Raven Radio Show #83 – Richard Nelson

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The 12 July show featured a conversation with Richard Nelson. He shared several recordings and stories from his many trips Australia.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

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A Quick Note

I wanted to write at least a quick note since it’s already been the better part of a week since I last posted. I enjoy having a record to look back on, but I’ve found if I don’t mark it as it happens, much is lost, even if I leave myself a couple of reminder notes. I will have some posts to back date (which reminds me, if you’re interested in seeing those, it’s probably worth signing up for the e-mail notifications which you can do in the sidebar – then, no matter how far back I’ve backdated the post, you’ll get a notification of it) as I took advantage of some nice weather and was able to get up Indian River, part way up Verstovia, out to Middle Island, and then up Starrigavan Ridge. The only day I didn’t do too much was the Fourth of July (though I was recovering from the late night on Verstovia trail in that case). From each of those days I have from several to a couple of hundred photos to process, but I’m not sure when I will manage to get through them (perhaps if we get a stretch of less compelling weather).

Today it started out mostly cloudy, then got to be mostly sunny before the clouds moved in and this evening it is overcast. I was a little bummed that I didn’t get to take a picture of some pretty classic lenticular clouds behind Bear and Cross Mountains. I thought I would be able to see them better from Silver Bay so drove out the road to get pictures, but had not realized how far behind the mountains the clouds actually were, so the mountains blocked the view of the clouds. By the time I got back into town in a place where I would have the right perspective, a layer of stratus had moved in enough to obscure them.

Yesterday I picked about a quart of strawberries – the warm weather combined with my busy schedule had finally left enough ripe that I wasn’t quite so tempted to just eat them as I found them. Fortunately the slugs haven’t gotten into too many of them, though I did find a couple that were partially eaten. The slugs I found I gave to the chickens, who seem happy to eat them. I hope I’m not being set up for future unment expectations with respect to slugs and strawberries. It’s been a pretty warm and dry year, and I imagine that has helped keep the slug population in check. I sort of think it might help that I don’t have a lot of nearby vegetation that slugs like to eat as well, so it’s kind of a long trek for them to get to the berries from where their more regular food is.

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Empty Nest

We had some pretty good rain today, and a bit of wind as well. I spent most of my day on calls and working on getting up to speed on some new work I am doing, but with the wet weather, I wasn’t too disappointed to be dry. Temperatures were in the 50s, and what time I did spend outside it seemed reasonably pleasant.

The taller fireweed growing near one corner of the house fell over, presumably the added weight of wet leaves combined with wind (and maybe softening of the stem due to water?) contributed. The tallest reached up to the gutters, so I’m thinking it was at least 8 feet tall.

The Tree Swallows finished leaving the nest sometime this morning. I saw one flying up to the nestbox between 9 and 10am, but didn’t have time to step out and look. By the time I was done with a call around noon, they were all gone. I don’t remember when the female started laying eggs, but they were definitely working on the nest consistently in mid-May, so I think sometime after that.

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Strawberries

Partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60s made for a pleasant day weather-wise. Later this afternoon there was a band or two of light rain showers that moved through, though they didn’t last long.

I didn’t spend too much time outside today, instead playing catch up. Summer is a difficult time of year to get through all the photos and tasks to be done, but I did make it through many of the photos from yesterday’s trip up Harbor Mountain (which hasn’t been posted here at the time I’m writing this, but hopefully will be soon).

Strawberries in my yard are slowly starting to ripen. It will be interesting to see if they’ll just keep getting ripe one or two at a time, in which case I’ll probably eat them as I find them, or if a bunch will get ripe at once, allowing me to feel like it’s worth picking them to do something in particular with. The strawberries in the photo are from some of the plants I put in last year that seem to have been the happiest, as the plants are robust and the berries large (and even pretty good tasting, if I don’t pick them too soon).

While taking the picture, I noticed a spider that seemed to be moving in a way that made me think it had caught something. I took a closer look and could only see the spider was holding something down. I blew a little bit on the spider, and it moved off so I could see a small harvestman/daddy longlegs (Opiliones). The spider very quickly jumped back on its prey. I have been noticing the berm seems to be a favored habitat of these harvestmen. I’ve thought about trying to get pictures, but so far have not.

On another yard/garden note, slugs seem to like potato leaves. Fortunately Connor’s young roosters like slugs, it’s funny to watch them come running over if I walk over to the pen. They very quickly snap up any slugs I drop in to them.

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Raven Radio Show #82 – Paul Norwood and Brooke Shafer

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The 28 June show featured a conversation with Paul Norwood and Brooke Shafer. We spoke about their recent adventure circumnavigating Baranof Island by kayak.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

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Night Shining Clouds, Lilies, and Birds

I spent the very early hours of today out taking pictures for a timelapse of noctilucent clouds, then after a short 30 minute nap, I headed back out to try to find a mystery birds I had heard in the darkness. In the hours I spent hoping to locate the bird(s) that I heard earlier, I walked around the shoreline below the bridge (on the Japonski side) and was reminded of some of the rich vegetation that’s down there and easy to forget about.

Towards the end of my morning, I went over to the old airport road and saw a small flock of Cedar Waxwings, my first of the year. I also heard a distant Alder Flycatcher that I believe was on the other side of the lagoon. It was only the second time I’ve observed one, and the first along the road system in Sitka. There was also a flock of Red Crossbills (including several that looked immature) that seemed attracted to something in the large ditch. I never could quite figure out what they were doing down there, as they disappeared in the vegetation, and I only saw them flying down or flying out.

This afternoon on a walk to Totem Park I got photos of a female merganser with a single chick. There had been a couple different females with 6-8 chicks that Connor had told me about seeing in the past day or two. I don’t know if this was a different one, or if it was one of those absent a few chicks (that were either hiding or had been lost to predation).

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