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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, meteorites, 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. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Boulder Creek,
Santa Cruz County,
Nov. 5 & 6, 2013

One of the activities that I look forward to during my visits with my granddaughter in Boulder Creek is walking together to and from her school. We choose from several routes that take us through back alleys or away from the commuter traffic. The historical homes we pass have landscapes that are carved from the edge of the forest. Therefore, the wildness of the natural forest is just a hair's breadth away from reclaiming its rightful place. The juxtaposition of native and foreign plants along with the wildlife that they attract make an enjoyable canvas for our viewing. Jump over the orange swirling pile of leaves with us to see what we documented during my most recent visit.

Aiyana with Camera

The Town of Boulder Creek
Boulder Creek is nestled along the San Lorenzo river. The small community is part of a string of towns with origins tied to the lumber industry in Santa Cruz County. Thanks to the efforts of early conservationists, in 1902, Big Basin Redwood State Park is located a mere 9 miles northwest of town and boasts to have the largest ancient stand south of San Francisco. Today, the town has a diverse mix of trees because when the suitable lumber was exhausted from the area, the farmers replaced the lumberjacks to exploit the rich loamy soil. Fruit and nut orchards dominated the hillsides until the soil became exhausted. Now add the ornamental plants to appease the tourist and the local residents alike and you have a pretty good picture of what you can find in the neighborhood.

These links were used for my sources to identify the species pictured below:

Trees of Santa Cruz County

The Santa Cruz Bird Club

Aiyana with Bigleaf Maple
A gigantic leaf from a Bigleaf Maple Acer macrophyllum tree

Dogwood leaves photo by Aiyana
and Dogwood Cornus florida leaves aflame, (photo credit granddaughter sphinx moth)

Tree sap photo by Aiyana
A jewel made from tree sap, (photo credit granddaughter sphinx moth)

Wild Blackberries
and the last few fruits of the wild blackberries yet to ripen.

We spied:

Steller Jay
A Steller Jay looking for a way to crack an acorn

Chestnut-backed Chickadee
the Chestnut-backed Chickadee flapping its wings,

Dark-eyed Junco
the "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco playing peek-a-boo


hermit thrush
a Hermit Thrush Fox Sparrow not being very shy.

Back at home we have:

Lemons about to ripen,

a string of hearts of the Redbud Cercis occidentals leaves,

Aiyana with Nest
and a bird's nest that was hidden in a shrub that I trimmed.

Now it is your turn to add your most recent observations to bucket in the comments below.

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