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Friday, August 28, 2009

Birds in the Yard

It has been a great month for observing the birds in my yard and taking pictures. These are some of the lucky sightings that I just never had a chance to post before now as well as two recent ones.

August 6th ~
Close-up of a small bird
with beautiful soft, fluffy
brown and gray feathers
hopping in the grass
August 13th ~
A wary Northern Flicker,
looking for a meal of ants
(I had to step back from
the window to take this photo)

August 17th ~
Yellow Bird (Warbler?)
perched on my Hops Vine
August 20th ~
Cedar Waxwing
returning
for another berry
August 20th ~
A Thrush, I believe,
high up in the branches
of a Poplar tree
August 27th ~
The Serviceberry bushes
are like magnets
attracting many fruit-loving birds
at the present moment
August 27th ~
Ruffed Grouse
a year-round resident
of these woods
Notice his black ruff and crest

There were a family
of five
which came to visit

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Forest (la foret)

"The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence
that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the
products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.
"
~ Buddhist Sutra
Forest Path

Forest Dwellers
Red Squirrel

Downy Woodpecker

Mule Deer (this photo was taken last March)

and Me.

A drier spring than normal and a hot, dry summer has made this one of the most volatile years for forest fires in many regions of British Columbia. The majority of the fires have been caused by lightning.

Total fires to date: 2,606
Total area burned: 172,268 hectares
(figures are from B.C. Wildfire Management Branch)


ABC Wednesday is the creation of Denise at Mrs. Nesbitts Place.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Frog Crossing

While out hiking a trail this past week, we came upon a bunch of itty bitty baby frogs/toads. They were all over the place, scrambling to get out of the way of our giant feet (to a frog anyway). Once we saw them, there was nothing we could do but stand completely still and wait until they had safely reached the other side of the trail where they hid in the grass. They didn't stop for pictures, so I had to be quick to get these.

That's the little toadlet and his shadow down there

A closer look

Much closer

I'm not an expert on frogs and toads, but after a little research, I think this could be a Western Toad.

There are some great photos at these two links:
Carcnet (Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network)
Online Guide for the Identification of Amphibians in North America


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Birds, Birds, Birds

Suddenly there are more birds hopping about or flying in and out of the nearby birch and spruce trees than there were all summer. Too, some of the adult birds and their young are coming to the edge of the garden where the serviceberries hang plump and juicy. The bushes grow naturally here, and this has been a particularly good year for them. We rarely see the waxwings (bottom left photo) in this area but somehow they know where to find the berries.

Many thanks to our kind host, Misty Dawn, at Camera Critters.


















Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Diminutive

Calliope Hummingbird
smallest North American bird
Length is 8cm (3 1/4 inches)

Imagine these diminutive birds (weighing less than half an ounce)
flying all the way from west central Mexico to breed and raise their
young in the forests and mountains of central British Columbia.

They return here every May, like clockwork, and sometime
this month, they will take on another amazing feat when
they begin their fall migration back to Mexico.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Meadowhawk Dragonfly

A new dragonfly sighting ~

I found the Meadowhawk
calmly perched on a currant leaf in my garden.
Moments later....
This delicate, golden dragonfly is only 3-4cm (1.2-1.6 inches) long.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wetland

An important and valuable ecosystem,

teeming with life,

home to a variety of birds, plants and insects.

Red-Winged Blackbird, female,
with what looks like dinner in her beak.

What would the world be, once berefit
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds, and the wildness yet.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1899)