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Posted by: atowhee | November 29, 2018

MORE SAUVIE ISLAND PICTURES–KESTREL DOWN ON RED-TAIL

Above: two harrier harrying sequences.

FALCON VS. BUTEO    Below: Kestrel after a red-tail.  The faster, persistent kestrel finally drove the bigger bird from its perch.  Both kestrel and red-tail eat small rodents so this was an example of a free enterprise market system in nature.  Click on any image to enlarge:

Professorial raven, studying his surroundings.ravn postdVolcano in view:volcano

OLYMPIC PENINSULA TRIP IN MARCH

I will be the guide on this trip to benefit Klamath Bird Observatory.   This birding trip will focus on wintering birds of the Pacific Northwest that spend the summer in nesting territories further north.  The focus is on the birds and the land around the Puget Sound area.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Our birding begins at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.   From there we will proceed to Lacey to our motel and dinner.   Glaucous-winged Gull, Varied Thrush, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Pintail, Bufflehead, Pileated Woodpecker, both kinglets are likely birds on this first day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Breakfast at motel.  Head north on US 101 to bird along Hood Canal.  Lunch at Hama Hama oyster farm.  We will make stops at various parks and overlooks along the canal which is actually a natural, narrow finger of ocean reaching down from the top of Puget Sound complex.  Birds we should see include Red-breasted Merganser, Brant, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked and Western Grebe, Common Loon, Bald Eagle, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Long-tailed Duck (nee Oldsquaw), Black Oystercatcher, Belted Kingfisher, various gulls.

Dinner and overnight in Sequim for next two nights.

Wednesday ,March 6, 2019

Breakfast at motel.  Bird upper Olympic Peninsula including Ediz Hook in Port Angeles and Dungeness NWR in Sequim.  Target birds for the day: flocks of Harlequin, floats of Rhino Auklets, Trumpeter Swans, Red-throated Loons, more Long-tailed Ducks, all three scoter species, Brandt’s Cormorant. Dinner at Sequim restaurant.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

We will take the ferry from Pt. Townsend north to Whidbey Island, thence north to Skagit Flats.  Possible birds today include Rough-legged Hawk, Gyrfalcon, Short-eared Owl, Trumpeter Swan, Snow Geese, Peregrine, Merlin, all three cormorant species…perchance a try for a Yellow-billed Loon which usually shows  up along the route each winter.  Overnight along I-5 north of Seattle at Marysville.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Depart for home.arriving at keystone on whidbeybird tride on ferryboatc-loon flapport angelesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtrumpsWhidbey Is Feb 9, 2011 071

COST:  $782.00 per person.  Includes accommodations for sharing a double room, travel expenses r/t travel in a van, fees for having experienced bird guide for 5 days and 4 nights.  Breakfasts are provided at the motels we are staying.

Participants will pay for other meals:  lunch and dinner. Folks are encouraged to bring lunch type foods as we will eat outdoors while we are birding.

$200 of the cost is a tax deductible contribution to the Klamath Bird Observatory.

Contact Shannon Rio at shannonrio@aol.com or by calling 541-840-4655 if you are interested in signing up or if you have questions.

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Posted by: atowhee | November 27, 2018

SAUVIE NOW…OLYMPIC PENINSULA IN MARCH

A quintet of McMinnville birders made the pilgrimage to Sauvie Island on Monday after Thanksgiving.  Thankfully the weather brought only fog, a bit of rain and not much wind…and the birds were all around.  One highlight was watching a pair of Bald Eagles building their 2019 nest near Coon Point.egl nest2_LIThere were two eagles working on the nest.  One was mining the cottonwood grove for sticks. At some times both were on the nest, arranging, remodelling, moving sticks about. Click on any image for larger version:

At one point an eagle flew down into a nearby field, landed and then flew back to the nest with its left foot talons full of straw for nest lining.
We saw at least a dozen eagles on the island, most adults:

For me, the best single reason to visit Sauvie in winter, is to watch and wonder at the cranes, hear their ancient bugling sound, watch their territorial dances, count the family groups, watch their elegant flight:cranz awayx2cranz fam

In the above image, the youngster, lacking the red skull cap, is on the far right; parents to the left.  A healthy crane family winters together and manages migration as family in both directions.  Next spring this teenager will have to join his fellow youngsters in loose gangs, leaving the parents to nest anew.

Yes, all those little dark fellows are hundreds of Cackling Geese, out-numbering every other species on the island it seemed.

A matter of spacing in craneworld:

kf facingkf-side

AN ORNITHOLOGICAL LANDMARK
How many hundreds, or thousands, of birders visit Sauvie in a year?  Nowhere do I see any evidence that here on this island began one of the most important sagas in the history of American ornithology.  Here, accompanying Wyeth’s fur-trappers, stayed two of the North America’s most important naturalists who were to added a number of new species to science’s list of North American bird species*.  In addition their trip up the Missouri and down the Columbia and eventual presence led to discovery of dozens of new plant species, molluscs, etc. etc.
These two men who came from Boston with the Wyeth party are uncommemorated on Sauvie Island, but their names live on…Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Townsend’s Warbler.  Thomas Nuttall had quit his job teaching at Harvard and his protege Dr. John Townsend agreed to come along.  They explored the northwest, California, even visited Hawaii.  Townsend worked for some months as a physician for the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company. Nuttall finally returned to the East Coast aboard the same ship as his former student, Richard Henry Dana (Two Years Before the Mast).nuttallnuttall2This is how dry the pond at Wapato is now, only a small puddle of water in the far northeast corner, Cacklers and 3 Greater Yellowlegs, no ducks.wapato dry

A cormorant sequence:

*New species N & T brought to science include Townsend’s Warbler, Harris’s Sparrow, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Sage Thrasher, Vaux’s Swift, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Townsend’s Solitaire, Hermit Warbler, Bushtit, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Lark Bunting, Mountain Plover, Black Oystercatcher, Yellow-billed Magpie, Western Gull, Black-footed Albatross, Green-tailed Towhee.

Sauvie Island–Multnomah, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Nov 26, 2018. 28 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  2000
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  40
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  12
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)  3
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  3
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
American Coot (Fulica americana)  100
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  3
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  X
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  X
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  4
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  3
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

Sauvie’s Island Lower–Columbia Cty, Columbia, Oregon, US
Nov 26, 2018.  21 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima) (Branta canadensis moffitti/maxima)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  X
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  2
Common Merganser (North American) (Mergus merganser americanus)  10
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  X
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  4
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

Sauvie Island–Reeder Rd. Dike (Coon Pt.), Multnomah, Oregon, US
Nov 26, 2018.  15 species

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  40
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  10
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  2
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  15
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  4
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  2     nest building
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  10Wapato Access Greenway SP, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Nov 26, 2018.  3 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  30
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  3
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1

OLYMpIC PENINSULA TRIP

I will be the guide on this trip to benefit Klamath Bird Observatory.

This birding trip will focus on wintering birds of the Pacific Northwest that spend the summer in nesting territories further north.  The focus is on the birds and the land around the Puget Sound area.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Our birding begins at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.   From there we will proceed to Lacey to our motel and dinner.   Glaucous-winged Gull, Varied Thrush, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Pintail, Bufflehead, Pileated Woodpecker, both kinglets are likely birds on this first day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Breakfast at motel.  Head north on US 101 to bird along Hood Canal.  Lunch at Hama Hama oyster farm.  We will make stops at various parks and overlooks along the canal which is actually a natural, narrow finger of ocean reaching down from the top of Puget Sound complex.  Birds we should see include Red-breasted Merganser, Brant, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked and Western Grebe, Common Loon, Bald Eagle, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Long-tailed Duck (nee Oldsquaw), Black Oystercatcher, Belted Kingfisher, various gulls.

Dinner and overnight in Sequim for next two nights.

Wednesday ,March 6, 2019

Breakfast at motel.  Bird upper Olympic Peninsula including Ediz Hook in Port Angeles and Dungeness NWR in Sequim.  Target birds for the day: flocks of Harlequin, floats of Rhino Auklets, Trumpeter Swans, Red-throated Loons, more Long-tailed Ducks, all three scoter species, Brandt’s Cormorant. Dinner at Sequim restaurant.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

We will take the ferry from Pt. Townsend north to Whidbey Island, thence north to Skagit Flats.  Possible birds today include Rough-legged Hawk, Gyrfalcon, Short-eared Owl, Trumpeter Swan, Snow Geese, Peregrine, Merlin, all three cormorant species…perchance a try for a Yellow-billed Loon which usually shows  up along the route each winter.  Overnight along I-5 north of Seattle at Marysville.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Depart for home.arriving at keystone on whidbeybird tride on ferryboatc-loon flapport angelesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtrumpsWhidbey Is Feb 9, 2011 071

COST:  $782.00 per person.  Includes accommodations for sharing a double room, travel expenses r/t travel in a van, fees for having experienced bird guide for 5 days and 4 nights.  Breakfasts are provided at the motels we are staying.

Participants will pay for other meals:  lunch and dinner. Folks are encouraged to bring lunch type foods as we will eat outdoors while we are birding.

$200 of the cost is a tax deductible contribution to the Klamath Bird Observatory.

Contact Shannon Rio at shannonrio@aol.com or by calling 541-840-4655 if you are interested in signing up or if you have questions.

Posted by: atowhee | November 25, 2018

OLDEST KNOWN ANIMAL

They found molecules that prove this very old fossil was an animal.

Posted by: atowhee | November 24, 2018

CLIMATE OUTLOOK GRIM

Every four years American government scientists are supposed to issue an assessment of climate change and its effects.  This one is a doozy.  Here’s National Geographic’s summary: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/11/climate-change-US-report0/

We birders all know how birds are adjusting their wintering range, their breeding range, even their migrations. Don’t tell Trump that birds know more about climate change than he does, it would make him so sad and such an obvious loser, poor man has a tender ego.

How can we understand this administration releasing the climate change report that opposes everything Trump claims? The best the cold do was put it out on the Friday after Thanksgiving…pretty weak effort at suppression.  Saudi Arabia or Russia or other nations admired  by Trump would have been much firmer. There was apparently no effort to change or censor this report.  Perhaps Trupsters think their voters don’t give a crap about the planet, just think money like the Donald?  Bet he never was told the report was going to happen.  And he never reads memos or such and he hadn’t been warned by Fox News.  Fox even have the climate report on the front of their website today.  And Fox doesn’t even label it fake news.  Now Trump surely needs the DOJ to investigate those climate scientists and lock ’em up.

Click here for NYTimes report on what’s happening to our oldest national park, Yellowstone.

Posted by: atowhee | November 24, 2018

LOONACY AND ITS RESULTS

Paul Sullivan and I–both self-professed loonatics, or loon hunters–spent most of yesterday around Nehalem Bay seeking a Yellow-billed Loon.  The bird eluded us, helped perhaps by surging tides, rain, overcast and the vagaries of loon fishing known only to the loon itself. At one time in mid-afternoon about ten of us loonatics were gathered on the hillock at the north end of Kelly’s Marina parking lot, scoping the out-rushing tide–Bonaparte’s Gull was the best we could find.

None of us had seen the loon by 345 PM. In fact, Paul and I didn’t even manage a Common or Red-throated Loon.  But there were scads of other birds, my favorite being the Harlequins just off the rocky shoreline at Barview on Tillamook Bay.

BARVIEW WATERFRONT AT SUNSET

 

THE CORMORANT’S DIVE     Click on  any image to enlarge:

GALLERY

The elk herd, about 7 dozen, were in a field south of the Tillamook Air Museum along US 101.  The air was thick with mist, light level low, camera confused.
Nearly every place we stopped to bird there was a Great Blue Heron, or two:

In the last picture above the gull mob has been attracted by bread thrown onto water. Man who fed them is turning to leave; he’s circled, lower left corner.

KINGFISHER GALLERY  In third  image below the kingfisher is sitting in the rain.

Kingfisher in flight at Kelly’s Marina:

Pelagic Cormorants, not being very pelagic, hanging around fishing piers:

Red-breasted Merganser with a big mouthful:

Grebes: cruising red-necked, diving western:

Shorebirds:

The snipe above was at Nehalem Bay State Park.  Turnstones with gull at Brighton.  Surfbirds and turnstones at Barview.  Below: scoters, Steller’s Jay where the forest meets the sea, bright Sog Sparrow,  Nehalem Bay State Park:

Tillamook Bay, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2018.  28 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  X
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  1
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  X
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena)  X
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)  1
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  X
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  4
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  X
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X

Kelly’s Marina,, Brighton, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2018.  15 species (+1 other taxa)

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  25
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  30
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  10
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  20
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena)  2
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  1
Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)  19–present in morning, gone in afternoon
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)  1
California Gull (Larus californicus)  1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X
Western Gull
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)  6
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  12
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  2
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  2

Wheeler Wildlife Viewing Area, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2018.  20 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  X
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  3
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  X
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X

Nehalem Bay SP, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2018. 14 species

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  X
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  X
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X

Barview Tide Pool, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2018. 18 species

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)  3–one male, two females
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)  5
Surfbird (Calidris virgata)  20
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  2
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  5
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Bay City Sewage Ponds, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2018. 4 species

Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X

Posted by: atowhee | November 18, 2018

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL–ALL IN ONE

I was doing some of November’s mandatory, if nearly endless, leaf raking in our garden.  Leaf raking not aimed at preventing the next horrific firestorm, Donald.  Just leaf removal to prevent slimy sidewalks later this winter, and to provide blueberry mulch…but anyway, a bold Red-breasted Sapsucker flew into the smoke tree few feet away.  Look closely at the wavy parallel lines across this bird’s chest…wow!

I leave it to you to judge the beauty (click on any image for full screen view):

Last week another stunning event happened…robin into window.  We have put up the reflective decals, ribbons hanging before each window to wave in the breeze, but this bird was determined to fly into the  bright reflection.   I heard the loud thud; sickened, I peered out the window.  Stunned robin standing on the cement…but it was able to move its head.  I waited, checked periodically.  A few minutes passed and my wife saw the bird take flight.  Direct hit down-graded to near-miss…this time.  Back when we lived in caves, or deer-skin tepees or huts of bark, this didn’t happen.  Sadly much of our technology from chemicals to cars to windows to windmills are deadly to our fellow creatures.STUNND

Posted by: atowhee | November 18, 2018

HEAT IS BUILDING: CLIMATIC AND CLIMACTIC

My eldest son lives in London. Here’s his email today on the planet, the future, and Extinction Rebellion:

Have you seen #ExtinctionRebellion?   https://rebellion.earth/

They shut down the main London bridges in London yesterday. George Monbiot is a supporter. Let’s see if this new found energy and alliance of old and young can get some momentum. I joined them briefly on Blackfriars Bridge on my way home from the Lake District, btw.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/17/thousands-gather-to-block-london-bridges-in-climate-rebellion

Mini rant on a Sunday: I read recently, can’t remember where, that one of the systemic underlying issues with the way we’ve organised the planet (corporate consumer capitalism + democracy + money as god) is that the “interests” and “desires” (and power) of the elite classes are in direct conflict with both the planet and lower & middle class people (the masses, the trees, the humble snail). It seems many even ‘progressive’ elites can comfortably justify living in a basic $2 Million house in Palo Alto (w/ 2 x SUV) or living offshore in Singapore and perhaps dream of life on the space station in the film Elysium. The machine must be dismantled, but I think it will carry on at least in my lifetime and will end in some sort of long chaotic period of collapse as per past civilisations. We’re clearly already inside this phase of history now and people just can’t fathom or face that the breakdown is underway. And we have a fully baked in additional 3-5 degree C increase in temperature coming – which make the climate very unstable and the amount of habitable land for humans much smaller. Much of California may just be toast. Who’s paying attention? Not enough of us. #blackheart

btw – Have you ever read or listened to any of Stephen Pyne’s (perfect name) stuff of fire mgt? Very interesting insights for both historic and practical perspective.

http://www.stephenpyne.com/

Peace

Then here’s my reply:

 

3:09 PM (0 minutes ago)

Yes, it is clear the economic “system” has us by the throat and it’s bigger than any government, e.g. only France has banned the five chemicals known to kill bees…because those chemicals are profitable to corporations in places like the US and Germany and China

As for fire management, when will some nervy economist do the math and show that it is cheaper in the long run to build and zone wisely rather than willy-nilly, not living below thirty feet or some such above sea level…underground power lines so they can’t break in a wind storm (duh)…how many times will any country afford to rebuild on a hurricane coast or in a river floodplain or in the line of fire???  Cheaper to do it right in the long run but that short-circuits all those private interests in quick profit…will insurance companies finally demand serious planning and zoning?  Or will they simply find more ways to not pay…

Glad you went to the demo, we do some of the anti-Trump demos hereabouts

Posted by: atowhee | November 17, 2018

TURN, TURN, TURN, CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE

Much is being written about climate change as the effects daily become more evident.  Trump may know that leaf raking and forest management were causes in the lead-up to the deadly Camp Fire in California.  The rest of us know otherwise–terrible planning and zoning, above-ground electrical lines, climate change, drought, living in fire-prone areas, lack of adequate warning, poor vehicle access–these are truly factors beyond the mental capability of the President.

Here are some recent events and publications:

London climate protests today, with arrests following blocked briges:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/17/thousands-gather-to-block-london-bridges-in-climate-rebellion

Countries doing little to stop climate change:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/16/climate-change-champions-still-pursuing-devastating-policies-new-study-reveals

Trump’s anti-climate moves are deadly, says John Kerry: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/16/john-kerry-paris-climate-donald-trump-presidential-bid

How big oil is destroying our only planet:   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/15/climate-change-democrats-oil-gas

The curse of the plastics conspiracy: https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2018/nov/14/the-plastics-conspiracy-who-blame-waste-crisis

George Monbiot says tinkering won’t save us:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/14/earth-death-spiral-radical-action-climate-breakdown

Cameron Winery in Oregon writes on voles and climate change:   https://www.cameronwines.com/some-unexpected-effects-of-climate-change/

The United States’ northernmost town is now into a new climate being called Arctic maritime.  Click here for link.

While it seems inexorable that human behavior will destroy much of the life now on earth, science still finds even more life forms than was previously unsuspected.  This time it is suggested a whole new kingdom of life is out there.  I am so old we were taught in biology there were only two kingdoms: plants and animals.  That we now know is far from a truthful reflection of nature’s complexity.  Click here to read about the new kingdom populated by one-cell predators.

Posted by: atowhee | November 17, 2018

DESERT SOLITAIRE AND WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED

I’ve done previous writing about the 50th anniversary of that crucial flex point: the year of 1968.  One very important moment in the history of American conservation: publication that year of Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey.

I can only imagine his brutal, honest opinions about climate change and killer forest fires and giant gas-ingesting SUVs on public lands and suburbs in the forest and the urge to shoot wolves to save cattle nobody needs and all the other stupidities of modern life in our arid west.

Here are some reflections on what Abbey said, what we could have learned, and where we are now:

Abbey was right says this author, Amy Irvine:   https://www.hcn.org/issues/50.19/books-edward-abbeys-warnings-were-right

Amy Irvine’s new book:

https://www.telluridenews.com/arts_and_entertainment/article_d09b7852-d8b0-11e8-bcff-8f9ff36329a3.html

Three Utah writers on Abbey’s legacy:

https://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/2018/10/21/my-own-desert-dialect/

LA times remembrance: http://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-desert-solitaire-20180209-story.html

Charles Bowden on Abbey: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/books/writing-off-the-grid-charles-bowden-on-edward-abbey/article_cf474677-656b-54a5-90b7-b4612a0c1104.html

Posted by: atowhee | November 15, 2018

OF THE SEASON

Mourning Doves in a flock of two dozen at Joe Dancer Park.  Never see such a gathering in warmer months.  The juncos in our garden are a hungry gang, never far from the feeders, always the first to appear after I put out the sunflower grits.  Overhead these days you can hear the geese: full-sized Canadas, the slim, trim Cacklers.  They are often vocal as they fly.

In the floral world, leaves are falling, our dawn redwoods are nearly naked, their needles clogging our roof gutters.  And the licorice ferns festoon the limbs and trunks of shaded trees.

Below are juncos with excess white…little white-tail may just be molting and his cover feathers aren’t all in place.  In the second image the bird with the overlook position has white flecks on his cheek.  I have seen this bird in my garden before.junc tailjuncs

The image below with a scattering of dark shapes against the blue sky: flock of Cacklers. This time of year I enjoy seeing the licorice ferns become a green beard on trunk or limb.

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 13, 2018. 10 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  30
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 15, 2018. 10 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  200     fly by
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1     above the golf course
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2     pair arrives together
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  1
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  10
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2

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