Wildlife
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I’m not sure how I see them. It is the most turbulent day of winter yet. Wind tears through the firs that surround Key Center. I scuttle across the highway and aim for Capitol Lumber, eyes … more
A Key Peninsula tradition — rowing to a favorite spot to set out a crab pot or wading during low tide with a net or a pitchfork to scoop up a meal’s worth of fresh crab — came to a … more
On a normal Sunday afternoon in October most Western Washington residents are dodging damp weather to watch a Seattle Seahawks win. This wasn’t a normal October Sunday. It was 72 degrees and … more
Last month, writing about what to anticipate in our natural world, I pointed to the return of rain as one of September’s most important events. Hold on. That was two months ago. … more
A mass stranding of lion’s mane jellyfish shocked Key Peninsula beach walkers during the second week of August — and made swimmers think twice about getting in the water. “I have never seen … more
Ever seen a groundcone? This summer two people have sent me snapshots of this strange plant. A groundcone looks about how it sounds, like a pine cone growing out of the ground, translucent yellow and … more
This is a tale of two homes. They sit side by side above me, a low old house among big trees and a nearly finished new construction. I am here to watch the eagle show. The homes overlook one of … more
The muddy easement passes two just-built houses and a fifth-wheel before plunging into the woods. Then the roadbed itself plunges down a ravine. A landslide has scooped away the hillside below, … more
Listen for the loud “klee-klee-klee” call of greater yellowlegs in estuaries and flooded fields. This shorebird passes through the Key Peninsula during spring and fall migrations. Watch … more
At last, I find a frog. It is spread-eagled in the shallow water like a lost toy. Its throat floats before it as round and sheer as a soap bubble, pushing its head up. It looks almost pathetic as it … more
While drivers rattle the Purdy bridge in cars and trucks, fly fishers often stand thigh deep in saltwater below at the mouth of the Burley Lagoon, their attention fixed on a far different … more
Agates and oysters. A clear tide. Stories.  I am south of Driftwood Annie’s point, strolling Pitt Passage with two veteran beach walkers. The going is wonderfully slow. “It … more
All this rain has flooded the nearby pastures. You know your pond has just about become a lake when the regular dabblers like mallards and wigeons are joined by diving … more
Let’s take a ramble. Let’s head through this soggy pasture and aim for the woods. Think of all we’ve seen in the last year on the KP, the encounters with deer and moths, the … more
A Beaver Poop Mystery The dam is deep in a thicket and quite small. To reach it I’m forced to crab-walk into the lively creek below it. Salmonberry canes extract the small blood offering … more
As I work my way down a forested draw in Filucy Bay Preserve, tree frogs call. Ferns and logs guide me through a series of pinch points where deer have squeezed before me. more
Fall again. Heavy sunflower heads have fallen and the clouds of goldfinches that came for their seeds have scattered into the trees. Rain falls and rotting resumes. Down come the soggy stems of … more
Ask the KP Nature Guide: Moles more
Snakes Eaten, Snakes Eating Recently a friend asked me if there are birds that eat garter snakes. A few, I told him. Red-tailed hawks are known for making off with snakes. It is always an odd … more
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