Daily Observations

Fireweed

Weather:  There was a little bit of sun yesterday evening, but skies were overcast thoughout the day today.  Late afternoon the wind was blowing out of the southeast down at Totem Park and there was a light mist.

Birds:  On my walk through the park, I saw three Spotted Sandpipers along the section of Indian River that passes through the estuary.  I saw another one out on the west beach.

A half dozen or so Mallards were swimming around at the river mouth.  It appeared that some of them were probably males in non-breeding plumage.

There were several dozen gulls along the beach.  Mew Gulls seemed to be most numerous with Glaucous-winged Gulls somewhat less abundant and a few Herring/Thayer’s Gulls in the mix as well.

There were quite a few Ravens on the upper beach near where the battle site bench is located.  I am not sure what all of them were doing, but one was making a mess pulling apart a piece of styrofoam.

I saw a male Wilson’s Warbler in the thickets along Lincoln Street.

Over the last couple of days I have heard a flicker calling around the neighborhood.

Plants:  Several of the carrot family plants seem to be late summer bloomers.  In particular the
Pacific Hemlock-parsley (Conioselinum pacificum) was near its blooming peak.  I had not previously noticed that the flowers had a smell, but today as I was walking up to the path from the beach, I noticed a sweet smell in the air.  It did not take long to figure out that it was coming from these flowers.

There were still a few silverweed flowers showing in the estuary, but most of them are gone.

I noticed a plant in the estuary that I had seen previously elsewhere recently (though I do not remember where).  It looks a lot like a large form of goosetongue, but there are enough differences that I am skeptical.  The flower/fruit stalk seems much less densly packed than the goosetongue and its leaves are less flat.

I noticed again this evening that fireweed seems to have a couple of different growth forms.  Mostly it grows as a single tall stem.  There were a few plants along the beach that were a little more shrubby, with several stems branching off of the main base stem.  It’s not clear to me what might have caused this different growth form.

Other Notes:  The salmon still do not seem to be moving upstream, despite the recent rains.  When I looked from the bridge in the park, I could not see many salmon in the river.

The neighbor’s cat caught what I think was a shrew.  I am not sure if we have more than one species of shrew on the island or not.

A Harbor Seal checked me out from a little ways off-shore at the park.

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.
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