[Tweeters] Spring On, Port Townsend

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sat Apr 8 09:03:17 PDT 2017

Wednesday (4/5) morning, after an errand in the rain, I made a brief stop at the Kah Tai Prairie - a remnant bit of native prairie here in Port Townsend- to check on the wildflowers.

Up till then the two predominant flowers were Spring Gold (Lomatium utriculatum) and Satin Flower (AKA Grass Widows, etc.) the high- priced name of which is Olsynium douglasii. (used to be Sisyrhinchium). Whatever you wanna call it, it is a beautiful sort of violet colored flower, and it seems to me that there is a bumper crop of it here this year, perhaps because of a fairly wet winter compared to last year's "California winter" around here. If you're in Port Townsend you might check it out.

Anyhoo, it's April and nature is speeding up. Any day now the showy Olsynium's will be subsumed by a wave of blue Camas, the grassy leaves of which are coming up all over now. Last year on 4/9 the place was covered in blue, but a little late this year with a colder winter.

For the record this little prairie remnant (stewarded by the local chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society) is located on the Port Townsend golf course: the prairie is two sections of rough vegetation surrounded by a low white chain fence which you pass as soon as you come in the entry road. Not particularly birdy, but Robins, and a Song Sparrow were singing.

Along with plenty of rain this spring, has been plenty of wind. Later on Wednesday the wind really came up. Not everybody likes strong wind, but some birds do. In twenty, thirty, forty mile-an-hour winds, some birds seem to be having a real good time, like gulls, crows , ravens,and Bald Eagles - in the high-powered aerodynamics they don't even have to flap. Watching crows goof around in the updraft created by wind hitting the bluffs here is fun - it's like a corvid skateboard park.

While larger birds were having fun, most of the lightweights were going for cover, except the lightest. Working out at Cape George in the afternoon was exciting. Taking a break sitting in a chair in the lee of my landscape clients house, the wind was gusting up in the mid- forty's , and right out in it a male Rufous Hummer was hovering , steady as a rock, before zooming up to the wind -rocked feeder.

Jeff Gibson

Port Townsend Wa

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