[Tweeters] Currant Events

Teresa Michelsen teresa at avocetconsulting.com
Sun Feb 1 13:11:49 PST 2015

I was surprised to hear a Song Sparrow loudly singing in my garden
yesterday. seemed a bit early to me too, but who knows. My red currant is
not even close to flowering but I only planted it last year, so it may just
not be quite as deeply rooted yet. The honeysuckle vine is already leafing

Teresa Michelsen

Olympia WA

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeff Gibson
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2015 1:01 PM
To: tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Currant Events

Well, it sure has been a balmy January. I was mildly surprised at seeing a
turtle at the Fill on January 13th - mildly, because it was so mild out.
While often on sunny winter days around here, the breeze has a bit of winter
bite, that day even the breeze was mild.

Since then, it's been even warmer. Back on January 17th, I commented on our
subtle seasons, and noted how it wouldn't be long before the Pacific Chorus
Frogs were croaking here (latitude Port Townsend), and sure enough the next
day I heard two loudly croaking during the day on a Ford Worden walk. How
many voices does it take to qualify for a chorus? Maybe these two guys were
just Pacific Conversation Frogs. I don't know what they were talking about,
but the conversation sure was ribbeting.

Moving right along, on that same day at Fort Worden, I noted the continual
swelling of Indian Plum buds - even leaves unfolding, and on a nearby patch
of wet clay bank, a Coltsfoot bud, the size of a brussel sprout, emanated
from the ground.Later in the week I saw more of these sort of charismatic
perennials , sprouting up out of wet spots on the drift cliffs at North
Beach - a bit early.

Back where I'm camping at my parents house, there is a big 'ol Red
-Flowering Currant just outside my bedroom window, and there always seems to
be some kind of birdy thing going on in it, and it's a well known
hummingbird attractant. About ten days ago, I noted several Anna's
Hummingbirds attending this shrub: they were sort of poking at the yet
unopened flower buds - repeatedly, over several days.

Now, the Anna's Hummingbird is not known for it's great patience - it ain't
no heron. How could they be patient, jacked up on their main winter diet of
white sugar from feeders? Anyway, I did wonder what was going on. Can
hummingbirds smell?Did they just have a visual sense of flowers about to
unfold? Just plain impatience, like watching the microwave numbers click
down for your coffee re-heat?

"What do think yer gonna' accomplish with all this fussing?" I asked one
morning, "get the thing to bloom early? Kinda pushing the river, don't you
think?" I guess hummers are bigger drinkers than thinkers, because I didn't
get any response.

However, the Currant did start blooming the other day - a full month earlier
than last year. How about that.

Currently, my favorite bird juxtaposition is watching my parents "pet duck"
(really a big Glaucous-winged Gull) stand on the deck rail, begging, with
remarkable intensity, for food through the window. As it does, the Anna's
slurp at the feeder, also mounted on the deck rail -just two feet behind the
big gull. If the Gull was a hummingbird trojan horse, how many of the
little trojans could you fit in it? Quite a few I imagine.

So that's some currant events around here.

Jeff Gibson


Port Townsend Wa

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