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…

The Daily Bucket–Twisted!

Many edible plants grow in Oregon, including nut trees such as filbert or hazelnut. Our overlords, the squirrels, have commanded us to plant a variety of filbert nut trees in our suburban yard in NW Oregon.  These versions of filberts are rated “invasive.”   This means they are so tough that I haven’t killed them yet,…

The Daily Bucket– Where Dozens once Hoped, Hundreds now Surge.

Although evening temperatures skirt 32 F, the native Chorus Frogs of NW Oregon continue to meet and mate.  I spotted an single egg sac with 20 eggs two weeks ago, but now I can see 30 egg sacs, some containing 50 or more eggs. The male and female frogs must be conducting amplexus sex vigorously…

The Daily Bucket: The Great Cycle of Life Accelerates

On February 3, 2020, several chorus frogs assembled around my back yard ponds and began singing, successfully, for mates.  I dug out these ponds six years ago and frogs began breeding in them immediately.  The frog’s numbers have increased every year for the last six years. A few outlier chorus frogs often appear each year in…

The Daily Bucket–Tern, Turn, Turn

We skedaddled  out of Panama City heading kind of north on highway 2.  But the paved road turned to dirt after 150 miles. By then we were as far south as you can go in the Northern Hemisphere.  We’d driven to the tip of Panama’s southernmost peninsula. You could drive farther, but you would go through…

The Daily Bucket–Ready, Steady GO!

The Tualatin Valley of Northwest Oregon forms a shallow bowl,  about 50 miles in diameter, with 1000-2000 foot tall eroded volcanoes walling in the lowlands, separating the region from the Coast and the Columbia River.  I used to work near Banks, Oregon, and the vast acreages of of flooded croplands in the Valley, especially grasses,…

The Daily Bucket–Odyssey of the Ancient Lotuses

A year ago,  I attempted to  resurrect a handful of lotus seeds, that had sat, forgotten, on a high shelf, for almost 20 years.  I dutifully roughed up one corner of the seed with 30 grit sandpaper, to expose the tip that would germinate, like YouTube told me to. I put the seeds into a…