Saturday, March 25, 2006

Spring Fancies

This morning the world was white with frost, and I feared I wouldn't get a chance to do the gardening I've been itching to do. The sun came blazing up, warming the earth and vaporizing the frost, causing wispy tendrils of white to rise into fog which rose into low clouds. Soon the fog dissipated and the world became bright and warm. I got my barrow of compost, plants and tools and headed to the burgeoning wind break I'm trying to establish.

As I was digging I heard a loud, high buzzing. Looking up I saw a tiny hummingbird. I barely had time to wonder what type when he turned, and a bright red throat glinted in the sun. He was sipping from the pink salmon berry flowers, thus saving them from being cleared out. Nearby a wren flicked its tail and sang a greeting.

I was just patting the soil around my new plants when I glanced up and saw an eagle circling high. I moved to get a better view and saw the other 3 members of the family. One huge bald eagle, white head and tail glowing in the sun and three smaller, more active birds. If the others had white I couldn't see it. This is the third time I've seen the older bird, so I'm sure they've moved in to the neighborhood.

To cap off my wildlife encounters, a huge bumblebee was nibbling on a piece of mango skin in the compost. He was so fat and had so much pollen attached to his body I don't think he could still fly. While I watched he went through a complete cleaning, and seemed to realign his pollen load. I left him to his work, and went traipsing into the woods to the west.

These woods border on a piece of property I am hoping a friend of mine will buy, so I was "scooping it out". A great excuse for playing in the woods, following deer and coyote trails. There are some wonderful potential house sites with great views. I didn't make it as far as the road that penetrates that parcel, but had a great time.

My dogs are all loafing in the sun as I eat my lunch, and rest up from my busy morning.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Distant Titan

Mostly I take pictures to the south, towards my sheep field, pond, the valley, and Mount Saint Helens. There is rather a nice view to the east, especially on clear winter mornings. Looking over the dog yard and hay shelter, up the ridge I live on, you can see the Cascade foothills and the top of Mount Rainier. It's a winter bonus. In spring and summer the leaves hide much of the expanse.