Snow Day


It’s a snow day today. The birds don’t seem to be thrilled, but they are doing what they can to scrounge food during the icy downpour. A hummingbird is sitting on a snowberry bush and flashing me like a red streetlight.


The juncos are the most common feeder bird right now, but there are warblers and sparrows as well.


It’s really starting to come down.



Meet our Mexican street dog. On January 3rd, she was still in Los Barriles, Mexico. Today, she was walking in the cold air of our Pacific NW winter. Her home town is at the far south end of the Baja peninsula. We should try to visit there and see if she has any kin we could recognize.

My wife and I have speculated that she may have been rounded up in a sweep of feral dogs.


However she ended up here, we have been lucky to have her. This dog is very sweet. She’s actually snoring softly in her little crate at the foot of our bed right now.

Walks with Charlie

For the past few days, we’ve been dog-sitting. Charlie, the dog in question, has known us for a while now and every so often, he stays with us while his owner is out of town. I have been pretty busy at work recently and so I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about having an animal around the house, but I’ve really enjoyed this visit. Maybe it is because I have been busy, that I haven’t really been exercising lately. Having a dog around is a good excuse to get off your butt.

Townie by Tygh
Townie, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

During our recent outings, the weather has been pretty clear and so I have brought the camera along. So apart from the exercise, I also get a few pictures I can keep.

Chickadee, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.


Fenceline, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

I have noticed a few unusual things while I am out. The shot above shows how the frost is melting in the shadow of the fence. I thought it was interesting that the fence has straight sections, but the areas where the frost is still prominent are curved.

Fenceline, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.


Fenceline, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

There were a surprising number of things that were growing and even blooming in the relative cold of the Northwest in December.

I am very much enjoying Charlie’s visit. He seems to like our walks as much as I do.

Sorry Girl

Flicker by Tygh
Flicker, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

I found this Northern Flicker at the suet feeder today with an obvious trauma to her right wing. She seemed strong and was effectively defending her turf against the starlings, but there was no way she was flying anywhere.

I thought about it for a minute; should I leave her there to be easy prey for a cat or another animal, or perhaps to just freeze to death? It is the natural order, on the other hand, it’s hard for me to do nothing.

In the end, I decided that if she was able to recover, the Portland Audubon Society would take her and give her a safe place to recuperate. If she were doomed, then the trip to Audubon would still be her best shot.

I walked out, and followed her down the fence a few yards. She jumped on the ground where I was easily able to pick her up. I got a little bit of blood on my hands as I moved her into a box for transport.

In the end, her prognosis was very bad. her wing was broken at the wrist and the folks at Audubon said that she would never fly again. Their only real option would be to euthanize her.

I was sad to hear this, but the gentleness and professionalism of the staff made me feel better about bringing her in.

Our back yard will be just a little less colorful without her.