The Daily Bucket–The West Side Gang moves in.

For 20 years, I’ve tracked the movements of herons and egrets where I’ve worked and walked.  I’d been working at a golf course in Banks Oregon, 20 miles west of Portland.  We had a year-round heron, and every autumn, an egret visited and fished for a few days, angering the golf course’s resident heron. Then…

The Daily Bucket–Today's Shocking Discoveries.

A backyard pond turns oily. A DIY oil test confirms it’s more than iron oxide,  I found tiny broken eggs and cat-sized poop nearby (not pictured).  I suspect coon. I found knocked over plants in another pond. I put rounded rocks into abandoned birds’ nests and set them on the ground.  Something tore them up….

The Daily Bucket–Soros and my friends, the yellow jackets.

“Oyez!  The Summer Session of Frog Court is called to order,  Judge Jeramiah Bullfrog presiding,” honked the Bailiff, who was  a Canadian goose. In strode two robed judges, who were six foot tall bullfrogs, trying to walk on two legs, but instead hopping from foot to foot.  The third bullfrog was resplendently unclothed in his…

Daily Bucket– Purple Haze

But even bold purply flowers, like this welcome offering from my hacked-down artichokes, seem washed out, as if horror author  Stephen King’s Tommyknockers are draining colors from view. I’ve offered some purple, now for the Haze. In some ways this is scarier than a Nebraska tornado cloud. No where to go.  We are safe, and…

The Daily Bucket: Saving the Redwoods #3; We Knocked off a Gas Station.

An Oregon developer of a proposed gas station next to a creek and wetlands has withdrawn his application. In short:  Victory! Withdrawn App, how sweet the sound, Saving trees … thirty feet around. They were doomed on this place, but now are saved, thanks to Grace. The nearby neighborhoods’ coveys of bird watchers and Lake…

The Daily Bucket–Low Water Flushes Tall birds.

The skies have not yield a moment of rain for months.  But I knew how to make it rain. I hung clothes outdoors on our new fancy clothesline.  It’s passive solar at its best.  Except the Rain Gods, laughing, then made it rain twice.  But not much, just enough to make the clothes moldy if…

The Daily Bucket–Frog Court Confidential

I’m Red Woodman, Senior Investigator for what we call the “Frog Court.”  If I can just get through today, I can retire with a pension.  But a whole bunch of new cases just hit my in-basket and I came to work to find a guy sobbing over a couple of baby robins.  “Erm, please don’t cry…

The Daily Bucket: Good for the Hawk, Bad for the Robin.

Trigger warning for sadness. The sun shown through the russet and tawny and cream of what seemed to be a feathered explosion in the robin’s nest.  I watched from a few feet away, with only enough time to lift a hand. Two Robin sentinels sped to the scene but the hawk’s powerful wingstrokes carried it, with…

The Daily Bucket–She Comes in Colors Everywhere.

The World is colors everywhere here and there And the sky’s blinding blue is right in front of you. The burgeoning flowers send new blossoms out for hours. I admire the colors of each different lily, Or the Dragon’s Tongue; a little silly. My Dragon’s Tongue managed to survive all these years.  The edible plant will…

The Daily Bucket–Why are the damselflies drinking with their butts?

But of course the damsel flies are not really drinking; they are laying eggs. They contort on the edge of a lily pad with their abdomen curved into the water seemingly under the lip of the pad. It’s called ovipositing. I’d seen lots of damselflies joining at the end of their abdomens earlier this Summer, to…

The Daily Bucket: My Grandson, the fledgling Robin.

I am so happy to walk into the back yard and have fledgling birds whirring about, clumsily.  New life! I put extra food on the ground for the dummies.   Some birds I know. Some I don’t.  Colors are vague.  Here’s a couple I don’t know. One seems to interact with the fledged robin. Brother and…

The Daily Bucket–Save The Redwoods

I’m just an old race horse out to pasture, pawing the ground when the race track bugle sounds.  I still read the local public notices about developments, reflecting back on 40 years of environmental challenges, wishing someone was doing some more challenging. And then something happened.  I am terrible at this but I’m the only one…

The Daily Bucket–Did Feng Shui Save the Fledglings?

My prodigal son and his advanced science teaching degree came home awhile ago.  While schools are closed, He’d been hiking in the Rockies.  His discoveries included a pocket full of cool sparkly rocks and crystals, and some Eastern philosophy. “Hang up these chimes here, “he said when we were out bonding with some herb in…

The Daily Bucket-The Second Heron

I’d always felt there was more than one heron that’s been visiting my backyard ponds for the last ten years.  One would land and catch our fish while we gardened 30 feet away. Another one would watch from a neighbor’s roof for half an hour before coming in for lunch, but would bolt if you…

The Daily Bucket–Surprise!!

The inch-an-hour storms have driven the anglers away from my Neighborhood’s Bethany Lake.  It’s full of hungry trout but the anglers flee the storms, heading home with a full creel and soaking wet clothes. Bethany Lake’s stocked rainbow trout are fattening up, hopefully on bullfrogs. And when the anglers flee, the resident creatures recapture the…

The Daily Bucket–Let all the Little Creatures Come Forth

Multiple robins have occupied my yard for months now.  Somehow their presence seemed to make the Spring come a few days sooner. I cannot tell the boys from the girls.  I thought the female were supposed to be drab,  but they all look alike to me.  They seemed more like a collective than paired off…

The Daily Bucket– The Innocence Project Appeals to Frog Court.

I reached for the grimy tumbler.  It was empty.  Not even any ice. I reached for the whiskey bottle.  It was empty too. This was the night the bottle let me down, and a savagely bright dawn poured through the dirty windows in my Private Investigator’s office. I stared at the torn paper sack on…

The Daily Bucket–The Robins Persist

But just a day or two after Billy Heron, the patriarch of my back yard gardens and ponds left, Cocky Robin brushed aside the murmured objections from the littler birds, and mounted the Sacred Roof Arch for his own announcement. “Listen up!  When Billy Heron’s gone, Cocky Robin is the maximum Boss! Capeesh? All of…

The Daily Bucket–Frog Court–Capital Crimes Division (Trigger)

“Oyez,  I call  Frog Court into session,”  rumbled Chief Justice Jeremiah, himself a very large bullfrog. “Bailiff, read the opening Declaration.” The impossibly tall Bailiff stood and began reading:  “In accordance with resolution of a civil suit involving a Reagan cabinet member and prescription drugs,  The Department of Fish and Wildlife established Frog Court to protect…

The Daily Bucket–Life Springs.

These frog eggs sacs presented a vivid image within a few dys of the mating.  Shingy white eggs quivered, suspended in a light green jello. Less than one month later, dense algae has covered these once jelly-clear egg sacs.  Pond scum’s weight has dragged the sacs to the pond’s bottom.  This is the point where I…