Seen at feeder:
Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus
Steller’s jay, Cyanocitta stelleri
Rufous-sided Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
House sparrow, Passer domesticus
Seen in backyard:
Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
Looking out for other NW backyard birds:
Pine siskin, Spinus pinus
Townsend’s Warbler, Setophaga townsendi
Downy woodpecker, Picoides pubescens
Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
House finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
The summer was dry and most of my little berry bushes didn't make it through. We were gone for a whole month and couldn't take care of them.
When we restarted the restoration I found this tiny little plant making it's way towards the sky.
It's somewhat on my main restoration path, so I try to protect it with sticks.
Deciduous trees sprout new leaves in the spring and then drop them in the fall. Coniferous trees are evergreen and hold their needles all year around. Those are standard tree rules.
But the Pacific Madrona (Arbutus menziesii) breaks those rules. They are evergreens, deciduous trees that stay in leaf year around.
Actually, Madronas do drop their leaves, but not at the usual time. Like other deciduous trees, they sprout new leaves in the spring. Then in midsummer, the one year old leaves turn yellow and drop and that is happening right now.
Rhododendrons are cousins of Madronas, and do this as well, but they will drop their two year old leaves in the summer. Although the Madrona looks like a tree, it really behaves more like a large evergreen shrub.
At the South Seattle College Arboretum I saw this very different looking plant. I tried to figure out how to google this plant. Big leaves. Pineapple like stalk. Spiky. Zucchini leaves. Fluffy white pink flower. Exotic. I don't know how, but I found it.
Here is a more professional description:
Giant Rhubarb is a unique offering that produces whopping 6′ leaves that are distinctively patterned with deep veins and coarsely toothed edges. This exotic focal point is ideal for damp or boggy spots. The underside of the leaf and the whole stalk have spikes on them. In early summer it bears tiny red-green flowers in conical branched panicles, followed by small, spherical fruit. However, it is primarily cultivated for its massive leaves.
I spent a fabulous weekend with my Tracking friends in the Oregon Dunes and wanted to take a hand of sand with me to Seattle to put in my tracking sand pit in the backyard. When I was driving home on the I-5 I remembered, but it was already too late to turn around and go back for a hand full of sand.
Tonight after taking a hot shower I wanted to cozy up in my PJs and warm socks, but my socks felt like another pair of socks were left in there and it felt the opposite of cozy. I decided to do something about it and once I turned these socks inside out all the sand from the Dunes dumped onto my bedroom floor. It was about a hand full of sand and I got to move it in my backyard sand pit.
A wish come true...
and look what I found. A varroa mite in it's glory. Unfortunately I lost most of my testing sample and could not really count them.
Also, the bees are doing okay, but not as great as I was hoping. I took pictures of each frame but haven't uploaded them yet. They got really angry with me after frame 4 and also didn't seem to like the powdered bees I put back in the hive. They kicked out at least 2 of them. I am not sure if they kicked them out because they didn't clean themselves up or if they didn't like the smell. I thought it would be fantastic for them to be covered in sugar and to find a punch of sugar in their home.
Curious Bee. Forest Steward. Nature Nerd. Climate Activist Mom.