Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sunny day at Larsen Lake or why snags are important

Today's walk on the greenbelt was fabulous!  I remembered to put my heel lift in my shoe so my back was happier, the sun was out, the air was just slightly warmer than crisp, and the birds were showing off.  Before I made it out of the parking lot, there was a towhee calling from the tree next to my space.  After admiring him and his red eye, I glanced to the right and saw a Great Blue Heron on top of a snag.  They like to perch up high and preen in the sun and in the spring, the leaves aren't out enough yet to obscure them.

distance view

I headed to the trail with my phone in my pocket so I could take more shots like the one below.  This GBH was not at all nervous about all the people and dogs on the greenbelt today.  

closer view

I kept walking and got good views of some sapsuckers but they were flitting about, chasing each other so no photos of them today.  I'm glad to see they didn't abandon the greenbelt but just moved down the trail a bit to an area where there's more bird cover.

Since the pier is flooded right now, I instead headed for the trail that goes up the middle of the blueberry fields.  At the bend, there's a very tall snag that has been used multiple times as a nesting site by woodpeckers.  This morning, there was a flicker busy excavating a new hole.  He was also tolerant of me being on the trail so I got some nice shots of him going in and out of the hole.

Flicker making new hole

Unfortunately, my camera phone doesn't get enough detail on its own and I didn't bring the zoom lens for it.  So, no fabulous closeup for the flicker.  But you can see the holes above where the flicker is working.  They tend to start at the top and work down as that's how the snag dries out.  

And here's a shot showing how much more stump there is to be used.  I would estimate the flicker is about 30 feet up.  So this snag will be a woodpecker nesting site for years to come.  Also chickadees if I'm remembering things my expert birder friends have said about reuse of woodpecker holes by other birds.

Lots more room in the neighborhood

Definitely looking forward to getting out there with my camera real soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Watch another fiber artist in action

I'm down with the flu, again!, and thus have no work to share this week so here's a link to show what another (now local) fiber artist has done lately.  Carol Bryer Fallert-Gentry has documented Fossil Fantasy from idea to finished art piece here.  I'm looking forward to watching the whole thing as I feel up to it.

click for next image

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring inspiration at Larsen Lake

I've been down this last week or so due to a root canal.  I was very low energy but still had enough for walks on the greenbelt when the weather was good.  And I am happy to confirm that spring is really here.  I get some of my best inspiration from these walks and here are a few of the photos I got using my phone.

tree budding out

Spring is my favorite time to go birding since the trees don't have leaves yet and the birds are not only in breeding plumage, but being more social and active.  I also appreciate it as the gray of winter fades away and the colors pop in the landscape.  Great example below...

blueberry field starting to bud
I only got a decent photo of one bird.  Such is the splendor of spring that I even get fond of mallards in this season.  

grazing in the grass

I hope everyone else is able to enjoy their local spring as it pops forth.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Vacation finale: Eagle checks me out

During the week, I was casually trying to get a better shot of the eagles but they kept avoiding me when I had my phone in hand.  Morning walks with my bins, no problem, they'd stay in their tree and look down at me with that haughty eagle look.  But put my phone in my pocket and suddenly they all had to be somewhere else in a hurry.  That led to this shot of an eagle zooming out of range during the middle of the week.

white head and tail make it an eagle

On the last day of my Samish Island vacation, I went outside during a sunbreak to see an eagle off in the distance.  I grabbed my phone and went back out to see if I could get some kind of shot.  As I was focusing in on him, he decided to check me out too.  No white head, so he's a juvenile, or at least not more than a few years old.

circling overhead to see what I'm doing

And then the final, slightly closer in shot.  After which, he decided I wasn't waving a salmon in the air so he could leave.

Circling eagle takes off

I was glad to finally get an eagle shot but even happier to have had such close up views of so many different birds from the living room of the Beach House.  It was a great place for a quiet couple getaway with good food nearby and lots of fabulous scenery.