Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just A Walk In The Park

 I don't suppose any of you really thought that was snow, did you?

 But do you know what it is?  I'll give you a clue...

 It comes from these trees... cottonwood trees.  Black cottonwood - populus trichocarpa - to be precise.  They're native here and like to live near water.  All that fluff is reproduction in action.  The trees scatter their seeds to the wind.

We can walk through this area in spring and feel like we're in a snow-storm, but most of the seeds seem to have come down already.  Not many were blowing around today.  You can see a few in this pic.

I took this for Gunnar because he likes the "polka-dotted trees" - the Douglas firs show their new growth in lighter green.

Around here, June is known for rain.  Yet it's warm, and that combination sends the flora into a growing frenzy.  We were intrigued by this vine - a variety of morning glory that's a weed, here - twining up a tall blade of grass, with every leaf it produces reaching up to the sun.

We found lots of yellow flags (iris) blooming along the edges of the ponds.  Past their prime, Gunnar pointed out, but still pretty.

You may get tired of seeing pictures of the same places, but Gunnar loves to walk down to the duck pond.  And I love the way the trail winds through the trees.  Feels like we might end up in Narnia :D

I like it even better with someone I love walking on it.

We decided that most of the ducks must be busy with ducklings (we saw some, but they were hidden before I could get a photo), because only three adults came for a snack.

Beautiful, cool, and peaceful today.

Gunnar remembers where we saw the barred owl, and we always look for him, but no luck today.  Gunnar did point out this unique Western Red Cedar.  It must've tipped over when it was young, and then kept growing up toward the sun.

We noticed that the salmon berries are getting ripe.  Apparently the birds have noticed too.  Can you see that several have already been eaten?

Back at the upper pond we were serenaded by more birds than we could identify.  Our special favorite is the redwing blackbird and there were several of them flying and calling to each other.

They weave basket-nests between the cattails above the water.

Beavers are nesting in the pond this year and Gunnar has seen their house, but the cattails have grown so tall we couldn't find it today.  Maybe I'll get a picture in the fall.

Lastly, Gunnar spotted this wood duck.  Love his punked out feathers!  He also reminded me that wood ducks are a blessing because they eat mosquito larva.  Amen to that.

And so goes another walk in the park :D


Q said...

Umpteen photos of the path to the duck pond? Bring it on. It's special, it's always going to be a fond memory, it's your blog, post it, it's precious!

(And it reminds people like me that there really is life apart from scorpions and cactus!)

dlefler said...

I love the duck pond pictures. Nature never gets "old" for me - I love it. I also love seeing the other side of the country - we don't have cottonwoods here (at least, not that I'm aware of), so that is fascinating.

Ann said...

Oh how gorgeous! I loved walking through the park with you and Gunnar! The idea of sharing backyards becomes more and more appealing each time you share a blog post like this! :-)

Felicity said...

Ummmm.... I actually DID think that was snow... please forgive me - I'm South African.. ;-) The only snow I've seen looked a lot like that. (When I made the photo bigger I could see it wasn't...)
The park looks so beautiful! I would love to find Narnia there too!!