Wildlife
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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
The days are hot and the nights are warm. By day I’m lucky to see two or three butterfly species. By night the moths swarm, pale shapes like prisms around the edges of my house. At my black … more
A commotion has been building outside. It has been building for days now. Some sort of forage fish is massing along the shoreline, and it has drawn a feeding frenzy of gulls, mergansers, cormorants, seals and eagles from miles around. more
By now, Grace Bennett is an old hand at lizard keeping. She is 5 years old, and her pet for the last year has been a northern alligator lizard named Baraka. Grace lives on a 5-acre farm near … more
On the first day of spring over 60 degrees, I find a currant decked out with pink pendant blooms. It radiates a fragrance of heat, sweat and pollen. more
On a slanting boardwalk over a forested swamp, I pause. It’s not just Pacific wrens singing these days. Song sparrows and towhees fire off their songs. Salmonberry thickets stand with their … more
Bald Eagle vs. Common Goldeneye The goldeneye duck, separated from its compadres, came to the surface to suck in some oxygen. The eagle swooped. The duck frantically dove. The eagle climbed to 10 … more
Wildlife of the Key Peninsula more
I sit in a stand of trees, screened by filbert leaves, on the edge of a field in the woods. The earth is damp and the air stirs restlessly. It’s that time of year when buck black-tailed deer, normally nocturnal, move recklessly, their necks swollen and their antlers crusted with the bark of saplings. I have come to watch them. more
Last month the silver salmon came to Glen Cove. Each year their arrival roughly coincides with the first great rainfalls of autumn, when the Pacific Ocean reminds us of its presence by sending us waves of wind and fog and darkness — and salmon. more
A dolphin has been putting on a show around the southern tip of the Key Peninsula. “The acrobatics I witnessed were incredible and unlike anything else outside of Sea World,” said … more
Been thinking about bats. I’ve been going out on the beach after dusk to spend time with them. As a kid, I threw rocks and watched them pick up my projectiles with their echolocation. They … more
Using science to limit slug damage. Slugs are different things to different people: a gardener’s nightmare, a forest worker breaking down decomposing forest vegetation, … more
Coyotes are singing on the peninsula. They wake me in the wee hours. My mind needs a good minute or two to figure out if the eerie sounds more
The Asian giant hornet, an invasive species with a craving for honey bees, has been spotted in northwestern Washington. A winged giant has found its way to Washington … more
Springtime comes to the peninsula. The soil warms and bird songs light up the mornings. In the forest you no longer tramp recklessly … more
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