Thursday, November 10, 2022

Like Old Friends


Baying at the Moon (California Bay, that is)
(click images to view larger)

One of the best things about getting to Mt. Tam early in the morning is hearing coyotes baying at the moon, and whatever else they like to bay and howl at. At one point I was concentrating on a close-up scene on the forest floor when a surprisingly nearby coyote began to howl, raising the hair on the back of my neck. Such an eerie, plaintive, and primal sound.

I drove up again today instead of riding my bike because I wanted to poke around on the mountain with my Nikon. Doing so was like hanging out with old friends. I got my knees muddy shooting close-ups and felt the bite of a frosty morning. I enjoyed watching the birds come to life in the bright, warm sunshine. I closed my eyes and inhaled the signature scent of a redwood forest.

I was surprised that our recent rainfall has still failed to fill the creek beds. I'd been confident that I'd get to hear the season-opening song of water running down Cataract Creek, but I guess the forest has been drinking up all the rain. Well, at least we're getting some other signs of change: the moss is greening up; the madrone berries are ripening; and the first LBMs (little brown mushrooms) are sprouting. 

California Towhee

Spotted Towhee in Coyote Brush

Towhee Appears to Yell at a Squirrel

Doug Fir and Sinking Moon

Acorn Woodpecker

Frosty Swirl

Cold & Prickly

Warm & Soft

Madrone & Moss

Just the Moss

Dyer's Polypore

LBMs with Moss & Lichen

Robins and band-tailed pigeons were feeding high in the madrone, causing a steady rain of berry pieces. I wondered how they extracted the seeds with just their beaks as a tool, but then it struck me: tongues.

Bay Laurel Nuts Breaking Out of Their Jackets

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