[Tweeters] Hold the Phone!

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Fri Mar 4 09:10:09 PST 2016

Yesterday I drove to Sequim to get a new cell phone. Reluctant to embrace new digital technology, my old (8 or so years) hand-me-down phone finally forced me to - it had stopped ringing. Calls were coming thru still, but to deal with expected incoming calls I had to sit there holding on to the phone to see calls coming in - makes it kinda hard to get any work done.
Waiting for a critical phone info call back on my phone, I left the phone store, set the timer on my phone (at least that still worked) and made to short drive over to nearby Dungeness Nature Center - I had a half hour before my call was supposed to happen.
The Nature Center park is very nice - right by the river. One of the things Port Townsend don't have is a river. Port Townsend don't even have a creek, so far as I've found (one area of wetlands I have yet to check out maybe does). The only place in town I've heard the sound of flowing fresh water is at the ol' victorian water fountain downtown. For a dose of natural stream sound I bop down south to nearby Chimacum to listen to gentle Chimacum creek.
The Dungeness River is waterworks of a whole different order: a short river with a steep gradient from the mountains to the salt water, this braided stream ,carrying a big load of rocks, looks more like a mountain river as it flow thru ol' lowland Sequim. Braided creeks (or rivers) are also prone to episodic changes in flow volume which was shown by all the piles of exposed big cobble rock, and by some impressive log jams. All that stuff got there somehow.
The Dungeness has recently put the rip back in riparian - the woods along the river had fresh deposits of flood sands and silts far in from the river, and newly fallen cottonwoods and such had fallen into the river from newly eroded banks. In the understory of the mostly cottonwood and alder woods, the new greens of Indian Plum and Snowberry glowed in the filtered sunlight.
The roar of the Dungeness was not so conducive to birding by ear, but finally, near the old bridge, I heard a persistent call from the brush - a Hutton's Vireo! Despite being in a lot of good Hutton's habitat over the past few years, I've rarely heard them "singing", and never, as I recall, this early. Exciting to hear my totem bird again. The vireo was in a mixed flock of CB and BC Chickadees, and a single Brown Creeper. Out on a gravel bar on the river, was one of those river ducks - a brilliant male Common Merganser. Wow.
A long-time water snooper, I looked under rocks, and in pools for water "bugs" and found my old friends of clean water habitat- stonefly, mayfly, and caddisfly larvae underwater, and water striders atop the water. In the sunny woods saw a nice big Bumblebee with a orange and yellow butt, and blooming Red-flowering Currants - more signs of spring.
A volunteer trail crew was busy repairing the old bridge. The crew was mostly old too - always nice to see older folks still working. Nice to see young people working also.
Well, one of the perks of the new phone is that I can use it for a wifi source in my new digs. Now I can type tweeters post from my ol' couch again. Thats progress.
Jeff GibsonPort Townsend Wa

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