Spring Gold

The sun has disappeared here in the Pacific Northwest so we bask, instead, on its reflection.

There’s an unusual proliferation of Skunk Cabbage at Theler this year,

joined recently by Oregon Grape

and golden Daffodils.

The All-too-common American Robin

Is the American Robin the most common bird in America? It is certainly so common that most people don’t even notice it or even the calls it makes. Looking back at photos over the years, I’d have to admit that I’m probably guilty of that, even though I remember loving Robins as a kid.

Now the only time I really notice them is when there are large flocks migrating, as they are now at Theler.

How do we get ourselves to re-see them? Here’s my attempt, pairing an Emily Dickinson poem with a recent photo.

Who’s Zooming Who?

The most interesting part of our last trip to Theler was nearly impossible to present as photographs. It required video but I hate hand-held video and I'm not about to carry a tripod with me on my walks.

So, I started looking for alternatives, beginning with slide shows. After several days of searching I found numerous ways to embed slide shows in my blog, but most of them demanded more effort and time than I have at the moment (not to mention they required coding skills I probably lack.)

I settled on Metaslider which can be used as a WordPress plugin and it's fairly straightforward. I have no idea how Facebook will mangle the results, but I thought I would give it a try.

So, here is a series of shots I took of Buffleheads engaging in mating rituals (I'm pretty sure), though it often appears to be pure chaos at times.

Peregrine Falcon

I’ve always tended to bird alone, or with Leslie since she retired, but there are definitely advantages to birding with another experienced birder. I would never have spotted this Peregrine Falcon if I hadn’t been walking Theler with John.

I don’t carry binoculars or a spotting scope, and this guy was barely visible without them. My rule of thumb is that if you can’t it see it with your eyes (or glasses) you aren’t going to get a picture anyhow so why bother.

Still, Peregrine Falcons are an “uncommon” sighting here in the PNW; I felt privileged to manage to capture a shot of it as it circle overhead.

John told me that when he walks Thursdays with his birding group he finds even more birds than he does by himself.

Though I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy birding with a group, I find easier to be “at one with nature” when I’m alone or with a single companion.