Sunday, July 28, 2013

Local Plumage

High summer is here in the mountains of Southern Oregon and it has been hot. The promised cool down arrived yesterday but like everything, it was good and bad. The front that brought the cool down moved in over the last few days with isolated thunderstorms.
Douglas County took something like 3000 strikes between Thursday and Friday, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath Counties also took many, many strikes. Fires abound in wilderness areas right now and ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry) is hopping. That link gives you the local current fires.  With our cooler temps comes fanning winds and heavy drift smoke. Good grief the news was comparing this fire season to the one in 2002 when we experienced  The Biscuit Fire, and that is news no one wants to hear. Resources have been much quicker getting to these small smokes but even at that, what we really, really need is some rain and cooler temps.

It hasn't stopped the local characters from coming out. Who knew a little garden with some water and a feeder or two would garner so many summer visitors? They must have been here before but without a deck and a garden, not to mention a bench in a shady spot, I have only seen glimpses of them over the years. Without further ado, lets get to the feathered beauties.

Black Headed Grosbeak. Not the greatest picture, but something. This might be a first sighting for me. I also have some sort of warbler visiting but have been unable to get a good enough look see for an identification.

Evening Grosbeak. Such a regal bird, we have a few pairs around or maybe a mated pair and older fledglings. I had seen a male feeding another smaller male. Likely these parents will help out their young until migration time.


Stellar Jay. Hard to tell if this is a youngster or the birds are moulting. I have seen blue feathers around and it would seem to make sense this would be the time of year to get new feathers for fall migrations and winter. Breeding is done, babies raised and on the wing.
Our jays stick around and provide winter entertainment and color.

Western Tanager. Bonus, eating a bug! This is a non-breeding male. He loses the bright red head after breeding season. Still a pretty flashy bird that I was thrilled to get. I thought they had left the area by now.

All pictures were taken Fujifilm Finepix camera. This is the camera of choice for outdoor photos. The Panasonic Lumix takes a better indoor picture.

Spied but not captured in the field have been some Mountain Bluebirds, Flickers and  assorted woodpeckers and I swear I caught a glimpse of a Magpie. Hard not to recognize that long black and white tail.

My own plumage is not near as pretty, but practical. You know I have no t-shirts, not liking jersey much and the fit and finish on commercial t-shirts in general, so the Scout pattern using wovens has been a godsend for easy, cheap and decent fitting cotton summer tees. Here are the two most recent.

Back detail on the green. Old, old linen bridge cloth with Dutch windmill scenes.

 I have four all together, one of which has already been well used and is now lightly stained. Stella's eye ointment was the culprit I think. I had obviously given her a big hug after treating her. :) BTW, she is looking beautiful as ever
and both eyes match perfectly.

Parting shot. The tribe.


  1. I had to click on the picture just to make sure: but you have your FOXY lady shirt!!!! That is so perfect for you! Thanks for the bird pictures. I'm always amazed at the different birds seen on the other side of this great country. Stay safe!

  2. What wonderful bird pictures-thank you so much for sharing them. I love the Scouts and the trim is a wonderful touch. Off for coffee #2..

  3. You are so lucky to have all those birds, never saw the pattern on the back wings of a Stellar ruching...and the T-shirts are looking very very nice. Love the foxy one! Yes, the famous Biscuit fire...our first summer here and could not see across the street for the smoke all summer...scary!

  4. Very lovely bird photos. Thank you for sharing them

  5. What awesome bird photos! Thanks for sharing them with us. I love bird watching and while I'm cycling I'm on the lookout for bird sightings. Nice job on the shirts, they look quite soft and comfortable. I hope that the fires aren't bad for you this year. We were going to take our son camping, but there's a fire burning where we usually go :-( It's been a hot, dry summer here in Idaho as well.

  6. I love seeing your birds! They are so different in the west. It's a treat for a birder.

  7. Hope you're staying safe with the fires. We had some (quite a ways away from me) - the smoke was horrible, nonetheless. I really like that Tee, as well. I may have to break down and make a few!

  8. Love your bird pics. Your jay is so different from mine, which have lots of white and black markings. The foxes tee is super cute. And it's nice to see the tribe, they are looking well.

  9. Coco, I too was use to the usual looking blue jays of the Northeast. We actually have two different types of jay here, lower elevations find Scrub Jays. I think the Stellar Jays are the prettiest of the three types I've seen so far.

    Laura, Good to hear from you. I'll take the smoke, bad as it is, it is worse closer to Grants Pass plus, closer to the fires.

    Leigh, We got some beauties out here, no Cardinals though, and I miss seeing the red birds in the winter.

    Judy, Thanks! I bet you get to see some interesting birds on your cycling adventures.

    SusanF. Thank you!

    Joannely, The wind is supposed to be changing today, maybe tonight, but then of course, we are looking at more possible thunderstorm activity.

    Mary, Hope you enjoy building up your own little Scout clutch.

    LA, I often find cute cotton prints with foxes in them, hard to make serious garments with them, but T shirts, perfect!