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Tag Archives: grouse

Yesterday morning at the breakfast table I could hear a Dusky Grouse making his booming noise to attract a mate. It is not unusual to hear them this time of year in the draw or up on the hill above us but yesterday it was really close to the house. I had to go see where it was. It was in the backyard, strutting between Sky’s agility equipment. There was a female picking at the weed seeds in our rather dilapidated lawn. Our lawn is more habitat than turf. The birds and bees like it.

The male grouse puffed up and showed his air sacs and made his noise and walked toward the sliding glass door where I was making photos. I think he may have seen his reflection and was getting a little bit defensive thinking there was another male in his territory. Then he turned his attention towards the female who remained mostly disinterested.

The hillsides are really drying out quickly this year. Mud season usually seems to last weeks but this year it has been short. My favorite vernal pond isn’t a pond. I’ve seen salamanders and spadefoot toads there some years. I wonder how long they can stay dormant underground til the water returns?

Dry hillsides make for good hiking so the girls and I are enjoying it while we can. It won’t be long til we will be able to get up into the mountains!

Last weekend Marcy and I hiked to Windy Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a pleasant hike – never steep – with outstanding views all along the way. In addition to the fantastic views of the North Cascades a hiker gets to see evidence from the mining adventures dating back to the 1890’s. Given the rough and narrow road that we have to drive nowadays to get to the trailhead, it is amazing to imagine miners traveling to these distant mountains on foot or horseback and hauling immense loads of equipment too. One spot in the road is called Deadhorse Point and scares the beejebers out of some folks in cars.

Guthrie, Marcy’s dog blew out his knee last year and is just a year out from surgery and injuring his other knee. It’s good to see him running and grinning with the other dogs. Even with three dogs we got to see a little bit of wildlife including lots of ground squirrels and a few grouse.

As we finished our lunch and got ready to head back, we heard a familiar voice and saw a friend from the Okanogan. He had scaled nearby Tamarack Peak and joined us for the hike back to the parking area.

The weather was cool and sunny – perfect for a late summer hike on the PCT.

The month is almost over and I don’t know where the time went. It has been full of wildflowers and spring tasks and walks in the hills and birds and good times. At the start of the month there were large piles of snow and ice covered puddles. All that is gone now. Here are a few highlights.

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