Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Band Tailed Pigeons
Today I took a little walk to see what was happening in the forest around me.
The first thing I saw were these Band Tailed Pigeons.
They have long tails which, when opened in flight, display a white band.
They fill the forest with their beautiful cooing.
They arrive every April and nest in the tall trees.

Stellar Jay

Another favorite of mine is the Stellar Jay. These are year round residents. They are the 'watch dogs' of the forest, announcing with mimicking cries, predators such as hawks and eagles. When other birds hear them sound the alarm, they find shelter.  

Salmon Berry Blooms

The Salmon Berry Bushes are blooming.  You have to agree, the flowers are as pretty as a wild rose. Hummingbirds love these. They produce salmon colored, raspberry-like fruit which Robins and other fruit eating birds love. They spread by runners and form thickets of 6-12 foot tall spiny, arching shrubs.

Bleeding Heart

The wild Bleeding Heart are also blooming. They carpet the forest floor with their delicate, lacy foliage and nodding pink flowers.

Bleeding Heart carpeting the forest floor
I carefully stay on the path to avoid crushing the delicate plants.

Bracken Fern - 3-5 ft. - deciduous - single stalk

Ferns are starting to unfurl new fronds. We have many kinds of ferns, including these Bracken Fern, the beautiful, delicate lady fern, which I encourage in my gardens, and the leathery, evergreen Ostrich fern that form large clumps that live for many years and populate the forest floor.

Lady Fern - 2-3 ft. deciduous, clump forming
Another evergreen is the Oregon Grape with its arching, holly-like branches and sweet smelling yellow flower bracts. Bees like this, and later small purple 'grapes' form that are a favorite of the forest birds and small animals. This plant spreads into large colonies beneath evergreen trees in dense shade. It makes a handsome ground cover with its glossy leaves.
Oregon Grape
Today I added a new entry to my nature journal; Band Tail Pigeon.
I included the date, place, characteristics, breeding habits, and other pertinent information.
I have a feather, too! 

I started this journal to record the flora and fauna in the forest around me. It also doubles as a sketching journal. I will share it with you as I go along.

I like making journals. I have a travel journal that I take with me on trips. I make little sketches of favorite places and write down all that I have experienced. A journal lets you describe with all of your senses. Sight, touch, scent, taste, sound. Sometimes I press interesting flowers, feathers or leaves inside the pages, or tickets and ephemera. You can forget so much if you wait. It gives you something wonderful to look back on. It also gives you something to do on long days of relaxation while on vacation.

I have another journal just for writing down inspirational thoughts, quotes and ideas.
I also have a personal journal. This records my feelings about day to day events. Sometimes just writing down a problem gives you the solution as you go along, or it just makes you feel like you are getting it off your chest without burdening someone else.

Journals can be kept for so many reasons. Art, cooking, travel, nature, family, personal, decorating, fashion, writing, poetry....the sky is the limit.

Do you keep a journal?


  1. Hi, Karen! Yes, I have kept a journal since I was 8 or 9 years old. Mostly it was just daily musings, travel, and I kept a wine journal for a while..but I lost all of my journals in Katrina, so I only have the ones I've kept since 2005. And - I do not sketch! My sketches would look nothing like your pretty pictures. <3

  2. Hi Stacy Lyn, I am not surprised that you have kept journals all of your life! Writing is in your blood! I am so sorry that you lost them all in Katrina. You will have to do some blog posts on your experience. I can't even imagine. xx

  3. Maybe one day I will blog about it. I try to keep my posts kind of light...and Katrina is such a heavy topic. But maybe one day. <3


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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