Posted by: atowhee | February 6, 2017


At 8 AM this morning large, wet snow flakes were falling.  But the air temp was above 34 degrees and so they melted where they fell.sno-a1sno-consnomore Looking out into our garden I saw one large flake land on the back of our Song Sparrow.  It slowly melted while the bird pecked at sunflower seeds in the hanging tray.

By 10 AM it was raining and then came a few spells of overcast with brighter sunlight.  The dog had taken me out for a walk. The droplets collected on the lower moss hanging below limbs, or precipitated to the lowest point of a twig or leaf. From one angle the water droplets on limbs and leavers looked clear.  It was as if the air itself had assumed solidity and edges.  From another angle drops collected and then emitted the sun’s won color, a soft gold like I will see on many wildflowers four months from now.drpsdrps2

At Joe Dancer there was an intrepid female Kestrel, soaked and sorry looking.  After the rain stopped a coupe Juncos appeared, and then a male Anna’s Hummingbird atop his favorite saplings along the path.ah-inbushah-on-topIn her current state I think of this little doughty falcon as an “American Wetstrel.”wetstrelwhite-ondark

As the air warmed to about 40 degrees around noon small flutters of pale gnats formed just above the low bushes at Joe Dancer Park.  These small insects often appear from their hideaways whenever the air is calm and sun-warmed in winter.  I am on the trail of these tykes and will report back if I can find out their identity and a bit about how they live and why enjoy the winter sunshine.

The South Yamhill River was running high and brown.  It carries rich topsoil from our Willamette Valley downstream to the Pacific Ocean.  The intensive agriculture here means many fields spend the wet winter season with little or no cover: short grass, hazelnut trees with bare earth between, plowed and fallow fields.  The sight of a rainbow seemed too optimistic on this day when so many of man’s actions are so clearly mistakes.nyr1nyr2nyr3white-ondarkSOME GARDEN BIRDS
over the past two days:


Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 6, 2017 11:15 AM – 12:05 PM
Comments:     rain and then some sun. 7 species

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  3
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  200
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  2

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 6, 2017.  12 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  20
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  25
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  8
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X



  1. Mistakes; you are being kind. Willful negligence as we know.

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