Tree takeaway

The sweetgum trees in my front yard provide lovely shade in the summertime and many layers of dead leaves in the fall; they also cover the yard and walkways with pointy, round seed balls — a perpetual hazard underfoot. But I now have a bit more respect for those ubiquitous pods, now that I’ve seen birds, like these Lesser Goldfinches, […]

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Memory Monday, Week 137

Some of my very favorite old family slides are the ones dating from the 1950s and 1960s; even if I don’t have very much information about where they were shot, it’s great to see vintage cars and places that may have completely changed over the decades since the photos were taken. And of course it’s wonderful to see my parents […]

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Little gray

When I first sighted this cute little bird last week, I tried and failed to identify it. I had been standing near the bluffs above Lake Natoma and didn’t get a very good photo as it darted about in the branches, but I did note the small size, overall gray coloring, forked tail, and what looked like a pointed crest […]

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Plenty of tweets

It’s getting to be that time of year again — the time when the weather starts warming up (at least on certain days) and I start getting outside more often and hearing more birds in the trees. Spotting them can be a different story, though, and capturing them with my camera is yet another challenge. The final difficulty can be […]

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Frog hunting

I only have to walk a few blocks away from my house to find vernal pools; in the early springtime when they fill with rainwater, I can hear the Pacific chorus frogs singing their breeding calls, even with all the doors and windows of my house shut. This tiny pool is another matter. We happened upon it as we hiked […]

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Backyard birdwatching

I always have a tough time staying in one spot long enough for wildlife to come to me; I feel better when I keep moving and appreciate it all the more when I’m lucky enough to stumble upon some wonderful surprise. But recently I’m learning that if I can manage to sit still in my backyard for more than a […]

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Nice neighbors

I was out in my back yard earlier this evening when I happened to glance up and noticed that our next door neighbors were enjoying the colorful sunset. Although I didn’t have my big zoom lens, I was still lucky enough to get a few halfway decent shots of this pair of house finches. Hopefully I’ll be seeing more of […]

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