty & Ida

Monday, July 4, 2011

Copper Country Alaska

 This is the wide expanse of the Copper River on the Edgerton Highway,  we have seen many more areas like this throughout our travels across the state.  There have been many beautiful wild flowers all along the roads and trails.  It is July 4th today and to celebrate we walked to Liberty Falls pictured below.  There are so many beautiful waterfalls everywhere we go.  There was an Am. Dipper nesting under a rock where the water tumbled over.  They are such a unique creation that can dive under the water and walk on the bottom of fast moving streams to find food.  We saw a baby moose, only after we heard it's soft grunting, I'm sure mama was near by so we quickly left the area.

We enjoyed our time in Valdez, exploring the history and wildlife of the area.  The 1964 earthquake that destroyed the town and moving the whole town 4 miles to safer ground was very interesting.  Then of course there was the 1989 oil spill, most all wildlife and area have been restored.  We took a boat trip to the Columbia and Meier Glaciers, There were amazing ice bergs as the Columbia is losing ice at nearly 100 feet a day.  If you used your imagination, you could see wonderful blue creatures in the melting ice.  We did have rain for 4 of the 6 days we were there so we have moved away from the coast to sunshine and warmer temperatures.   Seeing bears every few days, a Brown Bear near Valdez and a Black Bear crossed the road this afternoon as we waited for it on the Edgerton Highway.   Ty & Ida

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From North Pole to Valdez

 Did you ever see a horizontal rainbow?  This was across the trees giving them these beautiful colors. We spent four days in North Pole, Alaska, no not the magnetic one but the town east of Fairbanks.  We finally had some "summer" weather, with temps in the 80's and blue skies.  We spent some time at a lake that not only was popular with people but had great birds on it like White-winged Scoters, Red-throated Loons, Red-necked Grebes and lots of Mew gulls with babies plus families of ducks.

We visited the two Fairbanks Bird & Nature Centers and spent hours watching for a Boreal Owl to come out of it's nesting hole, only hearing it call and never seeing it.  Enjoyed church at the North Pole Worship Center.  For you Packer fans - North Pole is Daryn Colledge's home town.

We drove to Paxson and spent 12 hours on gravel roads on the Denali Highway, seeing Long-tailed Jaegers in their nesting grounds, Whimbrel, Am. Golden Plover, 2 Smith Longspurs, plus 40 other species of birds.  Headed south today through beautiful mountain passes with snow and glaciers and waterfalls on all sides.  We sure are enjoying all that God has created to the fullest.   Ty & Ida

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Russian River to Denali

Russian River Falls
We headed north on June 17th and walked the Russian River (6 miles round trip) to watch the Salmon trying to leap the falls.  Downstream were hundreds of people catching their limit of the spawning fish.   Leaving the crowds behind we spent two days of quiet rest in Hope, Alaska. Now northward, 60 miles around the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet, a silt filled, mud edged bay where the tide was rushing in like a tidal wave.  We enjoyed a walk on the boardwalk at Potter's Marsh south of Anchorage, it's interesting to see the birds nesting here that we have only seen in migration before.
For our 41st wedding anniversary we walked up Coal Mine Creek to alpine and were rewarded with a life bird - an Arctic Warbler.

On the longest day of the year we took the shuttle bus into Denali National Park, where we saw many Caribou like this one that held the bus up for a while, 7 grizzly bears - very blond in this park, moose, a red fox, Dall sheep, and lots of beautiful scenery.  Only had 1 glimpse of the gigantic mountain top of Mt. McKinley (Denali).  After 11 hours and 190 miles on bumpy gravel ride, everyone was exhausted, except us, we were still looking for more.  Today we traveled back in early and alone for as far as we were allowed to go.  We were rewarded with a Wolf coming down the road and a family of Willow Ptarmigan,  chicks looked to be just hatched.  Onto  Fairbanks now.  Ty & Ida

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kenai Fjords Tour

 We had a wonderful day (9 hours) cruising 150 miles of the Kenai Fjords National Park featuring beautiful mountains, glaciers and sea bird nesting colonies, and many sea mammals such as these Steller's Sea Lions, some ranging to 1,000 pounds. We saw Humpback, Sei and Killer Whales, (there was a whole pod of the Orca).  Sea Otter, Harbor Seals, Dall's Porpoise were seen all along the trip. It was wonderful seeing so many birds nesting on the steep cliffs including: Horned & Tufted Puffins, Marbled, Ancient & Kittlitz Murrelets, Com. & Thick-billed Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemot, Pelagic, Red-faced & Db. Cr. Cormorants, Sooty & Short-tailed Shearwaters, & Black Oystercatcher.

At the farthest end of the tour was the Northwestern Glacier, seen in action with calving below.  It was very loud with the ice crashing and echoing off the canyon walls, like a cannon going off, the ice very blue and exciting to watch,  If you ever get a chance to see this, take it!  We are in the rain forest and it is living up to it's name, lots of rain.   Ty & Ida