Friday, April 20, 2012

I've fallen way behind in my goal of describing the park on a daily basis.  Today, the new growth on all the plants raced ahead.  Some berries are beginning to form on the salmonberry.  Little white moths are flitting about everywhere.  The alders have leafed out and the maples are dropping flower clusters.  The vine maples have their tiny little flowers.  Very few trees or shrubs still have bare branches.  The garry oaks are the only ones I can think of that haven't put forth their first leaves.  The spruce trees have bright green paint brushes of new growth.  Even the bindweed is starting to shoot up.  Many little insects are appearing, and I fear I am missing opportunities to catalog them. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today is the 103rd day of the year, and I have 99 species photographed and identified on Project Noah.  I have certainly seen and identified more than 103 species even though I haven't fully documented them.  I had better get cracking because I did all the easy species first. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tonight we came up through the park right around sunset, and I searched the canopy for owls.  While I was looking around, a barred owl blasted us with hoots directly overhead.  He was invisible to me until he spoke up.  The barred owl will be added to my list of species that I have seen and identified definitely, but I can't submit to Project Noah because getting a picture is difficult if not impossible.  There are other species that I can photograph but not definitely identify so far.  If I reach my goal of 365 species this year, the final Project Noah numbers might not reflect that. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

The tide was -2.3 feet today.  I saw strange creatures in the tide pools, and managed to photograph a few.  Pictures from today can be seen here.  The seep had skunk cabbage, stink currant, horse tail, lady fern, and Indian plum, all bursting forth.  I may have gotten a bit of a sunburn.  The wild cucumber is sending forth its new shoots.

Friday, April 6, 2012

This evening I saw Venus before sunset.  At sunset, I took this picture of Venus, but you can't really see it with the iPhone.  Zoomed in and cropped, Venus is about the size of one pixel, seeming to rest on the branch.  As we continued our walk, I saw Jupiter, Mars, and Sirius.  I eventually saw Orion come out as the sky got darker.  It was a calm, clear night, with just a few clouds.  The dogs seemed not to notice the pure blue sky, the graceful arc of the alder branches, or the coppery color of Mars.  The sniffed urine and nibbled on grass, and they thought that was a bunch of fun.  So much beauty goes to waste.  Or perhaps I don't properly appreciate the art of urine.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A hummingbird zipped around the currants near the parking lot.  I didn't have my good camera.  I stood still for several minutes and watched as he sipped a tiny amount from each of dozens of flowers.  It's hard to imagine that the minute quantities of nectar supplied enough calories to zip around like that, but I guess weighing about the same as a nickel makes it easier.  He flashed green and ruby in the afternoon sun.  I looked around, hoping to see his nest, but I couldn't find one.  Some of the currants, the ones that weren't butchered, are covered in blossoms.  The ice storm in January does not seem to have harmed them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We went to the beach at sunset, but it was a uniform, featureless gray-blue.  We did see Venus, very bright in the hazy blue sky.  The moon also came up as we were hiking back up the trail.