[Tweeters] Deja Vu All Over Again

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign15 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 28 13:30:06 PST 2018

Well, it's a new year and I've enjoyed the first week of it up till now.
While at times calm, then exciting with high tides and wind, the weather
has now settled down into a classic hypothermia scenario here in Port
Townsend: 40 degree rain with a 34 degree windchill. The skies, typically
alive with gliding gulls, eagles, and whatnot, even on the windy days, are
currently empty. (oop, there goes one gull). The feeder activity way down.
Two Bushtit's are hunkering down in a dry part of the wisteria, just
outside my window.

First week? Well, I begin my New Year on the day after Solstice, the Winter
Solstice being an actual astronomical event marking the longer days to
come. It's much quieter than those artificial human New Year's when alot of
folks are either getting drunk and/or blowing things up.

December 24th was one of those calm days between storms, so I snooped
around Fort Worden. First I examined the woods along the trailer
campground. The last of the fall winds finally pushed all of the Red Alder
leaves off, exposing the bare trunks and branches - architecture that
supports a subdued rosy haze of new catkins - my favorite aspect of this
tree. Deja vu all over again.

The understory was alive with various small birds; both kinglet's , brown
creeper's, lot's of junco's, and a towhee, While salmonberry retained a bit
of fall color, most of it had gone to it's warm brown twigs. Snowberry
white and rosehip red added some color.Indian Plum was ready to go - new
buds bursting - along with new Hazel catkins.

Out on the beach, lots of new sand and driftwood. ( I was out there a day
or two later, at hightide and high wind, the waves full of debris, and my
face getting washed with salt spray - it was tricky standing up). Several
years ago a storm blew a gap through the dunes out by the light house,
killing the Shore Pine's with salt water and/or smothering the roots with
sand. The latest storms have also washed through - kelp bit's back in the

Saw another big male Sea Lion out at the point - good view of lots of big
teeth. Curious, I later googled up skull comparisons of Sea, and Land,
lions and found them quite similar - the big kitty a bit more extreme in
the dental department, but not by much.

It was calm, so I could see birds fairly well, including Guillemot's in
their winter underwear, a Brandt's Cormorant, and a dense group of 9
Harlequin Ducks, mostly males, diving off the point. Nice.

Jeff Gibson
Deja vu-ing in
Port Townsend Wa

Back at the ranch saw numerous Butterbutts (aka Yellow-rumped Warblers)
flycatching in the hedgerow - there's been a lot of 'em lately.
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