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Tag Archives: spring

Yesterday the girls and I set out around mid-afternoon looking to stretch our legs and enjoy the fresh air. We headed up Frost Road and walked to Aspen Lake. It’s a pleasant hike in the spring and fall with great views of the valley and surrounding mountains.

We started out in warm sunshine but soon it was raining and I was grateful for my little rain jacket and wool hat. Following the rain was a terrific rainbow. Some snow remained in the shady areas and some places were very wet with water running down the trail. A few small flowers are blooming and grass is greening up. Lots, like hundreds or thousands, of Dark-eyed Juncos and some other birds. The lake is still mostly ice-covered but won’t be for long.

Finally, the snow is retreating, leaving enough bare ground that a person can safely walk without getting her feet wet. Muddy, but not wet. Little patches of green grass are everywhere (except in our yard which is a whole other topic best left alone). Tiny forbs are sending out small shoots and I was even able to find one tiny flower. Sky found her own treasure.

I went birding with a friend last week, visiting an area not far from here but new to both of us. We had a pretty good birding day, seeing more than seventy species! One of the first birds we observed was a Lewis’s Woodpecker – first one of the season for us. They are really beautiful birds with striking reddish bellies and iridescent greenish black backs. Before the day was over we had seen three of them. I guess they all arrived at once.

At one stop, I was caught up with the patterns in the water while Juliet was searching down a bird with an unusual song she could not identify. We looked at a new burn area from last year and tried to find morels with no luck.

Here is a list of the birds we saw:

 

Canada Goose
Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
California Quail
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Sora
American Coot
Killdeer
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Rufous Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Williamson’s Sapsucker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Say’s Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
House Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire
American Robin
European Starling
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
Spotted Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Lazuli Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Cassin’s Finch
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

 

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.

Razor clam season opened up on our favorite Washington coast beach and we were able to get away for a long weekend for some much-needed fun times at the beach. We welcomed the vernal equinox (and my birthday) near Pacific Beach with fried clams and chocolate cake before going out to dig more clams. Ken did some surf fishing also. It was a fun weekend and a great getaway from the long mud season we are experiencing here at home.

As you might imagine, the dogs were thrilled with the idea. We even took along an extra dog, our old buddy Wyatt Ann. She’s not Sky’s favorite dog pal but Luna likes her. Sky seems to be recovered from her strained bicep tendon that has bothered her since December. We still do not throw sticks and balls for her since she puts all of her canine energy into retrieving. She was happy to just run on the beach, bring things to us and have the other dogs try to catch her.

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