Posted by: atowhee | September 2, 2017


As Oregon forests burn on the coast and in the Cascades…and houses are evacuated around Burbank I must note that my former hometown, San Francisco, set an all-time high temp record yesterday: 107 Fahrenheit. That’s four degrees above the previous all-time record of 103 set in 2000. It was over 90 here in McMinnville today but we are prepared. Fans and even an air conditioner if it is extreme…though we didn’t need it today. I will not complain of 90+.
But in SF…we lived there for decades and never even used an electric fan except for evacuation of air after painting a room. Almost no private homes there are air conditioned. We shall have to retire the great old Mark Twain quip: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Gone are those stiff ocean winds and the following fog and the waterproof jacket in August. I was out birding one fog morning near our home there. It was August and cold and windy and I had on a medium-weight coat, hat snuggly pulled down so it wouldn’t blow off. I passed some tourists in the park: shorts, t-shirt, blue knees, teeth chattering. I nodded hello.
“You’re wearing your winter coat, I see,” said the worldly paterfamilias.
“No,” I smiled indulgently, “This is my summer coat. It’s fog season.”
Go back to your hotel and read the climate section in your guide book I snooted quietly to myself.
Yesterday would have been a photographer’s dream. Any time the temp gets into the high eighties (traditionally rare) and especially above 90, the San Francisco locals take off every stitch of clothing not required by law. Yesterday would have been a fine skin show.
BTW: prior to yesterday the record high for September 1, San Francisco was an even 90 degrees…how many times do you see a temp record upped by 17 degrees after more than 160 years of officials records?
The blue sky was bleached. Not a smudge of cloud to be seen. Almost all the birds were huddled in the shade. One brave Turkey Vulture with the scorching sun on his back. A day of threatening dehydration.
Here’s one of the many yougn HOuse Finches who come to our shaded feeder every day:yhof
The American Goldfinches look even scruffier:ag-scruff1ag-scruff2finch fourrb kernlrb-glanc

Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Sep 2, 2017 10:20 AM – 11:00 AM. 9 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Pacific) (Picoides pubescens gairdnerii/turati) 1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group]) 1
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) 6
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 1

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