Thursday, March 31, 2011

tree year project 2011, #5

coast Douglas-fir with pride of Madeira
Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii with Echium candicans
Pinaceae and Boraginaceae

Those first green sprouts that appeared the last week of January and first of February dried up into sadly drooping tails of brown. My only guess is that our long month and a half without the usual winter rain and sunny warm temps affected the annual growth of this tree (nope, incorrect guess, see postscript below). No worries, it looks like this old Douglas-fir is sporting a second set of green shoots after the appearance of baby cones and additional rains. For those new to Nature ID, I've committed a small part of my blog to participating in The Tree Year project.

I was really pleased to get a decent picture of the gnarly tree trunk and the purple blooms of the prolific pride of Madeira in its shadow. Actually, I had the camera out with hopes to capture what I believe is a migrant Rufous hummingbird. No luck since it's such an extremely quick flying bright red bird. It does a country line dance move with a head lean and fly to side to side that I swear the sole purpose is to taunt me into trying to take its picture.

ps 08/08/11 - I just noticed the lighter brown structures hanging down are dried pollen cones. I'm also guessing the droopy brown tails are unfertilized female cones. And the bright green are indeed new needle shoots; they look very similar to budding female cones. It always helps to take another look at these older posts.


Patricia Lichen said...

Love your description of the hummer's the "country line dance move with a head lean"--I know exactly what you're talking about, but never would have thought to describe it like that! :o)

Jeannette said...

Hummingbird photos....yes...hard to get! I tried the other day and know that given the chance I will try again. Red necked and gorgeous, I did take a heart photo...he wasn't my usual humming bird visitor.

Jennifer said...

If you want a photo of a Rufous hummingbird, come to my garden. They have been hanging around lately, and it's really a joy since they are hardly ever here. However, I often question wether it is a Rufous or an Allen's hummingbird - it's impossible to tell!

Mark Whittaker said...

Interesting and look forward to following the blog

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Patricia, what I described is mentioned as "low, horizontal figure-8s" in the embedded link for the hummer. Ooof, just realized I could have taken a video of it doing its dance.

Jeannette, what's a heart photo?

Jennifer, it could have been an Allen's, but what I saw was incredibly bright all-over red. According to Bee's handwritten notes in the book I borrowed from her, Rufous is migrant Mar-Apr and Allen's nests Feb-Jul. I'll have to show you my other bird book with pics (not just drawings) the next time I visit.

Mark, welcome to my blog!

Jeannette said...

Hi Katie...a heart photo...I just meant that I my heart captured the moment...I can still see it. Paying full close attention is ...well... I wrote about it in one of my early blogs. I'll look for the address.