Western Scrub Jay ©NPR
It never fails to impress me how quickly the birds in our neighborhood discover that we've put out our squirrel-proof feeder filled with black sunflower seeds and our blocks of chili-spiced suet. Yesterday morning we were treated to nine species while we were enjoying our coffee: a pair of Spotted Towhees, two Stellar Jays, two flickers, a banditry of chickadees, a bustle of bushtits, some Oregon juncos, a song sparrow, one Bewick's Wren, and a couple house finches. We also had our first visit from a Western Scrub Jay last week. Hooray for birds!
Spotted Towhee ©Mick Thompson
Song Sparrow ©All About Birds
Pollinators I have loved,
and this t-shirt seems especially poignant these days.
How many different pollinators can you find in your backyard and neighborhood?
Want to know more about migratory pollinators?
specifically nectar-feeding bats and Monarch butterflies... Me too!
The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides is offering a free webinar on
Monday, June 29 1pm PDT---
see you there!
My stay-at-home project this spring is to join Rob Dunn and his crew in their Wild Sourdough Project and also to participate in Michelle Jewel's 20 minute Fermentology Seminars to learn about "the applied ecology, evolution, history and culture of cultured foods". Both of these activities have open invitations from North Carolina State Public Science Lab.
As a Wild Sourdough participant, I will be comparing ferments from three types of flour. I mixed my pastes today and in two weeks will be posting photos and data to the site.
Meanwhile...meet the new babies in our fermenting lab (joining our kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and my Seattle sourdough).
Want to join me in a Zoom seminar every Thursday afternoon through August? See you there!
Valentine's Day Bird Count began with two black-capped chickadees at my feeder.
Join me in getting out and counting birds this weekend?
Cornell Lab of Ornithology and E-bird make it easy!
this lovely card was created by Artist Gennine D. Zlatkis
If you'd like to delve a bit deeper, check out Weeds of North America by University of Chicago Press. "Dickinson and Royer provide much-needed background on these intrusive organisms. In the battle with weeds, knowledge truly is power. Weeds of North America is the perfect tool for gardeners, as well as anyone working in the business of weed ecology and control."
(and it will certainly keep me from weeding my front slope of dandelions for another week or two!)
Tonight is our first lunar eclipse of the year, and it's also the third super-moon in a row, so it should be quite spectacular. North Americans will not even have to stay up that late to see its magic-and our friends and family in the southern hemisphere will be witnessing this event with us too. Here is the time sequence for all my friends and neighbors here in the NW:
Join me this year as a Citizen Scientist?
In the meantime, enjoy these comics from Bird & Moon. See you outside!
I spent most of the 1980s and 90s in Alaska
flying airplanes, floating wild rivers, winter camping, raising a wild child, and living off the grid :^)
With my MAT in Advanced Inquiry for Biological Sciences, I've taught K-12 students from north of the Arctic Circle to the Puget Sound Ecoregion, garnering over thirty years experience as a classroom teacher, learning mentor, and private tutor.
Here in Seattle, I am an advocate for environmental stewardship, place-based education, and outdoor play. I share my enthusiasm for birds, bugs, and backyards and have been a featured writer and photographer for Pacific Horticulture.
All photographs © T. Byrne unless otherwise noted.