Rufous Announces Spring – Nature Notes from the Steamboat Peninsula

Another seasonal first: that distinctive, loud toy-like buzz of a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD zipping around a feeder on Steamboat Peninsula this week. Despite its 3 1/2 inch size (one whole ounce), these birds are described as “tenacious, pugnacious . . . aggressively defending its territory” even against much larger birds. Maybe it’s the brilliant coppery iridescence […]

Skunk Cabbage Makes Its Seasonal Debut – Nature Notes from the Steamboat Peninsula

Cheerfully predicting Spring, the humble SKUNK CABBAGE recently made its seasonal debut in Griffin area marshes and creeksides. Of its several other common names, Western Skunk Cabbage, Yellow Skunk Cabbage and Swamp Lantern, perhaps the latter is most descriptive of this plant’s big golden yellow “flower,” which almost seems to glow in the muted winter […]

The Red-Tailed Hawk

The red-tailed hawk is very good at adapting to different environments. They have no problem cohabitating with humans and have even made a home for themselves in New York City, where they feed on pigeons and rats. The deforestation of the United States actually made more hunting grounds for the red-tailed hawk, who seems to […]

Yuma Myotis One of the Bats Living Near Us

There are 15 bat species native to Washington, one of which is Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis). This little bat is medium dark brown with a darker brown face and ears. Yuma myotis can live up to 20 years and have an average weight of 6 grams. They are about 3-5 inches long with a wing […]

Coralroot Orchid: Beautiful & Unusual Parasitic Plant

Last spring during a volunteer work party at the McLane Point Preserve on Eld inlet, we came across an unusual and beautiful little flower, a Spotted coralroot orchid, or Corallorhiza maculata. I immediately wanted to learn more about this fascinating plant. The Spotted coralroot orchid is a myco-heterotroph, which means essentially “gaining its nutrients from […]