Aerial Acrobatic Expert
I learned that this is a Violet-Green Swallow. The Violet-Green Swallow has dark eyes mostly surrounded by white, Emerald green crown and back and glossy purple wings and rump. It is a gorgeous small bird That summers in the Northwest. As with all swallows, they are true expert aerialists, but without any tightrope or other apparatus. They perform their aerobatics in the open sky, like the barnstormers of old, as they feed on flying insects using acrobatic twists and turns. I was fortunate to see this one at rest in Delta Ponds, as they are usually on the move.
Daisies Don't Tell!
I wondered where that saying came from, especially after I learned what daisies mean to a lot of people.
I found this from Canadian Flower Delivery - "All About the Daisy Flower - If there a flower that is common and that everyone knows, it is the daisy. There are all kinds of great varieties of the daisy and people absolutely love them. It is probably just as common as the rose, but the cost is so much less and this is a great flower to give friends and family or to grow. Overall, people are a huge fan of the daisy and it is a great flower to give out to people you care about. With the daisy, it has a meaning that shows loyalty to love and commitment. This is a great flower to be giving out to those you truly care about." http://www.canadianflowerdelivery.com/daisy.aspx
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a real asnswer as to where the saying, "Daisies don't tell". comes from. It could relate to a little girl's game called 'he loves me, he loves me not.'
Oh, What Tangled Webs We Weave!
This pretty and complex spider web just cried out for a stark black and white treatment! So I gave it one, and I like the result. Hope you do too! The ironwork fence made a good frame for the web and emphasized the contrasts, straight and angular with soft and gentle curves and circles. Where did the spiders get the wisdom to create such awesome designs?
The words, "Oh! what a tangled web we weave : When first we practice to deceive!" are from the poem, Marmion, by Walter Scott, published in 1808. It doesn't really relate to the photo, only to the weaving of a web of plots and deception. I guess the spider does plot to catch the fly! :)
Oregon Grape - Eat or Not?
The Oregon Grape has a pretty blue berry on the bush when it is fully ripe. The plant is used for medicinal purposes. But can the berries (they are not grapes) be eaten?
Here is some information from "Random Musings"
"This is Oregon’s state plant. Oregon liked it because the glossy leaves could be used for decoration and it was plenty. It resembles a holly leaf and it very shiny and often the ones left in sunlight the leaves will turn orange or bright red. It is a lovely plant. The “grapes” are edible and have been eaten quite a bit over the years by both pioneers as well as Indians. It has also been used for medicinal purposes. (I put grapes in quotes because they really are berries and not grapes but do have an oval shape more like a grape.) However, it it a sour little thing and should never be eaten if pregnant. Rumor has it – it may contain oxidants that actually help with cancer patients. (This is still being studied.)"
In Delta Ponds Looking South Toward Spencer Butte
This scene is toward the north end of the Delta Ponds. There is a path along the pond here and I enjoy walking here to see what birds I can get a glimpse of. This was a day when not many birds were at this spot, but this beautiful made up for it.
One of the Delta Ponds
The Delta Ponds are made up of four or five connected ponds along the Willamette River in Eugene, OR. This is one of them. There are trails along all of them. I am grateful that we have them, having spent many hours there.
Glad to Meet you!
This is a very friendly guy I met at Delta Ponds. He was with a friend who told me his name, which I quickly forgot! Anyway, it did look like he was glad to meet me. I was convinced of it! He willingly slobbered on me! And the funny thing is I said smile as I was about to shoot the picture! He looks like he understood. :) He's a dog I would love to have!
In The Ponds
Another scene from Delta Ponds.
Slowly Moving In!
This is a Red-eared Slider turtle seen at Delta Ponds. They are 'slowly' moving in and we see more and more of them there. The Pond Turtle is the native species and seem to be losing out to this newer resident.
About the Red-eared Slider: "It is the most popular pet turtle in the United States and is also popular as a pet in the rest of the world. It has, therefore, become the most commonly traded turtle in the world."
"It is native to the southern United States and northern Mexico, but has become established in other places because of pet releases, and has become an invasive species in many areas, where it outcompetes native species. The red-eared slider is included in the list of the world's 100 most invasive species published by the IUCN."
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eared_slider
Can you see the flies on this Pond Lily bud? I see three of them! :) I didn't know that the flower would grow on such a long stalk, but I see examples of this in photos online. So I guess it is just something I hadn't seen before. Anyway, I want to go back and see it when the flower is fully in bloom. I saw this Pond Lily at Delta Ponds.
This Could be an Oldtimer!
I didn't realize that small birds could be fairly long lived. Then I read the following website and learned that a male Spotted Towhee, like this one, was recaught and released in California was at least 11 years old at the time!
"•The oldest recorded Spotted Towhee was a male, at least 11 years old when recaught and rereleased during banding operations in California.
•Geographic Variation Nine subspecies show weak to moderate variation. The Oregonus subspecies is the darkest, evidently what we have in Oregon.
•Status and Distribution: Common. Some populations are largely resident; others are migratory. The most migratory subspecies is arcticus. Resident south to Guatemala. Subspecies are oregonus (Oregon to British Columbia), falcifer (coastal northwest California), megalonyx (coastal central to southern California), clementae (certain Channel Islands); arcticus (Great Plains), montanus (Rocky Mountains), falcinellus (south-central California to Oregon), curtatus (primarily in Sierra Nevada), and gaigei (resident in mountains of southeastern New Mexico and western Texas). Migration: fall primarily September–October; spring March–early May; earlier in Pacific states than interior. Vagrant: subspecies arcticus is casual to East."
As Busy As a Bee!
If we say someone is as busy as a bee, we mean they are doing a lot! Bees do keep busy, and it is always good to see bees busily flying from flower to flower as a wonderfully efficient way of collecting and using pollen.
"Why do bees need nectar and pollen – and how do they use it?
It’s well known that bees gather these products from flowers, but why do they need them - what are the specific benefits to bees? Basically, nectar provides an important energy source (carbohydrate) – it supplies a complex range of sugars, whilst pollen gives vital protein and fats. Although all bees need pollen at some stage in their lives, not all bees gather it." - http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/why-do-bees-need-nectar-and-pollen.html
Sort of like humans, some of whom raise crops on farms to feed the rest of us.