The kingfisher rises out of the black wave like a blue flower, in his beak he carries a silver leaf. I think this is the prettiest world -- so long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?
The bluffs above South Beach at Seattle's Discovery Park are layered records of glacial history. There's Vashon Till (mixed rocks, sand and silt), Esperance Sand, Lawton Clay (a blue-grey clay and silt) and Kitsap Formation sediments.
They'd collect, huddle and preen on this mud peninsula. Then, on some cootish signal, they'd head out again to forage before either flapping or swimming back toward us and to their refuge again.
When I went looking for information on songbird fatalities and backyard guns, there are no statistics as far as I could find. But I did come upon this post from The Digiscoper entitled They Did Not Need to Die. There, Mike detailed the very same problem I was seeing: YouTube videos of illegal songbird shootings. Mike went the extra mile and contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service himself, and this was the reply:
I notice spring birds before spring buds ... and just the other day, the Red-winged Blackbirds were vocalizing their intent over a Kirkland swamp. In my periphery I saw the crimson flashes of male birds flitting between reeds, and then females clinging to cattail puffs.
I heard a lecture recently where Picasso's view of photography was described this way: For Picasso, "photography was never an exact registration of a scene, but it was a creative device.” (Arthur I. Miller). The lecture was about conceptualism and perceptualism in both art and science, using Picasso and Einstein as subjects. Picasso's view of the camera is obviously liberated by the fact that he was using it as a fine art tool, not a photojournalistic one.
I recently wrote about a grassroots effort in which I'm involved -- to expand the scope of funding for our National Wildlife Refuges. We've started the Wildlife Conservation Stamp project to generate public interest and promote the idea and implementation of a birders', photographers', and wildlife watchers' stamp for our Refuges.
The sound of flocking snow geese is sometimes described as a “cacophony,” a “symphony,” a “storm” — a “baying of hounds,” a “noise blizzard.” The sound, in fact, varies. There’s a comfortable warbling of goose grumbles and calls as the birds graze, punctuated by escalations that bubble up in sections of the flock. Then, there is the silence — a sudden, dead halt to the goose voices. It’s just a blip, a clipped hesitation, a warning.
I believe this interaction was a territorial display between two Northern Flickers. Their routine was on a continuous loop for about five minutes, performed on utility cables strung across our view of the city.