Monday, July 16, 2018

Contemplative Sundays at the Rhododendron Garden

Sunday mornings at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden are my contemplative, wind-down time.  I like to observe the tiniest things, listen for sounds from Kingfishers and the waterfalls,  and smell the smells and touch the soft leaves.  Big things also catch my attention like tall firs and the sweep of an eagle's flight.  

Geum, possibly macrophyllum

These two flowers are tiny, the yellow Geum is a native 
while the blue & white blossom is probably an ornamental.


The lake at Crystal Springs supports both Mallards and Wood Ducks
through the breeding season.  Wood ducks live in holes in trees originally started by woodpeckers and other animals.  One morning I thought to look up to see if I could find a Wood Duck tree.  

Dougas fir (?) as home for Wood Duck nesting

The ducks here are especially tame and about four weeks ago a little group like this hauled out of the water and sat grooming themselves among my two brown-booted feet as though the boots were not footwear but a pair of additional ducks.  I was transfixed.   

Mallard teenagers plus one parent.

This yellow jacket nest is quite beautiful but I did not capture it well because I had already been stung once a few weeks ago and didn't want to spend too much time with the shot as we go into the height of yellow jacket activity.  Sometimes a hasty retreat is the best strategy.

Yellow Jacket Nest....Yikes!

What is this?  Sometimes the ID matters less than the colors and shapes and which birds are occupying the tree.

Unknown tree