Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It is so good to see the native plants in the new buffer along the stream starting to leaf out. Indian plum was first, and now the red flowering currant (above), twin flower and wild roses are starting to show some green.  

I heard it noted once that hummingbirds in our area used to migrate south in the winter and return north with the blooming of the native currants, but that now they overwinter here.  We certainly hear them all year long.  This little guy was fussing at me in our yard back in February - 

 I've never seen heron in the field behind our yard as much as I have this spring.  This one stood in this spot for a couple of hours - 

The most exciting news right now is that I am convinced that the neighborhood hawks have eggs in their nest. A hawk has been sitting in the nest most of the day lately.  Here is a picture with the hawk hunkered down and facing to the left -

When I took this picture the hawk was doing a little housekeeping, so it's tail was sticking up toward me -

According to what I read on the Seattle Audubon webpage about Red-tailed hawks, these hawks are monogamous, both the females and the males build the nest and incubate the eggs, the eggs take around 30 days to hatch, and the female takes care of the babies for the first month or so after they hatch while the male brings them food.  We will probably know when the eggs hatch because in the past we would hear the calls of those little birds all day long for quite a while. Unfortunately I will lose my ability to take pictures pretty soon when the trees I'm shooting through leaf out.

Back on March 14th we started to get a little worried about stream flooding, but luckily the water receded a few inches shy of excitement.  As you can see here, the culvert under the street was basically maxed out -

Here's a shot looking downstream from the front of our yard -

After THIS deluge I noticed that most of the sediment that had built up on the bottom of the stream all winter seems to have been washed away. This picture was taken today off the south side of the foot bridge -

It's going to be interesting to see how quickly sediment comes back.  I've felt like the stream has been a bit muddier than usual when it has rained recently.  I'm thinking there might be some muddy runoff from a development upstream, but we have yet to investigate when it's really raining.  

Oh, and we are hearing frogs in the distance in the evening, and the crows are not noisily passing through at dusk like they had been.

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