Garter snake

There are not many snakes in western Washington, but I managed to find two of them. Dart and I regularly walk in Illahee Preserve and I saw this garter snake sunning yesterday. Today, it was there again along with a buddy. I did not expect to see snakes here because I thought the few snakes around would remain elusive. I am happy to have seen some.

Two garter snakes.
Garter snake.

The Anna’s hummingbirds are drinking more from our feeder than any ruby-throated hummingbirds ever did while we were on the east coast. They keep me busy refilling the feeder. As I was going through Regis’ hummingbird pictures, I found this lovely rufous hummingbird. Now, I have to stake out the feeder until I see the rufous.

Rufous hummingbird.

I learned to take good hummingbird pictures last summer in Arizona and have the equipment to do so. I’m looking for some time to set up the gear but I have puppies coming on Saturday and do not think I will be able to work on hummingbirds any time soon.

Female Anna’s hummingbird. Notice the spiderweb on her head. She may have been making a nest. Hummingbirds use spiderwebs in their nest.
Male Anna’s hummingbird.
Male Anna’s hummingbird with my hanging pot of pansies in the background.

I have been enjoying the beautiful flora in the area. Every time Dart and I walk, something new is in bloom or growing in the woods. While Dart sniffs everything, I have time to look at all the mosses, fungi, flowers, etc. And, there are numerous new birds for me. I have to use Merlin to identify the sounds because the birds are extremely difficult to see. I am working on it and excited to see all these new species. I have been actively uploading pictures to iNaturalist to identify all the plants I am seeing.

We had to take down our feeders because the birds keep flying into the windows. One afternoon there were two casualties and I could not bear it. I have been throwing out remaining seed on the ground which is working well. The birds hang around in the trees and bushes, so I still get to see them. The squirrels get better access, so I was finally able to get a picture of the black squirrel. It is not a good picture, but this is not a cooperative squirrel. I am working on getting a picture of the Douglas squirrels if they would stay still long enough.

Black eastern gray squirrel.
Spotted towhee.

Chestnut-backed chickadee.

Red-breasted nuthatch.

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