The Daily Bucket is a place where we get together and share the things we've noticed in the natural world around us. It might be that robins are building a nest in the old apple tree out back or that the crickets outside your window are keeping you awake at night or that coyote pups up on the ridge are beginning to sing with their parents every evening. Doesn't matter what it is, nothing noted is too big or too small, so please join in and tell us what is happening in your neck of the woods. Everyone is welcome. All we ask is that you give us an idea of where you're located.Seattle. June 17, 2013.
75 here today, warm for us. Bill-the-Dog and I wait until late afternoon to walk, anticipating cool in the Forest. We make our way to the log where I like to sit in a still way. Nuthatch calls out yank-yank as we come close, the first I've heard in a couple of weeks. They're likely still raising kids in one of the tall snags nearby.
Two Towhees chime in with their warning rattles, one from the brush, another from a low Big-leaf Maple branch. A Swainson's Thrush calls from the hollow below. I'm beginning to think that we're too close to all of their hidden nests, but it's not about us at all - from my right comes a shadow, dark and utterly silent, crossing my field of vision down and into the hollow. Barred Owl. Adult. Now perched somewhere down there where I can't see.
I sit on my log. Bill-the-Dog moves off ta bit to look for the grass he finds delicious this time of year. His feet crunch through the duff. The Forest floor has begun to dry. I peer downhill through my binocs and don't see anything but green, give up and just wait. The little birds continue their chatter around me, all but one Brown Creeper who rises from the brush to peck its way up the side of a cedar tree. It makes no sound as it works. I watch as it disappears around the back of the tree - and see downward movement just beyond the place where my sight is focused.
There is a thump at the movement's end.
Owl has found food.
Creeper reappears in my focus, springs away and down. I can't find its hiding place.
And I can't find the owl.
The little birds continue their chatter.
Bill-the-Dog crunches through the brush towards me, stops a few feet away. After 13 years I know him well. His look says: Go now?
Yes. Go now.
We go. Behind us, the little birds continue to yell: Danger! Danger!
I'll be back around noonish PDT. Everyone is welcome to add their nature gossip to the Bucket. Welcome.