Twig of the Pussy Willow
Pussy Willows grow best when near lots of water. So those in Delta Ponds thrive! I find the shoots of the pussy willow tree to be beautiful.
"Growing Requirements for Pussy Willow Trees
Pussy Willows are hardy in USDA zones 4-8.
They grow well in almost any soil but it is a good idea to supplement the native soil
with peat moss, leaf mold or compost.
Pussy Willows require full sun to thrive,
but they will survive in light or partial shade as well.
As with most species of Willow, they grow best when given lots of water."
The Beautiful Calla Lily That Isn't!
I find the Calla Lily to be a most beautiful flower. The name calla lily comes from a Greek word for beauty, quite fitting I would say! But I learned that the Calla Lily isn't truly a lily, nor a calla:
"Calla lilies are not true lilies! Despite what their name suggests, calla lilies are not true lilies. In fact, they are not a calla, either. The calla lily belongs to the genus Zantedeschia and is a member of the Araceae family, along with the caladium and philodendron. It is also known as the pig lily, trumpet lily and arum lily, and begins to blossom in late spring. This flower was first cataloged in the mid 1700s. Why is the name so misleading? Because the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus made a mistake when he was naming the species. Later, the German botanist Karl Koch corrected the error and established the genus Zantedeschia, but the name stuck. The calla lily is native to Southern Africa, and has a remarkable strength – it can continue to grow in water and even survive frost." - http://www.teleflora.com/blog/what-do-calla-lilies-represent/
Here For The Summer
I saw my first Green Heron for this year today at Delta Ponds. They summer here in Western Oregon. They are usually seen along shaded edges of ponds, which is where I saw this one. They get their name from the green color of their back, also noteworthy are their yellow legs. Fortunately, the heron landed on the edge of the pond where I was standing. They can be elusive, especially when they first arrive at the Ponds.
"From a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait." - From All About Birds
Only One Eaglet This Year!
Once again this year, the bald eagles nesting on Skinner Butte in Eugene had offspring. Since they began nesting there in recent years, the eagle pair usually has two babies. This year they have only one. But that is still great, so fun to have their nest in the middle of town. I got a shot of the eaglet in the nest, but the distance to the nest is so great that even the 83x lens of the P900 can't bring it up close enough for me. At least that prominent beak shows up nicely! I waited around for an hour hoping to see it move or even stand up, but it was content to sit comfortably in the nest. The parents never showed up. Probably out on the town!
This Bug is a Stand out!
I loved the way this bug in the sunlight stood out from the beautiful rose and shade. I don't know the kind of bug but it really was that shade of green. It was almost glowing in the light.
Our Friend, Not An Enemy!
Bumble bees are beneficial insects that pollinate plants and flowers. Their activity in gardens is desirable but It is best to not allow them to nest in areas where children and pets often go or play. They don't go out of their way to sting people. only doing so if a person gets too close to their nest or they feel threatened. Also, you should know that bumble bees do not die after stinging, as some other bees do.
"The "Bumble Bee" is a big, hairy, black and yellow bee whose size can range from 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch. This insect is often mistaken for a carpenter bee, which closely resembles the bumble bee in appearance. Carpenter bees have a shiny and smooth abdomen as opposed to the fuzzy abdomen seen on a bumble bee. There are over 200 types of Bumble bees in the world. Fifty different types can be found in North America. Each different species will have its own preference to types of nectar and prefers different flowers."
'The bumble bee is an important, beneficial insect. They pollinate plants and flowers as they forage for food. To gardeners, it is a welcome sight to see these large, flying insects carrying large loads of pollen, flying into and around their flower beds and gardens. While busy searching for food (and at the same time, pollinating plants) bumble bees are rarely a problem when in close proximity to humans. They will actually (in most cases) go out of their way to avoid human contact. Bumble bees will, however, defend themselves if they sense that they are cornered and cannot escape. Most of the time they will fly away from danger but will sting if they are under duress."
"I told you, no pictures!"
It looks like this House Sparrow (a male in spring colors) is objecting to my shooting a picture. :) Interestingly, he didn't leave but rather moved around and seemed to ignore me. I really liked his expression and open mouth. And I have one response for this angry bird, quityurbellyaching!
Rose Kissed by Raindrops
My walk through the neighborhood was highlighted by all of the beautiful flowers in bloom. It had rained, so raindrops on petals made the flowers even prettier, especially this lovely rose.
Walking in The Woods
While on a mission to find another covered bridge, I came across this deer walking in the woods. They are such beautiful, gentle creatures! This young Blacktail is dressed in a nice light coat.
Carol at Our Anniversary Dinner
I finally got around to going through the photos I took at our anniversary dinner. I absolutely liked this one of Carol with her menu. The meal was delicious and the waiter was great, good for some happy memories.
Foggy Morning on the River
I love foggy mornings along the river! They are so moody, especially when the sun starts to shine through. I thought that the shore on the other side of the Willamette River from Clearwater Park looked very nice, and would make a good photograph. It's another of the beauties of nature. I am always anxious to get out and enjoy it.