Friday, March 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday - it's for the birds

Not a lot to see this Friday in the skies over Seattle except clouds, fog, and rain.
So rather than more gray pictures, how about a little eagle update?
Hence, this Skywatch Friday is dedicated to the 'national bird', the bald eagle.

(Except for the very first photo of this post,
all were taken about 1/2 mile away thru a scope.
As always, you can click on any photo and see it BIG!)

Above is the happy adult bald eagle couple
scouting out a place to build a 'home' last year.
They settled in, one eaglet was raised and fledged in 2008,
and the couple has returned again this year to the same nest.

Can you see the green to the right on the nest above?
The eagles added lots of evergreen branches from nearby trees
to the nest this year.

The eagle was inspecting the addition of twigs and branches.

Above they were having a little tete-a-tete, or is that peck-a-peck?

(Dr Destructo, I presume? For more on Dr D, check out Greenwalks' posts.)
I saw this rapid movement on the nest and checked it out thru the scope. A squirrel!? Oh my, I hope this doesn't mean bad things have happened to any eggs that might be in the nest.
The squirrel wasn't there long, but long enough to worry me...

Soon after, no sign of Dr D, just momma or pappa E.

And above is the most recent shot of one of the eagles in the nest.
(It's the white dome-shape on the right top of the nest--hard to see!?)
One of them remains hunkered down 24/7 now.
Soon, very soon, we may hear the cries of a wee one or wee ones again!

Click for more Skywatch Friday posts


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cold Rain

I'm not going to complain. I like rain. I like to walk and work in the rain. When I lived in Germany people would always be walking. One day I asked why they were out when the weather was so miserable. The reply was that if they waited for the perfect weather, they might never be outside. It is a good philosophy of not letting the weather affect what you do, don't you think?

But I'm not terribly excited about gardening in the cold rain. That's how its been today. So instead I took a few shots of what's been happening about the yard and what I've done so far this year. I'd say so far this spring, but I actually did this work before 'spring' was officially here. So, let's take a stroll, shall we?

I'll show you the bad news first. Here's my lovely Rosemary, badly damaged by the brutal winter weather this year.

And how about this bumper crop of shotweed? They're all volunteers. I didn't plant them intentionally! Click here to read more about these plants in a posting I wrote last March.

Below is a photo of some epimedium in the 'woodland garden'. I can hardly wait to see the skunk cabbage come up! (I think there's a movement to change the common name from skunk cabbage to something sweet-sounding, but it's hard to break old habits!)

The Hellebores are blooming like crazy,
so I had to include a couple shots of them.

Here's some kale in the garden. Looks good enough to eat. Yum.

I planted my mini-dwarf apple trees and finally got my blueberries in the ground back in February. Pay no attention to the burlap bags, they'll be covered once I get some mulch.

And here is my star!
Hamamelis x intermedia
I just purchased her, so she's not in the ground yet.

There you have it...a wee tour of what is happening here.
I'm curious,
How does your garden grow?


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is this for real?

Can it be?
Is she really here?
("Yippee", a tiny voice cries out, hopeful that Spring has arrived to stay.)

The colorful pulmonaria and hellebores sprout spring blossoms.

Spring activity is displayed in the form of birds too.
Many moving so quickly, they're hard to catch with the camera.

Look at the center of the photo.
Can you see the orange and black 'varied thrush'?


Below is a sweet little bird who rested just barely long enough in one spot for me to catch a shot of it. From what I can find in my birding books, it looks like either a Hutton's vireo or a Kinglet.
Do you know what it is?

One more sign of spring...the eagles are on the nest 24/7.
There's sure to be at least one egg in there now.
I've got a lot of pictures of the eagles, too many to add to this post alone, so I'll do a separate eagle update with photos at a later date.

Happy Spring everyone!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2009

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to all of you!
And thanks to Carol for hosting.

This morning I took a little cruise through the yard and snapped these shots. You can click on them to see the snow better. It looks a lot like sugar coating, doesn't it?

And this was my initial reaction (fallen) to seeing
the heavy, white stuff this morning.

But I guess there really are quite a few things in bloom in the gardens.
So my spirit was lifted again, and hope is in my heart, as I call out...

Spring, where are ye?


Friday, March 13, 2009

Skywatch Friday - changing conditions

This week has been an interesting one, weather wise, hasn't it? Monday brought snow to our location twice. Once in the morning (accumulation: 2 inches), then a brief warm-up midday, then snow again in the afternoon (accumulation: 2 inches).

It was apparent we weren't in for an easy ride that day
when these ominous-looking clouds (above) showed up.

Tuesday morning was freezing cold. Of course the roads here were a sheet of ice, so rather than slip and slide to my class that day, I played hooky.

But the clouds began to part, and the sun shone.

And the photo above was taken yesterday. So you see, the weather has definitely taken a turn for the spring!
Yes, there, I've said it. Spring. It's in the air.

A second skywatch for the blog today, special just for you, includes a couple shots of our local beauty, Mount Rainier with what looks like smoke signals coming from her recently.

Do you think she's telling us...yes, Spring is on the horizon!?


Monday, March 9, 2009

The 'S' word

No, not Spring. I wish.
No, not Summer. Just a dream.
Yes, Snow.
Despite my having written it really, really
small in my previous post.
(You can click on any of the pictures to see them really, really big.)

Here are a few shots around the yard this marvelous Monday morning.

I really enjoy taking pictures of and in the snow. But I think at this point this year, this weather is for the birds.
Here are some that visited the suet feeder this morning.

Just waiting, wishing, and hoping for Spring to truly make its appearance.


Friday, March 6, 2009

This Friday Morning...

This morning's sunrise looked like this, against the icy landscape.

This weekend we're expecting more
(maybe if I write it really small, we'll get only a really small amount of)

In an effort of positive thinking and optomism regarding the weather,
I have purchased plants for the garden...

and some seeds too (nothing fancy, just fun)...

And while I was taking photos of the plants and seeds,
a hawk decided to land fairly near me.

A few seconds later, evidently scared off, my camera lens being the likely spoiler.

Away it flew to join it's mate in the tree.

I also heard a buzzing in the sarcacocca, and amazingly enough,
there were two busy bees.

So I guess despite the wintry weather lately,
the birds and the bees know that spring is in the air.

14 days and counting...
Are you ready?