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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

Meadowhawk Cleared for Landing

I'm taking a long break from my writing here at the blog, to finish some creative projects.  I'll be posting some of my favorite photos and photo-tunes in this spot. (Ziggy Marley, today). Thanks, my friends, for sticking around and for giving this space a little heartbeat. :) Variegated Meadowhawk on approach • Sympetrum corruptum Olympus OM-D E-M1 + Zuiko 50-200mm • 1/4000 • f4.0 • ISO 500 Dragonflies and damselflies like to return to [...]

2019-02-01T00:47:51+00:00June 9th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Postcards from a Freegan Raccoon

If I had a photography motto it might be "follow the crows." As sentries of the canopy, crows know what's going on. So I pay attention. If it mattered at all to crows, they could tell me who shattered my car window last month and who stole our Christmas tree (with decorations) back in 1995. What obviously does interest crows is those pesky interlopers, especially during prime nesting season. Around here, that interloper is most often a Bald Eagle. [...]

2019-02-01T00:51:42+00:00May 20th, 2014|Blog|1 Comment

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|@Popular Posts, Blog|11 Comments

Living in Your Own Private Cryosphere

Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues. Water is always in flux, mutable -- liquid, vaporous, frozen -- evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. And, it stores life, even as deep as 4000 meters below the East Antarctic ice [...]

2019-02-01T01:25:27+00:00December 12th, 2013|@Popular Posts, Blog|9 Comments

Rilke in a Seattle Autumn

I first read Rainer Maria Rilke one autumn in "Letters to a Young Poet" -- a book handed off to me with pages stained by office carbons. Rilke's letters to Franz Kappus, published by Kappus after Rilke's death, are sympathetic and inspired. There's a reason this collection finds its way to the paws of young writers, as it did mine that fall day. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and [...]

2019-02-01T01:26:27+00:00November 25th, 2013|Blog|9 Comments

Welcome Home, Seattle Ducks!

I spotted my first migratory ducks on the urban shores of Elliott Bay last week. The new arrivals are on edge -- wary and easy to flush. Lifting my lens is enough to send them skittering to the middle of the bay, and I can only imagine what sights and sounds have jarred them into high alert on their long journey home. I think of how far the winter ducks soar, finally dipping into [...]

2019-02-01T01:56:38+00:00November 15th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Gull Chicks and Gateway Birds

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."~ Artist Georgia O'Keeffe Gulls are among the birds I call "gateway birds." They're common and accessible. They [...]

2019-02-01T02:37:15+00:00August 1st, 2013|@Popular Posts, Blog|22 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|@Popular Posts, Blog|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

Sleeping With the Fishes

This isn't the first time I've seen an Osprey napping with a fish in his talons. Last year, while observing the platform way across Seattle's long-abused-but-recovering Duwamish River I watched a male Osprey land on a utility pole, clutching a half-eaten meal. A crow who'd been tailing the Osprey, landed alongside. The Osprey perched, adjusted -- then appeared to doze off. The crow who'd been haranguing him for some leftovers seemed to be in [...]

2019-02-01T06:05:23+00:00June 16th, 2013|Blog|5 Comments

Great Blue Resilience

A few weeks ago, I walked by the Great Blue Heron rookery a short distance from our place. I expected to see the six or eight heron couples, draped over their nests in anticipation of egg hatching ... or maybe even the first raspy calls of young chicks rustling in the alders. Instead, this is who came my way. Heron + Branch - ©ingridtaylar And then another Great Blue, bearing the sign [...]

2019-01-30T21:35:26+00:00June 6th, 2013|Blog|12 Comments

I Wish I Was the Moon

Full moon rising orange over Seattle last night ... the real moon, not Photoshopped into the background. :) ~ click for larger image - ©ingridtaylar ~ I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case How will you know if you found me at last 'Cause I'll be the one, be the one, be the one With my heart in my lap I'm so tired, I'm so tired And I wish I was [...]

2013-04-26T05:26:36+00:00April 26th, 2013|Moon, Uncategorized, Urban, Weather|4 Comments

Welcome Back, Osprey!

Four of our six Seattle neighborhood Ospreys returned last week from the long haul of their migration. If you haven't seen the tracking maps showing Osprey travel routes, take a look at this website: Osprey migration maps. For these studies, Ospreys are fitted with light satellite transmitters that fall off after two to three years. In the time before the Ospreys lose the transmitter, researchers gather data about their final destinations and their various stops [...]

2013-04-13T19:07:11+00:00April 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|9 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|@Popular Posts, Blog|5 Comments

The Kingfisher Wasn’t Born to Think About It

"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? There are more fish than there are leaves on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher wasn't born to think about [...]

2013-03-27T23:52:56+00:00March 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|10 Comments

Surfin’ Seals

This great seal-pup video has been making the rounds. In case you haven't seen it yet ... Ethan Janson, a local windsurfer from Three Tree Point (south of Seattle) noticed that harbor seals were hauling out on a surfboard he'd tied to a buoy out in Puget Sound. He hooked up a GoPro camera, remotely, and captured this footage of a seal pup trying desperately to haul out on the slippery board. Before posting this, [...]

2013-03-18T12:01:14+00:00March 18th, 2013|Marine Mammals, Uncategorized, Wildlife Solutions|2 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