[Tweeters] Autumn Falls on Port Townsend

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign15 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 1 13:03:53 PDT 2019

Well Autumn is falling on Port Townsend and it's pretty cool. Both beautiful and a bit cool. Lots of beautiful sights and sounds. On my regular walk up Artillery Hill in Fort Worden the first thing I heard was a V of about 100 Greater White fronted Geese. From up on the hill I could also hear a bunch of Red-winged blackbirds singing down on the Fort grounds something that you don't hear much around here. It seemed like there were more Ravens about than usual calling here there and all over. I heard an abbreviated fall song of a Pacific Wren and also a singing House Wren.

It also seemed like there were more squirrels and chipmunks running around. One chipmunk was climbing way out on narrow snowberry branches and eating snowberries. I can't remember ever seeing anything eat a snowberry before, beast or bird- I guess they're just not all that great eating. But here was this young chipmunk snarfing them down.

Bitter cherry is a tree that I had overlooked for years until the last decade or so but has become one of my favorites. Port Townsend is full of them. One of my favorite things about the tree is it's fine textured foliage which turns yellow one scattered leaf at a time starting in late July Now the bitter cherries at Fort Worden are turning fully gold at least some of them. It could be my imagination or maybe just paying more attention but this summer seemed to be a banner year for bitter cherry fruit some of the trees really loaded. I saw one tree out at Quimper West 80 (Jefferson land trust) that was so loaded I thought it was a giant English Holly for a moment. Birds love these berries but they are very bitter. I try one each year just to remind myself.

Further along my walk on the Hill another line of White fronted geese flew over yipping and I say yipping because not long after I came across a group of school kids talking with there leader about what they heard and they came to the conclusion that it was yipping coyotes. An honest mistake which I didn't bother correcting because I was exhausted and grumpy. Another Lost teaching moment but who knows maybe they figured it out later.

Jeff Gibson
Grumpy in
Port Townsend wa

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