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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group, a place where everyone is welcome to note the observations you have made of the natural world around you. Insects, weather, fish, climate, birds and/or plants: all are worthy additions to the bucket. Ask questions if you have them and someone here may well have an answer. All we ask is that you let us know where you're located, as close as you're comfortable revealing.
Seattle. April 30, 2013.

I can walk the Forest's paths in street shoes again. They're the old street shoes, given that I still have to maneuver around the remains of winter's muddiest places, but the mud boots have been living under the passenger seat of the car for a week now. They'll find their summer place in the back closet when I can walk in sandals.

The view from the stump has greened remarkably since early April.

View from the Stump. April 27, 2013.April 27, 2013. The Forest, Seattle. View from the Stump.
It looked like this just a month ago.
View from the Stump. April 2, 2013.April 2, 2013. The Forest, Seattle. View from the Stump.
The canopy has not quite closed yet. The light filtering through new Big-leaf Maple  and Alder leaves is still bright on my shoulders. I look down as I walk, overwhelmed at how everything changes from day to day. Sword Fern. Lady Fern. Bracken Fern. Wood Fern. Past the fiddlehead stage now and brushing damp on my knees as I pass. Deer Fern just beginning to unfurl. Deer Fern is always the last to unfurl. There is too much happening now to describe it all.

Down below the Stump, in the place where Grandmother Tree used to grow, the wettest places have come thick with Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) and Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora) blossoms. I am wary passing by the nettles, but need to crouch down and smell the Fringecups. To some, they smell of socks, forgotten under the bed for a week or more. To me their fragrance is of the keenest of lilies, underlain by moss. The time of their fragrance is too short. I am old, and greedy enough to risk the nettles' sting.

Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora). April 27, 2013.
April 27, 2013. The Forest, Seattle. Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)
Bill-the-Dog has wandered off the trail. He has become less interested in sight and sound as he has aged, preferring to follow his nose. Perhaps smell is the keenest of his senses now. He doesn't notice Eagle's shadow passing across the forest floor next to him, nor does he seem to hear the cries from the nest tree up the ridge as he once would have done. I have to walk over to him to catch his attention, to give him the hand signals we have agreed on over the years, but close this time so he can see what I mean. He gives up his interest and follows me. The cries from the nest increase in intensity as we traverse the slope up towards the nest tree, and I catch just a glimpse as Eagle flies over us again, rising above the nest to make a perfect stall. He does not even flap his wings as he lands, carrying something dark in his claws. The nest falls silent.

###

I'll be in after about noon, then away until dinner time PDT. Let us know where you are and what's been happening there.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I got dewberries - yummy; also lots of poison ivy (16+ / 0-)

    growing among them. One has to be careful. Yesterday I pulled a teeny tiny tick off a place guys try to protect. My "reward" for stepping off the path to take a picture of the redring milkweed.

    Cool and moist today. Anything below 80 is considered cool now. Feels like it will rain at some point - again.

    Saw the Swallow-tailed Kite again. Maybe it is nesting nearby. It was circling over the big pond on other side of ridge and would dip now and then. Possibly for bugs?

    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:49:57 AM PDT

  •  The migration of white-crowned sparrows is (16+ / 0-)

    full-on in Gooseville. Little black and white heads bobbing all over the place and their songs are echoing throughout the river valley.

    The white-throated sparrows seem to have claimed their territories and will settle down to nest in the brushy woods near the wetland. Their song is even sweeter than the migrating white-crowns.

    I didn't know this:

    Although they look nothing alike and aren't particularly closely related, the White-throated Sparrow and the Dark-eyed Junco occasionally mate and produce hybrids. The resulting offspring look like grayish, dully marked White-throated Sparrows with white outer tail feathers.
    Lovely visit to your forest today, bwren. Just lovely.

    I love nature, science and my dogs.

    by Polly Syllabic on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:56:43 AM PDT

  •  Castro Valley, CA - Mama Towhee was feeding (14+ / 0-)

    her fledgling on top of the fence yesterday evening. This means that said fledge is no longer ground bound and can fly well enough to escape most dangers.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:01:29 AM PDT

    •  I really really want to say (9+ / 0-)

      that I've been hearing nestling/fledgling noises in the forest, but think it's still a bit early. We've just started finding robin eggshells, and still see chickadees, crows, wrens, bushtits etc carrying nesting supplies.

      Sadly, the crows took out the Steller's Jays' nest in the cedar across the street from the house yesterday. The Jays screamed for a couple of hours afterwards, first from the nest tree, then from perches in a wider and wider area. They were gone by dusk.

      I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

      by bwren on Thu May 02, 2013 at 01:55:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your forest is beautiful. (13+ / 0-)

    My yard has definitely greened up with all the rain we've had.  It was 85 in Chicago yesterday, low 50s and strong winds today.  Darn cold out with that wind, and we may get more rain later.   Can't we have some nice weeks in the 60's and 70's?

    I'm going to spread some mulch in the yard this afternoon.

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:02:25 AM PDT

  •  After 3 days of warm weather in E Central IA we (14+ / 0-)

    are back to rain and 40s for highs. We have some white-crowned sparrows hitting our feeder hard this morning, but we expect them to head north anytime.

    Things have greened-up around here, but not much action on either prairie flowers or new birds. We have heard a number of different bird calls, but haven't yet identified the sources.

    Loads of work indoor and outdoor for the next month will restrict my online time substantially. Several offers that I couldn't reasonably refuse...

    We will check in on Sunday for the Bird Count.

  •  Cloudy, breezy, 68 degrees in mid Georgia. (15+ / 0-)

    I'm not in the woods today, and can post at a reasonable hour.

    After I finished my field work yesterday, I walked along a small creek, taking lots of pictures, which might work their way into a photo diary. The distinctive leaf of the yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is one of my favorites.

  •  Mid 70's calm and clear in the Albany NY area (13+ / 0-)

    I have to report that we are receiving the "nice weeks in the 60's and 70's" weather that Broths is wishing for in Chicago. That has been our weather for a while now with more of the same forecast through the middle of next week. Things are really greening up and changing quickly here.  Similar to what Brwen stated in this lovely diary, there is too much happening to describe it all. I really like those view from the stump documentation photos.
    Here are a few spring scene photos from our place.


     photo DSC00227_sm_zps728c36eb.jpg


     photo DSC00231_sm_zps197f6f9c.jpg


     photo DSC00229_sm_zpsc6ea7f15.jpg

  •  Omaha, Nebraska (15+ / 0-)

    Last night we got 2-3 inches of some of the wettest, heaviest snow I can remember.  Clouds moved out earlier than expected and temps have made it into the lower 40's.  Looks like Spring will return next week.

    •  Late snow? (8+ / 0-)

      If so, how might it affect the butterflies?

      Still seeing Mourning Cloaks here, but they're beginning to look ragged. I'd never thought about spring/summer butterfly succession before being part of this group and reading your reports. This year I'll be watching with new eyes.

      Just as the Mourning Cloaks began to appear I spotted a similarly sized butterfly in the open woods near a boggy place in the Forest. Only twice, and neither time did the darned thing land so I could get a good look or a photo. Brown and darker brown with irregular wing margins even though they didn't appear worn. The closest one in my only and somewhat limited insect guide suggests that it might have been a tortoiseshell of some variety, perhaps a California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica). The range map and flight date info at Butterflies and Moths of North America don't rule out the possibility.

      See what you've done? Thanks!

      I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

      by bwren on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:06:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All the trees on town property were taken down (15+ / 0-)

    because of the Long Horned Beatle so I'm interested in what nature does with it's exposed sunlight.  I think all shade plants will disappear i.e.: ferns and skunk cabbage plants.  So I look at it as "the cup half full" as to what will replace these plants.  

    When the trees were cut down they left all the stumps and told us because of the big root system of each tree (red maples) sprouts will grow faster in their place.  This area was a natural runoff for water.  

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:43:02 AM PDT

  •  70 and getting warmer in NW Oregon (13+ / 0-)

    The yellow pseudo irises are budding and blooming in the drying bogs.  They may be illegal (considered invasive) in Washington, but I dug up a few last evening to put in a pot on a below-water shelf in the backyard pond today.

    I like them for being the first out of the gate with Spring flowers.  I've got something else yellow, besides dandelions, coming up in the back yard to match them.

    Later this year, the heron/raccoon/skunk/squirrels/possum will knock the pots over and the irises will sing to the bottom of the 3 foot deep pond, along with the dozen other plants from years past, but at least I'm not out 10 bucks for each store-bought iris.

    I'm keeping my eye out for the prettier, purple ones, but they bloom a little later.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:44:16 AM PDT

  •  Watching spring develop in Eureka, CA, and (13+ / 0-)

    it is amazing how everything has greened up even in an area that is called evergreen. I am now concerned about a matilija poppy (CA native) that I planted in the front yard. Touchy, it is, and doesn't seem to like the place I put it. They are growing just fine in other spots in my neighborhood, so I don't know what's wrong with mine. I do so want it to flourish and bloom, but I may have to give up on it soon.
    LINK TO PICS

    A lovely diary, bwren. I really enjoyed it.

    W. H. Auden: "We must love one another or die."

    by martyc35 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 12:07:22 PM PDT

    •  Ohhh...I like those poppies. (7+ / 0-)

      I love nature, science and my dogs.

      by Polly Syllabic on Thu May 02, 2013 at 01:01:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wildflowers are so easy yet so difficult. (11+ / 0-)

      I know how you feel. I bought a hooker evening primrose last year. I have only three new plants this year from thousands of seeds provided from the mother plant. The only one I can allow to mature is nestled in between some stacked rocks and it will overshadow another plant. The other two are right up against the sidewalk. I'm going to try to transplant them but wildflowers generally do not take to transplanting well.

      I have been trying to get the matilija poppy to live in my yard as well. I threw out some seeds 2 years ago from some plants growing near here. One took but right next to the base of the columbine. I let it go to seed since it didn't grow much. I tried moving it a few weeks back and it died. sigh. The good news is I think I might have a seedling started where I would love it to thrive. I have to wait for more growth to be sure.

      I hope your poppies can hang in there until they can go to seed.

      •  Good luck with your wildflowers. (9+ / 0-)

        I was told if the matilija doesnt go the first year, to wait a year before giving up, because the roots may continue to grow. I was told NEVER to transplant a trllium, but with great care and caution, I moved one to a spot where it could be seen and appreciated, and it made it. I was sooo relieved.

        From everything I have read, you were damned lucky to get a matilijia to grow from seed without first setting fire to the seeds and then doing a lot of praying:-). I'm not giving up yet, but this is the do or die year for mine. If it doesn't make it this spring, I will probably give up.

        Oh, I once planted some wildflower seeds from a packet and the best thing I got was a biennial evening primrose, about six feet tall, and from my kitchen window, I could watch its buds open right about sunset every evening for most of that summer. It became the wonder of the neighborhood, with guests coming over every evening just to watch the show. It was a lovely lemon yellow, and bewitching when it started opening those blooms right on time every night. It was an Oenothera hookeri, and I hope you have luck growing it. Easy from seed, but I'd cultivate the soil first.

        W. H. Auden: "We must love one another or die."

        by martyc35 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:11:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's a beauty! (7+ / 0-)

      Thanks, marty.

      I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

      by bwren on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:27:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ahhh, down in the 70s for the next week (9+ / 0-)

    Bisbee, AZ (Warren district Elevation: 5016 ft)
    Temp.: 75
    Humidity: 18%
    Wind Speed / Dir: 5.1 mph from NE
    Wind Gust: 5.1 mph
    Pollen: 7.10 out of 12

    I checked the weather on wunderground to find an explanation for the unusual light in the sky. It reminds me of the coast when the last bit of fog is about to burn off. Anyway, I couldn't find anything to explain it. It doesn't smell like dust and the wind is mellow.

    The larkspur is blossoming under the wisteria which has a its first seed pod forming. The insect numbers are increasing. The lettuce and swiss chard is bolting. I ate the first two strawberries. The corral bells are in full swing and the roses are winding down. The datura, passion vine and desert willow are forming buds.

    I don't have any new birds or butterflies to report but I'm keeping my eye out for the Western Tanagers.

    Lovely green colors seen in your photos bwren. It is dry outside of my little yard. I'll follow this post with two native bloomers from last week.

    •  You are so ahead of us! (8+ / 0-)

      Larkspur just sprouts in the garden every year here and hasn't even made an appearance yet. The oldest roses in the garden - they may have been planted nearabout when the house was built in 1907 - are just beginning to bud up. One will be have 3" deep pink cabbages; the other will show a sweetly fragrant pale pink half double blossom, much smaller. They've twined together at the base of an old Doug Fir, so must enjoy the acid soil there.

      Oh! Western Tanagers! Send them up!

      I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

      by bwren on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:34:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lovely spring tour, bwren. (10+ / 0-)

    The first and most pleasant thought that somes to my mind when I think of the PNW is the lush undergrowth and the great variety of ferns, which I envy.  I've experimented in landscaping with different types of ferns which technically could work here in a few amenable locations, but they never make it very long.

    Except for the leafy green, one would swear this was a January or February day, overcast with a current windy thirty-eight degrees.  Possibility of snow tonight with a low around freezing, though I don't anticipate any damage.  Probably another record, but records don't seem rare any more.  I would be happier with this if we had gotten a bit more rain, only about a tenth of an inch, but maybe we'll get a decent amount tonight.

    I always appreciate the reports and observations from around the country.

    "It's May! It's May! The lusty month of May! Those dreary vows that ev'ryone makes, Ev'ryone breaks. Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes! The lusty month of May!" - Lerner and Lowe

    by blueoasis on Thu May 02, 2013 at 01:29:17 PM PDT

    •  Ferns make me happy. (9+ / 0-)

      All of them. The Forest has no Maidenhair ferns that I have yet found, but there's another wild place about 7 miles down the road that has them in spades. They seem to like dark places where there's a drippy moisture year round.

      Snow seems so foreign now. We had almost none this year, not enough to remember, anyways.

      Yes, hearing about what's happening in distant places brings a larger context to the whole. We can get so caught up in our own places sometimes and it's sweet to ponder the larger picture.

      Nice to have your voice here, too.

      I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

      by bwren on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:41:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Soft greenery, very pretty. (9+ / 0-)

    I like Fringecups too. That tall stem of delicate flowers. Haven't sniffed them before, but will. Intrigued by the earlier description of sticky cottonwood bracts, I gave them a sniff - a surprisingly flowery resiny smell, nice.

    Smell is such an evocative sense. Brings up memories and feelings in a way sounds and sights don't for me. Even opening the window in the morning to put out the bird feeders, smelling that fresh green cool air gives me a good feeling. I bet Bill the Dog has a whole repertoire of smells that engages him, even if sounds and sights pass him by these days.

    The native roses have leafed out now, and there's quite a bit of that bright orange rust fungus on them, but it doesn't seem to do them harm, they grow apace. The elderberry has flowered (not a nice scent). Sweet Woodruff has started flowering, and though not native, it's a pretty groundcover, with a lovely sweet delicate scent, and quite powerful for such tiny flowers. Salmonberry bushes are filled with green berries now, and the Shore Pines' explosion of pollen is imminent. Nothing produces bigger clouds of pollen around here than them. Ack. Ah-choo.

    Glad to hear the Eagles are having a successful year there in the Forest.

    •  Do let us know if you smell dirty socks (9+ / 0-)

      or lilies. I suspect there's a genetic thing with smell. Daughter bwren and I can go on and on about what we're smelling, sometimes realizing only afterwards that our companions have no clue what we're talking about. Fringecups smell of lilies to her, too.

      I would like to have Bill-the-Dog's sense of smell for one 24 hour period. Just once.

      Both of the native roses here have flower buds now. The little one, Baldhip Rosa gymnocarpa, smells of cheap 5&10 cent store soap to me, almost acrid. Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) is divine - what roses should smell like. They grow in the more open places down near the lake and the wind from the shoreline sometimes carries their scent up and into the Forest, where it mingles with the fragrance of warm Forest duff.

      Shore Pine is Pinus contorta, yes? Some of the ones down at the Old School for Wayward Girls are in full pollen drop now. Like you said:

      Ah-choo!

      I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

      by bwren on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:55:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup, P. contorta. You're ahead of us then. (7+ / 0-)

        Also with the roses. We have no buds yet at all, though even the foliage has a faint rose scent. Nootkas are common along the roads, and elsewhere, big patches. Like you say down there, open places. Deer won't eat it, so it proliferates. In a few weeks the air will be filled with that rosy aroma. I pick some of the buds and string them, hanging a loop from the rear view mirror. Quite heavenly. My fingers smell like roses even after several baths.

        The Baldhips prefer shadier places here. I see them up on the densely forested Hill. Haven't been up there for a while. Time to...spring, and new growth.

  •  And so the burn season starts (6+ / 0-)

    going to be one of the worst, very dry, 50-70% rainfall, all creeks here are almost dry, some pools remain, but Sant Ynez upper river is a trickle where it surfaces to be measured.

    Spent the day hiking and swimming back there, I am wrecked!

    ..and get back to hear about wild racing wildfires in Ventura county in the west end of the Malibu mountains, hwy1 closed, 101 south closed for a while, Cal State Camarillo? closed and small fires on campus..we were just there a month ago, but low humidity and hot winds to day made fires there and Orange county and doubtlessly elsewhere. Many homes and business evac'ed.

    I am still too hot internally, it takes a while to get used to hot weather, I am still in winter mode and suffering...double the carried water needed.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:13:28 PM PDT

  •  We went hiking and we saw: (7+ / 0-)

    MsBee and I went hiking this morning and afternoon back behind Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez River drainage..specifically up Santa Cruz creek from Upper Oso to Nineteen Oaks and back.
        Not one other person on the trail, a relatively common hike. Only a few in the campground besides the hosts..none hiking except us..hmmm.

    we saw:
    ---many butterflies, very busy back in Santa Cruz Creek in the mountains back of Santa Barbara.
    One or two White Sage were absolutely covered by fighting squads of Variable Checkerspots and one lone Copper we can't yet id.

    The VCheckerspots were swarming some and not other White Sage blooms..sometimes 4-6 on the same flower bud scrambling for juice..then aerial combat ops.

      One really sweet little Sara's Orangetip led me along for a 100', no stops and then gone.

    Pygmy Blues, several of the world's smallest butterfly..or is it California's smallest..about 1/2"

    Several larger Azure Blues probably...lots of common Ringlets again the common Ringlets we were seeing all week on the mountain tops here in great quantity..like 6 at a time in your path..

    None of the green little whatsit's I was prattling on about earlier the week.

    Many California Sisters, and several Dogface butterfies.
       One Pale Swallowtail MsBee spotted flapping around in the other lane of the tiny narrow road along the river..under some oak, Sycamore, Pine canopy..it looked very fresh and maybe just hatched and wings hadn't hardened..she put it in a tree back from the road: saved #1.

      We saw Ravens, crows, many many Spotted Towhees, many Cliff Swallows on nests, and also a flock came to the river pool we were floating in and they all dove and splashed to soak up water to take back to the nest so the theory goes..it was really beautiful to watch! about 20 all peeping and flying slowly upwind, splat! flap! sqweek!

       Many Oak tits calling and carrying on, sooo cute and what a song! Songs I have never ever heard from them, right above and in front of us.
        One of the best songs was from a House Finch that fly up out of the creek bottom 60' to right in front to serenade us.

      We found Swallows in mud nests on cliff faces all along the creek.

     We saw plenty of cliff holes and ledges for owls and hawks but none visible from the ground.

    Rocks, lots of rocks..it is a very tangled geology: in one typical view I can see Serpentine chunks, red iron bearing rocks severely folded, along some copper colored boulder next to some limestone with ancient lichens, with yet some other kind of rock perched safely on top.  
        All these rocks came from way above the trail in the air way long ago...how many times these rocks and the dirt still here has been slid, washed, gathered, raised again, and washed out again...it must be many times...also the conglomerate boulders lying here and there...that formation is well far away that I know of, about 30 miles west and north.
        Chert, dark obsidian bits, Quartz inclusions in sedimentary rocks, fossils rocks, fossil shells..it is hard to take it all in..which explains the long time (5 hours) low mileage 2-3miles and 600' up and down.

    We saw many growing plants perched in holes in the rocks..the holes could have been Indian grinding rocks at some point as Santa Cruz canyon has plenty of archeological history, points and bowls still found there where exposed by erosion and gophers..always check gopher dirt!

     Yuccas blooming, desert plants right among the creekside ephemera....I am not really telling much about all the plants, not my specialty, she's gone to bed.

    An Oregon Junco, these tame wild birds came and hopped around our feet, celebrating the free pass at not being eaten because : cute. When we walked nearer the cliff where the swallows nests were up 30', we were near the Junco nest and dad or mom flew in the nest and started little homie sqweeks , it may have been the babies...

       Canyon Wrens, and many more unknowns: all kinds of calls and flashes of grey, tan, orange, yellow..et dam cetera flitted and flapped about..and always fly when my camera was almost focused...how do they know?

    Lots of Quail pairs.

      Campgrounds empty of people, river is very popular hangout..midweek,  maybe 25 people, we had a giant pool to ourselves for an hour, yay!
        Campgrounds full of Quail and squirrels, and baby squirrels...in the river bottom, very wide with no water and giant dead black burned Sycamores from the recent fires a couple years ago...one hawk, RT sized...further west near hwy 154 saw three circling RT's.

    I was also there yesterday as well with niece and we saw 5 mule Deer..and today MsBee and I saw three of them..very cool customers who know that all they have to do is step behind a bush, and not a very dense one at that...to completely disappear. One had little two inch spike horns.

    Spotted lizards all sizes.

    Dark 1" long grasshoppers skrick/ skrick/ skrick/ skrick/ by the river bank, none in the creek, none on the trail or fire road...the Camusa road.

    Plantsplantsplants..including several we hadn't groked before including a terrific small delicate orchid in the creek bank shade.

    No snakes, three California Pond Turtles, rare and endangered..but doing wellish in their home range which this local watershed is. I have seen them regionally iin the same creeks the linked site mentions..they didn't mention Santa Cruz Creek.
       They are very wary, I was amazed we could find three...most times you only hear them plop before you can even see the water..they are very very wary. I have snuck up to a known pool taking five minutes to do so..and before my eyes could see thru the brush...gone.
         Wait and be still...they reappear.

    One I spotted forty feet below on a rock, he flew to the bottom when my stupid camera chimed..it freakin chimes when it starts up, no way to shut it up...so much for stealth!

    Another was just seen thru deep bushes 50' away also down in the creek on a rock in the pool.

    The third one...well...next comment!

    But man, we are wrecked, only two or three miles total on a rough and steepish trail, maybe 600' elevation, in 80-100degrees in the sun..we basically went from shade to shade after 11oclock.

    Maybe some pictures will turn out, I have my doubts, of the three hundred there may be a couple.

    I am still too hot...wait I said that..

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:06:52 AM PDT

  •  And Saved #2: (7+ / 0-)

    we were on the Santa Cruz trail, it was freakin hot, the creek had gone dry just back at the crossing before...and we were crossing the dry bed again 75' upstream...when MsBee says Turtle! and legs it up the creek bed..the boulder strewn dried moss 100 degree creekbed...to a Pacific Pond Turtle about 50' away among these rocks. We looked away and it took us a few minutes to find the turtle again, right in front of us, they are so well camouflaged against the rocks and moss..

    So here was this turtle, maybe 125' up from a thin drying tiny pool, and 60' from another deeper, but shaded pool upstream.

    It was noon, and 100 degrees in this shadeless rocky creek bottom, the turtle was stuck at the bottom of a pile of boulders about 1' across. There was no way the turtle could have gone up or around this wall of boulders..amazing as these turtles are...the rocks were hot, the turtle was hot...who freakin knows.

    Now I know they roam and lay eggs back in the brush so finding one on dry dirt in a watershed is strange but normal behavior for them, they don't lay eggs until 8 or so, they can live to 30 in the wild.

    Well, we could have left her..I'll say her but I don't know...but it seemed that the exposure was going to be deadly...so we carried her the rest of the way to the pool and set her down.
        You have to make choices.

    The pool was a sandy spot, shade and sun, plenty of mud and sand to burrow into and hibernate.

    She slowly put her head out and gave me a long look...(yeah, she said thanks bro and sis, I freakin heard it!)

    and then took two grabs with her well endowed clawed feet and dove to the bottom of the pool..I'll even say she jumped into the water...and I have had them jump off of rocks at waist height and dive in right next to me!

    Anyway, I am claiming a Save!..and amazing of MsBee to see her...now that is some dam good pattern recognition..to see a six inch long turtle the same color and texture as the rocks around it from 50' away with peripheral vision while walking on rough ground...woooo, was she directed to do so? Can Bigfoot be next?

    maybe...maybe not...

    My later seeing two others was no big thing because we had seen one, so now my turtle recognition program was booted and running...and they were perched on the only rock in their pools..hard to miss..but they held still for a moment for me, that's something right there, the word had gone out.

    About 1/2 hour later McBee was cooling off in a shady spot and practicing Being Still..a Canyon Wren flew up out of the same creek bottom and landed two feet away, looked right at her, and MsBee said 'hello little one..'    It sang it's terrific Canyon Wren song right to her.

    Now you know Canyon Wrens are often heard but hard to see....so, I will say this was the creek's way of saying thanks!

    Save #2.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:33:38 AM PDT

  •  Being Still.. (7+ / 0-)

    MsBee is preaching it and practicing it....I should practice it more,haha, and I am trying to...and thanks to bwren and her being still in her forest and making her observations and sharing them here...and to all the rest of you as well for this.

    You get to some spot...you just sit, and be still..what's there will reveal itself, but you have to give it time, time for the creatures to feel safer, time for your pattern recognition software to see thru the intentional clutter nature is so good at providing..and time for one's own internal blablanbla to shut up-the hardest part.
      Usually by the time the internal noise quiets I am having leg cramps, brain cramps, butt cramps...difficult to stay still

    My best still moment...I once was still and a rattlesnake came out from under my rock, and curled up against my boot and went to sleep.

    It's all out there somewhere waiting for us.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:42:35 AM PDT

  •  Cold rain moved in here last night and is expected (6+ / 0-)

    to continue for the next couple days. Had a nice day until late after noon though and Mrs. burnt and I had a good woods walk  before the weather changed. Lot's of bird song all along the way. I think I saw the first yellow billed cuckoo of the year but only got a fleeting glimpse of it so I'm not absolutely certain. I usually hear them before I see them and that is how I know they're back but I haven't heard one yet this year. I  am determined to get decent pic of one this year to replace the one fuzzy one that is all I managed last year. They are high on my list of favorite birds. I love their call.

    Whippoorwills are calling more and more frequently now, but are not yet in full out chorus.

    Our baby carolina wrens are starting to get real feathers now. Some of the baby bluebirds are getting their first tufts of fuzz patches on their naked little bodies. They develop so fast.

    When we got back from our walk yesterday their was a pair of purple martins at the old house, squabbling with the tree swallows for ownership rights again. Went through the same thing last year until they eventually quit arguing and both successfully raised families. So happy to see and hear here again. No martins at new house yet.

    The rain and cool weather brought the mothing to a halt last night  I was kind of glad, all the late nights had caught up with me. I was nodding off on the couch early last night so went on to bed and got a good nights sleep for the first time in a week.

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon

    by burnt out on Fri May 03, 2013 at 04:16:25 AM PDT

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