pacific northwest

--->Tag: pacific northwest

The Family Procyon Lotor

[These images were shot in under-exposed conditions and required more post-processing than usual. I took some artistic liberty with selective desaturation to deemphasize the contrasts, etc.] Just a few days into my Seattle relocation, the friends who generously housed us, pointed to some ruckus in a tree. Since ruckus in a tree often signals animal activity, I grabbed my camera and crept into the shade of a Northwest canopy. Overhead I saw this ... a family of four North American [...]

2018-02-13T03:56:28+00:00August 13th, 2014|Blog, Mammals|11 Comments

North American Beaver … Eating Lily Pads Like Enchiladas

It's like waiting for a geyser to erupt ... or an eclipse. There's a start time to this endeavor. At 6:45p, we're told, a North American beaver or two (or more) will swim into this stew of lily pads and systematically take them down for dinner. They have a lodge not far away, this family of four. It's plain good fortune on our part, taking a spontaneous walk on the shoreline trail, that we encounter a local [...]

2019-02-01T20:59:44+00:00May 13th, 2014|Blog, Popular Posts|11 Comments

The Magical Mystery Tour of Tent Caterpillars

When I saw the first signs of tent caterpillars outside our flat, I kept the sighting to myself. We have a neighbor, a home owner just up the hill who screams at crows -- and who dead-heads her plants to the point of denuding them. I knew if she saw this tiny tent on the fir tree, she'd make short work of the squirmers inside. This spring we had what's called an "outbreak" of [...]

2019-02-01T02:41:39+00:00July 14th, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|11 Comments

Faces of the 18th Weir

They sit suspended at the 18th weir, these scaled faces in the sockeye crowd. It's the window to their water world, the portal from ocean to stream to lake, where their gills remember the taste of fresh after years in the salty sea -- and where they lead -- at least in part -- by magnetic memories of the gravel beds where they were born. They're surging forward across the solstice and into summer [...]

2019-02-01T05:43:48+00:00July 1st, 2013|Blog|4 Comments

Clever, Corrugated Starlings

With starlings, I am often an outlier, even among people who share my conservation ethics and love for wildlife. That's because I appreciate starlings in a way that defies conventional dislike for the species in the United States. I wrote about this in a 2009 post about European Starlings and their introduction to the U.S. in the late 19th century: "Starlings are related to Mynahs, both in the family Sturnidae. They’re exceptional mimics. In [...]

2019-02-01T05:57:50+00:00June 20th, 2013|Blog|23 Comments

Birds Flying High … You Know How I Feel

[My homage to Nina Simone, in the form of blurred wings and texturized Dunlins.] click for larger image - ©ingridtaylar When thousands of shorebirds frolic on the mire, their wingbeats rattle like seashells strung in the wind ... just the lightest of chimes, near silent except for the rush of air over 15,000 pairs of wings. They become a coil, spiraling sometimes at 40 miles per hour into shape shifters, turning their plumage [...]

2013-04-29T23:32:06+00:00April 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|10 Comments

Herons + Friends With Totipalmate Feet

It begins with a twig in the bill and the throaty croak of the swamp. They're creatures of the marshes, the Great Blues, now on ascent to a season in the trees where nests incubate eggs, and where clumsy young legs will soon dawdle on branches until they get their wings. They call this place the satellite colony, since the rest of the rookery is tucked in a ravine so lush it might as [...]

2019-02-01T21:14:44+00:00April 5th, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|5 Comments

Sea Lion Branding in Oregon

California Sea Lions at Westport, Washington - ©ingridtaylar Because this is happening a few hours from home, I'm posting to bring some attention to the issue. I haven't included any graphic photos, but the subject matter is the hazing and culling of California sea lions. Just south of our Washington border, in Astoria, Oregon, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is trapping and branding sea lions at the Bonneville Dam on the [...]

2013-03-27T01:10:51+00:00March 27th, 2013|Hunting, Marine Mammals, Uncategorized|17 Comments

She, the Fusiform One

"She" could be a "he," this harbor seal, and only she knows -- stirring from the depths and shallows of Elliott Bay, gliding, reflected alongside us. She rounds the rock bend ... she, the fusiform one, tapered and sleek ... propelled through the tide by hind flippers. Harbor Seal - ©ingridtaylar In a pinniped world where there's no strong, visible distinction* between she and her male, I err on the side of feminist [...]

2013-03-15T02:04:37+00:00March 15th, 2013|Marine Mammals, Uncategorized|1 Comment

City Bird, Winter Light

Photographed at Union Bay Natural Area in Seattle • Olympus E-3 + Zuiko 50-200mm + EC14 I'm tracking, with my lens, a Yellow-rumped Warbler who's bouncing around her kingdom. She stops then hops, as warblers often do. And, for a split second, she clears the branches and looks back at me, bearing the criss-cross shadows of her woods: Yellow-rumped Warbler at UBNA - ©ingridtaylar A warning croak in my left ear signals an [...]

2013-03-05T12:21:20+00:00March 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|8 Comments

Studies in Ghost Geese

The first time I witnessed a blast of Snow Geese I described it this way: 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 [...]

2013-02-11T01:32:56+00:00February 11th, 2013|Photography, Uncategorized|5 Comments

Fellow Prisoners of Splendor

"In a world older and more complete than ours, [animals] move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth." Henry Beston in The Outermost House Seat I [...]

2013-01-31T00:36:17+00:00January 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|12 Comments

Everything’s Coming Up Snowy

Edited to add: Originally, I posted the location of where we hiked to see the Snowy Owls. It's fairly common knowledge around Washington, but I suffered post-blogging pangs about revealing the location of a popular species like a Snowy Owl. After chatting with a wildlife photographer I dearly respect, I've decided to remove those references. Last year, I witnessed the frenzy and ethical breaches surrounding the Snowy Owl irruption, and my general policy is to [...]

2013-01-21T21:20:46+00:00January 21st, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|20 Comments

[Northern] Flickering

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. Aggressive displays such as "bill directing" or "bill poking" are used by flickers. That is, a flicker may point his bill at a rival with his head inclined forward, or actually peck at an opponent. A more aggressive display is "head [...]

2013-01-15T22:40:07+00:00January 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|8 Comments

10,000 Crows and Counting

This is what it looks (and feels) like when you're standing under 10,000+ crows, coming home to roost. I shot the video well after dusk, so I had to crank exposure up in iMovie, causing pixel issues. Still ... you'll get the idea. This occurs every dusk in Bothell, Washington, when crows from Seattle, Snohomish and other parts in between fly to their nightly roost. I had never seen a roost of this magnitude, and [...]

2013-01-02T17:00:29+00:00January 2nd, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|16 Comments

A Makeshift Hummingbird Feeder Heater

Heating hummingbird feeders was a new thing for me after moving to Seattle. Here, Anna's Hummingbirds stay through the winter, and although the cold months are relatively temperate, there are enough freezing mornings when nectar turns into slush or ice. My first go-round with enabling the local hummingbirds came our first winter with Mr. Hummingway. I wrote about that here, A Bird Called Hummingway, and here,

2012-11-11T16:29:50+00:00November 11th, 2012|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Swifty Monroe

It doesn't just happen in Monroe ... but we took a spontaneous trip to Monroe where it does happen. Vaux's Swifts, up and down their migration corridor, appropriate chimneys for their nightly roosting ritual. In the Bay Area, the Healdsburg swift event was one of those things I'd always meant to attend but never did. So, when I saw mention of the swifts on our local birding list, I coaxed Hugh out to Monroe with [...]

2012-09-20T15:33:03+00:00September 20th, 2012|Birds|8 Comments

Steam as Bird Backdrop

My affection for wildlife in urban and industrial settings brings me the subject of steam. There are obviously a lot of distracting elements in urban photography. Although I lean toward a photojournalistic style of realism when I encounter them, I also find it challenging to show the grit of these scenes while retaining some aesthetic and balance in the shot. That's when I'm shooting wider, contextual shots. For closeups, even in the city grind, I [...]

2012-09-08T15:24:49+00:00September 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Lake Union House + Boats

Photograph: Panasonic TZ5 (point and shoot), 15sec, f3.3, ISO100 On a Seattle night, with stars cloaked in stratocumlus clouds, when the only sight is a wisp of a rowing scull slithering under the University Bridge, the houseboats sit reflected and polished in the waters of Lake Union. I shot this near Eastlake, on Portage Bay, one of several houseboat locations around Seattle. What was once a community of floating homes in the thousands, [...]

2012-08-31T09:44:12+00:00August 31st, 2012|Uncategorized, Urban|4 Comments

Osprey: From Platform to Pairing to Fledging

There are three Osprey nests within three miles of our place ... one is a pile of branches, marine rope and police tape, layered on a new platform over Commodore Park. The platform was built after Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) removed an ages-old nest on an even older communications tower on a railroad bridge.   Old Osprey Nest - Railroad Bridge Tower - ©ingridtaylar   Old Osprey Perch Below the Nest [...]

2012-08-14T01:50:55+00:00August 14th, 2012|Birds|10 Comments
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