Saturday, May 29, 2021

From Birds to Wild Fruits and Flowers

It was a slow morning of birding in the Dallas City Park and the next door Delbert Hunter Arboretum yesterday. The bright colors of the fruit and blossom of native plants distracted me and I ended up returning to a former love of photography of wild flowers. 

The deep coloring of the ripe Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) stopped me in my tracks to take a second look, and I caved in to take some non-bird photos. The white blossoms of the Indian Plum are always one of the first of spring to catch my attention. However, I rarely get to see the fruit this ripe, a favorite of birds, it is normally striped while still in the earlier yellow colors. 

Larkspur, also popularly know by it's genus name of Delphiniam, was a favorite of my mom's.  Fitting that I should photograph and remember her on this Memorial Day Weekend.

This is something in the Mallow Family, perhaps of the Sidalcea Genius.

Red Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) As a youngster, I enjoyed chewing the ends for the nectar. 

Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus). From this common looking white blossom develops a "thimble" shaped red berry.  The soft leaves have been refereed to as a backpackers toilet paper.  I've never had to test that concept.

I recognize this as a member of the Iris Family, but to the exact genus and species I am unsure.  As my dear readers can probably tell by now, the project turned out to be a little more than my age muddled brain can handle.  In the end, I'm still just a kid with a camera that likes to take pictures of colorful birds and flowers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Luxury Birding

Even though the morning was cloudy and overcast, we still put together a great birding trip this morning to Buena Vista Park on the banks of the Willamette River.  In route we made a stop at the Oven Bird Bakery in Independence to pick-up a scrumptious treat to go with our coffee. We had the park to ourselves and set-up our table and chairs, which are always handily available in our van.  We did what in the birding world is called a stationary count. Which in this case was sit in our chairs and eat our bakery item, drink our coffee, and count the birds we could see. It felt pretty luxurious. Here is a link to our bird list.    

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Easy Birding

Some times birding requires getting up at the crack of dawn to chase after some sought after bird.  Some times it requires braving the elements of cold, wind, and rain. And some times I drive for hours to some distant destination to a particular birdy location.  This afternoon I am at home in the comfort of my den in our air conditioned apartment. I am able to just sit in my desk chair and aim my camera out the window and enjoy a feeding Anna's Hummingbird. It's unbelievable easy.  Of course some else had to purchase, water, and fertilize the plants. Thank you Jeanette. 


Friday, May 7, 2021

Summer Lake Safari

Kordell - Patty - Jeanette - Jim

A trip to Summer Lake in South-Central Oregon was the seed of a desire of Jeanette's, that sprouted into an idea of celebration of our 28th wedding anniversary, that grew into a stay at The Lodge at Summer Lake, and finally bloomed into a full-on birdwatching safari with Kordell and Patty Blair.

Fort Rock State Park
In route we make several fun stops. This one was at Fort Rock State Park, where we got to soak up some sun, stretch our legs, and watch Ravens in a duel with a Prairie Falcon.

Kordell at dock at Christmas Valley Golf Course 
The next stop was in the small town of Christmas Valley and a surprise find of this lake at the golf course chalk full of birds. For a complete list of the birds we identified and lots of photos click here.

The Lodge at Summer Lake back pond
By late afternoon we were checked into our rooms at The Lodge at Summer Lake and enjoying some relaxing time on the back deck overlooking  the pond and looking for more birds before dinner in the lodge. 

Observation Blind
The next morning after breakfast in The Lodge we started out in Kordell and Patty's pick-up on a driving tour for a full out assault of Summer Lake State Wildlife Refuge.  A highlight of our four and a half hour birding trip was the observation blind. In all we counted 49 separate species. You can see our observation list here.