Sunday, January 16, 2011

my first tree year project post

western scrub-jay perched on coast Douglas-fir
Aphelocoma californica perched on Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii

I don't often join in blogging groups and group nature activities. Sheesh, keeping up with Nature ID is already enough of a time-consuming hobby for me. However, I immediately liked the The Tree Year project idea: pick a tree, observe it and everything on or around it as often as you can, then share your observations.

I've already been observing this coast Douglas-fir for the past few years, which is located right next to our 3rd story balcony. Click to see all my past posts that include mentions or pictures of this tree. While I plan to write more later, I had a good laugh looking back to when I began this blog - back then, I wasn't sure which kind of jay came to visit me for peanuts or what kind of gnarly tree was growing within a few feet from home.

Similarly, I'm curious to watch how this The Tree Year develops.

Much to my own mixed dismay and delight, I've been hand feeding peanuts to our local western scrub-jays. The particular individual pictured above has continued to visit me through the fall and winter. It often hides the peanuts in the odd looking tailed pine cones of the Douglas-fir. I've wondered whether it knows how to find its stash, but I've since read western scrubs have a very good memory. Last summer I was feeding 4 different jays. They all looked very similar, but each had their own personality and behavior. I wonder what happened to the other 3 jays.