Life in a backyard wildlife sanctuary is filled with activity. Not all of this activity is of the warm and fuzzy variety.
The frogs in Coppertop’s pond are less numerous than in the spring and summer months yet can still be found basking in the sunshine on top of lily pads.
A stately great blue heron has visited a few times and perches high in an evergreen while keeping an eye out for those frogs and little garter snakes around the pond. We’re hopeful that all our carp will survive.
While we noticed a definite decrease in visiting birds over the warm summer, feathered flocks have been on the rise again at our deck and garden feeders. Since moving in at Coppertop in January, I’ve kept list of 27 bird species I’ve seen here, and the newest additions to the list are hairy woodpeckers, northern flickers, western tanagers, Anna’s hummingbirds, turkey vultures, and the heron.
This caterpillar seems decked out for Halloween. I’m pretty sure it will soon be a spotted tussock moth.
The squirrels are back, and an ancient cousin of theirs, the mountain beaver, commonly called a “boomer,” has been hard at work helping us clear the palmate coltsfoot. We’ve observed this furry football gnawing down pieces of the native perennial on the unfenced hill along our driveway and dragging the pieces far uphill through the brush to a resting place or burrow. Each time we scramble to get the camera, the stubby-tailed beaver (not truly a beaver) disappears. No wonder this animal is described as elusive and the stuff of myths. A fascinating Seattle Times article about boomers: http://seattletimes.com/html/pacificnw/2008706268_pacificpbeaver08.html.