[Tweeters] Fill fire

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 10:36:13 PDT 2009

Hey tweets, well, it could have been a lot worse. The fire seems to
have begun just west of the juncture between Wahkiakum Lane and the
Loop Trail, on the east side of Shoveler's Pond. It fanned out
southwards toward East Point, burning pretty much everything until it
reached Boy Scout Pond (the vernal pond just north of Southeast Pond,
where we often have Solitary Sandpipers in the spring). Most of the
trees in the fields survived. The triple-trunk cottonwood in the
middle of the field got pretty scorched at the base, but it will
probably be okay. The little crab apple trees will probably also
survive. I'm not so sure about the Lone Pine Tree, however. Although
it is a ponderosa and should withstand fire well, it looks like it
burned all the way to the top. I hope that its insides are okay and
that it will regenerate next year.

Considering how dry everything is and how tall the prairie grasses are
now, I think the Fill dodged a big bullet. Having little or no wind
yesterday must have helped, as did the quick response of the Fire
Dept. and their skill. They had to connect a hose all the way from the
fire hydrant near the CUH building out to the fields. A fire truck
drove out there as well. It was also good that the baby birds nesting
in the fields were all pretty much out of the nests by now. The total
burned area was so restricted, all things considered, that I bet even
the snakes managed to get away.

Meanwhile this morning, the finches are having a bonanza. Because the
area has not been mowed yet, there must be a lot of seed on the
ground. One silver lining: we can probably look forward to a good
fall migration of sparrows, longspurs, and possibly larks.

The Main Pond escaped the fire completely. This morning, there were
two Long-billed Dowitchers at the north end, along with two Spotted
Sandpipers. A Belted Kingfisher kept diving off the dead willow snags,
catching little minnows, and then whaling the daylights out of each
fish before swallowing it. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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