Showing posts from March, 2015


While the madness is going on elsewhere, March is a time of peaceful transitions in nature.  Winter becomes spring in March and nature starts to come alive.  This month, I have been exploring Deception Pass State Park sites and found some interesting things going on. The Black Oystercatchers have returned to their nesting site in the Kukutali Preserve.  Last week, I found them relaxing on their Flagstaff Island beach.  All winter, I think they have been hanging out with their friends on Fraggle Rock  over at West Beach. Nearby, the Oregon Grape has been in full bloom since February.  I think that's a Sweat Bee in the left photo, and a pair of flies have found something interesting in the right one.  Click or right-click the photos to view them full size. I found more interesting things on a hike around the Goose Rock Perimeter Trail that borders Cornet Bay. I did not expect to see Death Camas and Harsh Paintbrush blooming along the trail in March.  

The Rhododendron Trail

From the Rhododendron Trail in 2014 Nature Blog Scavenger Hunt:    With this post, Fidalgo Island Crossings is participating in a scavenger hunt featuring Pacific Northwest nature blogs.  Kelly Brenner ( Metropolitan Field Guide ) is hosting the event.  Answer questions from the featured blogs and you could win one of the prizes: A nature book from Timber Press A one-year Washington State Discover Pass A Burke Museum Environmental Writers' Workshop Discount A signed copy of Welcome to Subirdia by John Marzluff A raven pendant by June Hunter Join us at the  Metropolitan Field Guide  beginning Monday, March 16, 2015 at 08:00 a.m. PDT (15:00 GMT) until midnight Friday, March 22, 2015 (07:00 Monday GMT) for some nature blogging fun (date extended). ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The Rhododendron Trail is not a highway connecting a chain of garden centers.  It is a real trail in a real forest and the rhododendron is a wild, native species.  Exploring this Rhododendr

Meteorological Spring

Native Red-flowering Currant blooming in the Kukutali Preserve The seasons of the year, spring, summer, fall and winter are each about three months in duration.  There are two reckonings for determining the seasons, astronomical and meteorological .  The astronomical reckoning is established by the tilt positions of the earth relative to the sun.  These positions are referred to as equinoxes and solstices.  An equinox occurs on a date when the durations of daylight and darkness are equal.  These happen on roughly March 20 and September 22.  The March equinox determines the start of astronomical spring.  For 2015, this will occur on Friday, March 20 at 22:45 Greenwich Mean Time.  In the Pacific Northwest, that will happen at 3:45 PM daylight time. Solstices occur when the sun reaches its highest and lowest points in the sky.  In other words, the earth is tilted furthest toward or away from the sun for the observer.  These occur around June 21 and December 22 and mark the beginn