Journal September 26, 2004

The hummingbirds have finally left, the white-throated sparrows are back and we saw wonderful, colorful spider.
I filled the hummingbird feeders one more time – to make sure there would be food for any strays – but we haven’t seen even one. Instead the feeders are full of bees – their wings make a sound like wind moving over the lip of a bottle as they fly up to the holes. It took us a long time to figure out where that odd sound was coming from.

The spider was on some of the seeds I had collected – so not quite from the farm. It was a Shamrock Orb Spider – here’s the picture.

We heard a Great Horned Owl early Sunday morning, and then last night, on our walk, we heard a huge flock of crows harrassing it, and heard it hooting. They were down in the bowl – too far down to see much except when they all flew to a different tree. What a comotion!

We heard a grouse drumming – for the first time since the spring. And we saw lots of migrants – a flock of flickers eating dogwood berries along the edge of the Cat’s Paw Prairie, several flocks of Canada Geese flying over, more cedar waxwings, and bluebirds everywhere.

Canada Geese

Cedar Waxwings

I’m still collecting a few seeds, and we’ve started cleaning them. I’ve collected many more this year, so there’s a lot of work yet to do. I ran out of floor space for drying in the basement, so I’ve moved upstairs – now that is pretty full too.

The Fringed Gentians are in bloom – the big patch in the main wetland is huge this year, with lots of small plants with just a few flowers scattered through the grass. And the patch at the lower end of East Center Valley – the one we planted – is getting bigger.

I saw a large falcon flying above the Narrows Prairie. It was barred underneath, had a distinct dark facial stripe, and a white bar at the end of the tail – I think it must have been a Peregrine Falcon.