Tuesday, January 15, 2013

bird-nerds in a hot tub

 after 2 hours sleep i forced myself up and out into the first sunny morning in weeks. we went to nearby North Mountain Park to view feathered fauna with a birding expert and a group of bird-nerds. we walked over loud crunchy snow covered paths, footbridges over frozen solid ponds, icy creeks, and listened irritably while hearing stories of all the great birds our guide has seen here, none of which we saw today.
grizzly peak was spectacular, the mountain is greening up under the heavy snow we had this week.
What we saw- white crowned sparrow, song sparrow, red shafted flicker, grey(tree)squirrels, pine siskin, varied thrush(shown above), spotted(previously ‘rufous sided’)towhee, mallards, ruby crowned kinglets, hermit thrush, purple finch, acorn woodpecker, female red winged blackbird. 
 i accidentally posted this photo on Wunderphotos http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/cloudysnack/77?gallery=EDITORSPICK thinking it was ugly. The photo was placed  in the ‘approvers choice’ gallery! the leaves are oregon grape, a plant i fought with in my garden last year.  We yanked one huge bush of this out of the yard with our truck.  i was supposed to be noticing female red-winged blackbirds.  
this box for nesting screech owls is much lower than the birds would ever go for. 
ruby crowned kinglets (they move like  fluttery hummingbirds)
we are learning more about birds as we are living in a forest with  wonderful birds, hence our presence at this bird walk.   but the art was more stunning than birds this 23 degree morning.  this huge tile encrusted snake slithered through drifts of frozen sand.
this frosted carved iron firepit cover keeps the hobo fires out. artist sheryl garcia. they put a bird on it!
ice-encrusted interpretive sign about the rather rare beaver.  i would love to make seeing a beaver in this park a goal of mine.  oh, and otters, too.
acorn woodpeckers were behaving agitated, a sign of roosting pygmy owls, we hoped.
a scale on the giant snake sculpture
my spirit is soaring with my new home, neighborhood, health, and wonderful family.
pine siskins - they were very far away, like all the birds we saw.   it was too cold to hold on to binoculars and our breath kept steaming them up.  our group made so much noise walking on the frozen ground, we scared the birds away.
bedrock mortar?  jumbo icecube
detail of large compass rose mosaic.  our valley runs from northwest to southeast, putting one off-kilter to the directions.  this confusion is a condition i enjoy.  the world seems to be less static.
the north mt park visitor center has an excellent native plant display garden. i need to visit sometime when the plants are not frozen orbs of ice.  visit when i do not have a bored husband at my side. at well after ten am the crunchy cold discomfort of frozen feet continued. here i am hot tub and nap bound.  our future winter birding will be done from the hot tub.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. Sorry it took me so long to get over here. Trying to figure out the best way to follow you. Congrats on being here though.