The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group. It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you. Insects, weather, fish, climate, birds and/or flowers. All are worthy additions to the bucket. Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located.Seattle. February 14, 2013.
We've had a relatively mild winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Even so, there have been long periods of deep grey damp, where what light there is presses down on your shoulders as you walk, slowing your gait and forcing you to consider the details.
The edges of the forest are sheltered, some by proximity to water, others by a southern exposure. This week I found the first ripe Western Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) catkins of the year near the eastern lakeshore When flicked, they shed bright yellow pollen. Deeper in the Forest, the Hazelnut Catkins are still tight.
The first blossoms of the Forest's Red Flowering-Currants (Ribes sanguineum) appear every year in a tiny sheltered wetland just up from the northern tip of the Forest peninsula. These will not as "bloody" as their scientific name might suggest, instead blooming the palest of pale pink.
There's a place up at the northern crest of the Forest peninsula that the oldest walkers recollect as "Deer Walk", a place where civilized food was left out for the deer who once lived in the Forest. No deer have walked here for a long time, but the plants in this almost open place would be a feast for them if they chose to return - wild cherry and wild roses and so many native berries - creeping, sprawling, closing in towards the center. Ranks of Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) line the clearing edges, their canes just now changing from beige to bright russet.
Everyone is welcome to toss their observations into the Bucket. What's been going on in your natural neighborhood the last couple of days? The hope is that our notes will be of value to future naturalists who might wonder about the way our neighborhoods looked before their time.
I'll be back in the early afternoon PST.