I took a break from working on the consulting project to walk down to Totem Park in the late afternoon. It was a quiet gray day during most of my walk. People and birds both seemed laying low under the flat gray overcast skies. On such a gray day, it seemed that the colors of moss sporophytes, no more than a couple inches tall, stood out beyond all sense of proportion.
Weather: There was enough rain overnight enough for a small puddle to form in the drive. Overall, there was light to heavy overcast, with the sun occasionally visible as a bright spot in the clouds. Temperatures overnight were cool enough for the snow level to be around 2000 feet. What wind I felt was out of the west, but there were also periods of calm.
Birds: This morning I heard the Winter Wren repeated calling. I had stayed up too late the night before to get up to try recording it, so hopefully it stays vocal for at least a few more days. A couple of times while I was working during the day, I heard a Flicker in distance. The Bald Eagles seemed especially active, though I do not know what they were doing.
There were some Bald Eagles at the park, though they did not seem as active as the ones I had been hearing at home. There were not too many ducks, though I did notice both Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, with Common Goldeneye appearing to engage in some courtship activities (at lest that is how I interpreted it). There were three mergansers, a male and female Common Merganser and I think the third may have been a female Red-breasted Merganser. There were also a small number of Buffleheads. Few gulls were on the beach a the Southeast point. There was a Cormorant out on the water. I saw a few Mallards along Lincoln Street Beach on my way home.
Flora: Connor pointed out to me some blue flowers blooming in the front yard. They are not wildflowers, and I am not sure what kind they are (but it was nice to see that he is paying attention). In the park there were some blueberry flowers showing, though still not many.
There is one species of moss in the park that is particularly abundant under the Red Alders near the battle site. Its sporophytes are very colorful and seem to be reaching their full development.
Other Notes I did see a seal not too far offshore at the park.