A Day in the Life… Part 7

In Part 5 the picture below appeared.

A harbinger of spring ?
I did not reveal who had made the tracks, but if you guessed the critters below then you were correct.

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This pair of Canada geese have been in and out several times. No doubt checking on the pond and open water….no such luck yet! It is interesting to note that geese show up on or about President’s Day ever year. Now I know you might be saying, but geese are around all winter. Well, I am referring to the pair that will eventual nest at Wahkeena in the spring.
On the plant side, the first native wildflower in now in bloom. Many of you may be familiar with this non-showy plant that grows in very moist soil conditions and goes by the name of Symplocarpus foetidus, common name – Skunk Cabbage. The species name “foetidus” refer to the fowl smell given off by the flower to attract pollinators. Note that the flower appears before the leaves fully emerge. 
A peek around the other side of the mottled spath of the plant reveals the opening to the interior. The club-shaped flower structure known as the spadix is hiding inside. 
Look just below the top point for the opening.

A cultivated flower planted by Carmen Warner, who create Wahkeena, is also trying to bloom. And most certainly would be in bloom if the temperature had not plummeted again.

Snowdrops

This flower is aptly named as it often blooms when snow is still present.

It has also been an interesting week for bird sightings. This past Monday I saw a pair of bald eagles about two miles north of the preserve along the Hocking River. Later that day, as I was going down the driveway at Wahkeena, two red-tailed hawks flew right over me! On Wednesday I saw two pairs of black vultures (each pair in a different location) that were feasting on road kill. And speaking of road kill….it’s skunk mating season.

Posted by Tom

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