Posted by: atowhee | April 23, 2018


Sun and warmth.  Light breeze and petals drifting down from cherry trees.  Redbuds and dogwoods showy against the blue spring sky. A faint sweet smell as you pass a lilac or flowering magnolia. The “old” trillium flowers now turning purple as they wind up their once a year performance beneath the forest canopy.

And two firsts for 2018.  I made my first sun tea of the year.  And a breeding plumage American Goldfinch male braved the scurrying, agitating crowd of siskins to use our feeders and birdbath. His yellow was brighter, richer than the sun’s today.  His courage belied the color of his feathers as he bravely drove off a couple of his finchy cousins, those pushy siskins.  The human world has push-pins.  The finchworld has “push-kins,” unrelated to any Russian poet, past or present.FOY-AMGOAMGO ATTACKBATHTIMEThe siskins now sit in the trees and buzz at me, making that sizzling sound that rises in pitch.  It’s a call unique among Oregon birds. Here;s one siskin with his back to the morning sun, absorbing plenty of heat…and displaying his nicely notched tail feathers.SIS-TRUNKDoes this male towhee really think we can’t see him?ST HIDDNHere is one half of the Bushtit couple that are nesting nearby and come daily to the suet feeder.  I have not managed to find their nest.BT HIGHHere is half of the golden-crowned Sparrows lingering in our garden.  Some day soon both they and the many siskins will be gone for the summer.GC-LOOKGC-SEEDGC-SEED2GC-TURNHere’s a Golden-crown at Grenfell Park, eating cherry blossoms:GC FEED
On the trails at the Trappist Monastery north of Lafayette:BIG OAKCHERRYThis delicate, shy beauty (below) is known as calypso orchid or fairy slipper.  It is an orchid, Calypso bulbosa. Look carefully in undisturbed, deep woods.  They await your discover.IMG_3665Blooming madrone, promise of berries to please every fructivore in birdland.MADROTrillium trio:TRILLIUM TRIOTRPPIST TRAILNOT JUST BIRDS
Deer along Baker Creek Road:BCR-DEER

My first snake of the year…waring himself on sunny rock in a suburban neighborhood.  I wish him well as there are always lesser beings afraid of snakes…GARTER1This guy is a northwestern garter snake.GARTER2

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