The drive between Redding, CA and Roseburg, OR. on Interstate
5, takes you through some beautiful mountain scenery. Between Redding and the
Oregon border, Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta, 2 Cascade volcanoes can be seen. The
mountains of California and Oregon’s coastal range line both sides of the
highway. Because the area is so close to the Pacific ocean, the area is often
blanketed in a layer of stratus clouds and fog. But, don’t think of it as
dismal. In the morning and evening, the sun often pushes through the clouds casting
spotlights, replete with crepuscular rays, that play on the ridge tops and valleys
creating magical landscapes.
Returning from Seattle, we saw many such vignettes. One spot made me break the rules and pull off to photograph it. Fortunately, this spot gave us room to get off safely. I hope you’ll agree this image was worth it.
Note: To see image at higher resolution, please click on caption.
Over the past couple of months, I have been doing some birding in the area around home. Late fall and winter bring some birds migrating to warmer climates to join those that stay year around. Here are a few that live in the area most or all of the year.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.
The American Robin stays around all year, but I never see them in large numbers like I have seen them in other areas. They are a beautiful bird with a pretty song. They are very easy to spot; they hunt for worms and other insects on the ground in open areas.
The black phoebe is a flycatcher. They like to live near the water, You can see them perched on trees, hunting for insects or arthropods. When they spot something take it while in the air or diving upon their prey while it is on the ground.
The spotted towhee likes to hide in the underbrush and eat insects. Look for fluttering in the brush pile and watch carefully you just might catch a glimpse of one.
The white breasted nuthatch can be seen scampering up, down and around tree branches and trunks in search of food. They are fun to watch as they move quickly while searching and descend headfirst when going downward. They primarily eat insects but do also eat nuts.
The bushtit is a tiny bird mostly found in small flocks. They fly from tree to tree staying only a very short time. They primarily dine on small insects and spiders.
At last, the rainy season has arrived in northern California. The dry season runs from April through October so, when rain arrives, it is a wonderful thing to see. But humans aren’t the only ones that appreciate the new fallen rain. Some of the birds were happy to see puddles form so that they could perform their ablutions also!
Note: Please click on caption to see image in higher resolution.
To be correct for the season, I should have had a cardinal on a bright green holly sprig draped with bright red berries and snow. However, I was in southeastern Oklahoma and had to settle for a frost covered crepe myrtle. But, the Northern Cardinal is a beautiful bird that looks lovely in almost any environment. I am happy to have gotten a few images to share with you. To my friends who celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali and Kwanza, may they brighten your holiday season. To those friends who don’t celebrate those holidays, may they brighten your week.
Note: Please click on caption to see these images at higher resolution.
We made a visit to rural southeastern Oklahoma recently. While there, I was amazed at the number of red tailed hawks I saw. Much of the countryside was pastureland and I imagine it provided a lot of good food for the rodents and, in turn, the hawks. One day, I also saw a bald eagle in the grass, alongside the road.