Greetings, and may your year ahead be healthy, joyous, and prosperous! I’ll blog late-winter to follow up on those potatoes (spoiler: they were tasty) and talk about my projects from the latter half of 2014. This season I am grateful for friends and family and work and health, and I hope all the same blessings and more for you, dear readers.
Thanks for visiting Brainripples – it’s here for you.
Get a healthy dose of tree-time with this month’s Festival of the Trees issue #65, now online at local ecologist courtesy of Dr. Georgia Silvera Seamans.
Behold, the colors of survival! This Japanese maple is making its best showing of fall colors in 10 years.
This tree’s early life included the combined challenges of multiple transplantings, puppy root-chewing, a stint of neglect during the Pennsylvania years, and finally a major hack job following a strange infection. Much healthier now, this tree reveals this season’s wonderfully slow autumn in the Pacific Northwest.
I love birds. They are an important part of my daily life: I listen for robins and towhees when I wake up on Spring mornings. I watch for night hawks at dusk in the summer. Juncos nitter and nest in my strawberries and thyme. The sweep of raven’s wings overhead seems to follow me year-round.
Birds also keep my gardens alive and interesting (thank you to all the birds whose purple poops have borne new volunteers to my flower beds). Wherever I live or travel, I discover new birds whose calls and silhouettes are inseparable from my favorite memories.
Today I’d like to draw your attention to one of the longest-living blog carnivals, which celebrates the ornithological: I and the Bird. Blog readers and writers alike share a true friend in blog carnivals. These online periodicals consist of collections of links to many different articles, photos, videos, podcasts, and other online media, all of which illuminate a single, special topic (such as trees, plants, or invertebrates).
If you enjoy the company of feathered friends and have a few hours to spare this summer, Mike of 10,000 Birds welcomes you to volunteer as a host for a future issue. You don’t have to be a birder or keep a birding blog in order to participate – just a desire to look up, listen, and share what you learn.
Even if you don’t have time to volunteer, you can help keep I and the Bird alive and soaring with three easy steps:
1) blog about birds
2) send in the link
3) spread the word
In this spirit I share the following images of the Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) at Big Beef and Seabeck Bay, as seen last Wednesday. I might have a diligent amateur’s success with tree photography, but I’m hopeless when it comes to birds (or anything else that doesn’t stand perfectly still for a photo shoot). Luckily for me, these herons were hunting for breakfast, and were not planning to move until the perfect catch swam by.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to sport a great, sweeping beard like this one?
Or to have the endurance to stand still for hours in the chill water beneath these mountains, waiting for lunch?
And herons aren’t the only birds dining in the estuaries…
Click here to read the latest issue of I and the Bird: “A few of my favorite wings” now online at Madras Ramblings, or submit your links today for the upcoming issue to be hosted at Twin Cities Naturalist.
Mike over at the Pacific Northwest Slugyard has some nice photos of nesting Great blue herons.
Know a better (or more interesting) resource? Tell us in the comments.