[Tweeters] Spring

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Mar 20 19:04:49 PDT 2016

Yup, it was officially the first day of Spring here in Port Townsend, so I wandered about to see what I could see.
Yesterday the clouds parted a bit around sunrise providing a nice light and cloud show, the sun coming up just north of Mt. Pilchuck on the Cascade skyline. This morning the Sun came up due West - unseen in the clouds. It is kinda uplifting to see the Sun come up a little further North each week, making for longer days till Solstice.
I started the day by walking up the hill a block to listen to the tree frog chorus in the nearby retention pond, which is temporarily retaining the loud croakers. Very nice.
Later, in the grey gloom, I went out to Fort Worden and starting at the Marine Science Pier, looked around. Pretty dim light, and didn't see much in the unlit water. There was a slinky Otter on the float, and a male Bufflehead diving around inside the pier. I think a male Bufflehead would make a good Secchi duck - a Secchi disk being a plate marked off in black and white quarters and used by students of aquatic things to measure turbidity of the water - by lowering the disk into the water and marking the depth at which the disk disappears from sight. The black and white Bufflehead showed up quite nicely as it dove down in the clear water, never quite disappearing. I guess my organic Secchi duck idea wouldn't work too well, the Bufflhead being too hard to keep track of. Too zippy.
Then I walked the grey sandy beach out to Pt. Wilson, the water of the Sound very calm, and just enough dim sunlight to turn the whole grey scene into "oyster light", water and sky achieving that nacreous glow like the inside of an Oyster shell. A few RB Mergansers, Guillemots and a single Common Loon dotted the water. Way out in the tide rips were large numbers of Rhinocerous Auklets - I guesstimated several thousand -and I wondered what fish were on the menu out there.
Out near the point, lots of blooming Mahonia, and also Red-flowering currants. I thought about my wok when I noted, once again, tender Mustard plants gone wild out there - good stir-fried. And walking back out the road I noted about a million tiny blooming Collinsia plants carpeting broad swaths of the dunes - sort of a mauve wash from a distance, bright blue and purple close-up. They are very short.
On the way back to my little cubbyhole in Frog Town, I stopped briefly at the little Kah Tai Prairie on the PT golf course to watch flowers - no Killdeer today - but lots more yellow Lomatium, and pinky/purply/magenta Olsynium. That looked like about it, aside from some low Mahonia's blooming, but driving out, I noticed a different blue on the downhill section - about a half-dozen of the first Camas - more soon to come.
Jeff GibsonPort Townsend Wa

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