This is a picture of my new study site. Right outside my home office window! You can see that Kim and I put up some bird feeders, even though the yard is a mecca for winter feeding flocks. Already a larder, it is shared by flocks of robins, juncos, kinglets, chickadees, starlings, and is guarded by a resident Bewick’s Wren and Towhee among many other visitors.
My plan is to do a weekly Study Site post as I work my way through Wolf Journey again, starting with Part 1 (naturalist mentor) and continuing through Parts 2 (traditional herbalist) plus 3 (survival scout) and 4 (wildlife tracker) then beyond through 8. I’m really looking forward to it, spurred on by the energy of all the new classes starting up, as well as by Kim doing the same thing. Already I could post about the raccoons living under the house, or the possum behind the garage, or the resident red tails, cooper’s hawk and geese in the field, the tanagers sining in the treetop yesterday, or the hummingbird which flew next to the window last week checking out Hawthorne Berries like so many other birds. But those can each be individual posts as they occur again.
Instead, my plan is to start simple. Take a look at the picture below which looks out across Kim’s grandparent’s old field, now owned by the city after walmart bought it for them as mitigation for building up on south hill. The field has been planted with natives, and is awaiting the digging of a 3 acre pond to be back-filled by Clark’s Creek, and incredible salmon spawning stream separating the field from the huge attached park of the same name.
Can you recognize the kind of catkins hanging in left part of the picture? Or howabout the red and yellow swathes of buds out toward the creek? Impossible to see are the fuzzy buds of willow starting to emerge from that basil-like tree shrub off to the right, or the still somewhat upright, reddish catkins on the small alders behind it. We had a cold December, and now a warm January, and I’m hoping the plants know what they are doing, as I’m not super familiar with the timing of these trees and shrubs at this elevation and location which is nearly sea-level, not far from the sound, and a bit farther south than I lived before.
What are you seeing out there? If you need direction, just go to