Sunday, August 22, 2010

field guide to this weekend

photos by John Boswell

this weekend we went camping on the nooksack and hiked to winchester mountain lookout at twin lakes. i do not get enough of the mountains! it is so beautiful up there! the air was crisp and cool, and made me feel october in my bones, made me want to make apple pie and apple crisp. and the view! i forget just how the plates of the earth come together and bulge up up up in jagged piles. i forget that sometimes, so far down here.

not many birds other than some dark eyed juncos and ravens.

i didn’t have my plant book on me but these are some wildflowers i saw:

broadleaf lupine (i cannot see a lupine without thinking: Miss Rumphius, my little brother’s favorite children's book)

white heather

pink heather


spreading phlox

sitka valerian

towhead baby seed heads, of the buttercup family (i love these! they look very Seussical, like the LORAX)

early afternoon today, jordan and i stopped by whatcom falls/ scudder pond to do some birding. it is so starting to feel like summer is wrapping up, with the smell of dry leaves and the overcast sky this morning, but the migrants are still around. the trick to seeing some serious little birds around here is to find a place of young vegetation and lots of tall shrubs and underbrush. stand still and wait. we were delighted to see many black –throated grey warblers (new for us!), as well as a couple flycatchers (pacific-slope? hard to distinguish without hearing the call, which we didn’t).

it was a good day:

black-throated grey warbler

unidentified flycatchers

male and female wilson’s warblers

red-breasted nuthatch (landed and hung out on a branch for a while, within ten inches of us)

spotted towhee

brown creeper

northern flicker

downy woodpecker

chestnut-backed chickadee

black-capped chickadee

and at the pond:

red wing blackbirds

female wood duck

heron flyover

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