Skip to main content

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.

February 5, 2013. Ripe Western Hazelnut catkin.Feb 5, 2013. Western Hazelnut catkin.
A month or so will pass before the air in the Forest is redolent with the fragrance of Black Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) but on the southern edge of the Forest their lowest branches have begun to bear heavily resinous buds. If you don't mind looking silly you can hold them up to your nose and time-travel forward to April.

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.

February 5, 2013. Flowering Red-currant leaf and flower buds.Feb 5, 2013. Flowering Red-currant leaf and flower buds.
In the past these have mingled with the first of the Forest's Osoberry (Oemlaria cerasiformis) blossoms. Not this year. The neighboring Osoberries failed during the dry season last year. A small percentage of Osoberry seem to fail in the Forest every dry season, yet new Osoberry shoots appear nearby each spring. I am not sure why this is, but am glad of it.

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.

February 5, 2013. Salmonberry thicket.Feb 5, 2013. Salmonberry thicket.
These will bloom in about a month. The Forest's first Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) have just emerged from the mossy duff under their legs.


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.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site