Wild Wednesday … Opossum!

It’s been a quiet week around the osprey nest. They’re hunkered down and sitting on the eggs. It’s a good week to share another one of our locals. I ran into this youngster out behind the log decks. I can never guess what animals I may bump into around the mill. Wildlife will exploit habitat wherever they find it.

 

If you like opossums and you want a great children’s book about an opossum I highly recommend Oh No! Baby-O. Written and illustrated by Mary A Livingston.

 

Wild Wednesday … Osprey Nest Update

On Monday morning an osprey returned!

Osprey

He came with no fireworks, no fanfare and no eagles.

The week prior the eagles were notably absent and the osprey hadn’t arrived. Last Monday when he did arrive the eagles had been gone for a week. They must have a nest elsewhere and were using the osprey nest as a private getaway. You can see the eagles here.

Now that he has arrived his vigil begins. The female is fashionably late every year. More osprey news to follow when she hits town.

Wild Wednesday … Wood Rat’s Nest

Bliss and I were out marking trees a few weeks ago when we came upon several wood rats nests. They build these large stick pile akin to a beaver lodge on land. They are very industrious creatures. They are also an important prey species for forest predators.

Bliss, wood rat nest

Bliss was very impressed with this massive collection of sticks. So impressed that she claimed it for herself. Sadly for her it wasn’t going to fit in my vest and she could only carry one stick at a time.

This clever rat built its nest in the trees. No sticks for Bliss from this one.

Bliss found a deer skull under the nest. “No Bliss it’s not a rat skull and no you can’t eat it!”

Wild Wednesday … Eagles Nest?

This is week that the osprey customarily return to their nest in the electrical tower at the sawmill. I haven’t seen them yet. Usually the male shows up a week or two before the female. This year they will be in for a bit of a surprise. A little over a month ago a pair of eagles moved in. I’m not sure how this will go, but the eagle are a lot bigger than the osprey. I’d have to put my money on the eagles. Click on the gallery to enlarge to photos and get the dirt.

Below are a few of the osprey posts over the years.

https://wordpress.com/post/theforesterartist.com/948

https://wordpress.com/post/theforesterartist.com/1056

https://wordpress.com/post/theforesterartist.com/1090

https://wordpress.com/post/theforesterartist.com/1703

https://wordpress.com/post/theforesterartist.com/2659

https://wordpress.com/post/theforesterartist.com/4017

 

Where There’s Smoke

I was in the Trinities this week and there was thick smoke everywhere. It’s burning season in Northern California. We had quite a lot of rain in late November. I assumed that some agency was doing a large burn project. However, I couldn’t see where the smoke was coming from. It appeared to be drift smoke.

During my drive down from the mountains I heard a news report. They reported that smoke from the Thomas Fire was drifting up the coast. I checked Google Earth that evening and the smoke had drifted nearly 500 miles from the Thomas Fire in Southern California to north of Redding. The residue of so many homes and so much wildland was adrift in this smoke.

wildfire, forestry, smoke, Thomas Fire

The late afternoon sun filtering through the smoke in the Trinities.

Billys Peak, Trinity River, smoke, wildfire, Thomas Fire,

Looking north toward Billys Peak across the old dredge tailings along the Trinity River.

 

reflection, forest, sun, smoke

Smoke tinted sunlight and trees reflect on an old dredge pond.

Wild Wednesday … Birds Around the Mill

I started this post last June, but never finished it. Better late that never. Here are just a few pictures of our birds that make their home at the Mill. It defies conventional wisdom that so much wildlife makes it home at an industrial complex and thrives. It’s all about the habitat.

wood ducks, ducks, birds, wildlife, nature, photography, sawmill

Wood Ducks.

osprey, birds, wildlife, nature, photography, sawmill

Osprey

wild turkey, turkey, hen, birds, wildlife, nature, photography, sawmill

Wild Turkey Hen

killdeer, birds, wildlife, nature, photography, sawmill

Killdeer

great blue heron, heron, birds, wildlife, photography, nature, sawmill

Great Blue Heron

black pheobe, pheobe, birds, wildlife, nature, photography, sawmill

Black Pheobe

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Cattle Egret

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Blackbirds on a pole stack.

 

Wild Wednesday … Denali Nat’l Park

Mary and I took a trip to Alaska last spring to spend time with family. While traveling from Fairbanks to the coast we took an afternoon to visit Denali National Park. It was the pre-season and the tour buses weren’t running yet. Therefore, we were able to drive 30 miles into the park. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and we weren’t to see the mountain.  On the positive side we were able to stop anytime we wanted to take pictures. In fact, our little group did so well spotting wildlife that we soon had a caravan of vehicles pulling off the road behind us so they could see the wildlife we found. The gallery below is just a few of the wonderful sights we enjoyed. Just click on the photos to enlarge them.

This was our first trip to Alaska, but won’t be our last. We had a terrific time. We were there for a week. These shots were just from one afternoon. Stay tuned for more pictures from Alaska.

Wild Wednesday … Mystery Butterfly!

I’ve been sitting in the middle of I5 for nearly 3 hours. They’re clearing an overturned big rig with a load of steel I-beams. I’m trying to think of something soothing. How about a butterfly. This one showed up on the porch this morning. Good thing the kitten wasn’t around.  Does anyone know it’s name?Normally, I’d have my sketch pad, but not today. I have a project to finish too. Instead I’ll have to settle for a butterfly.