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Cones and More Cones and a Woodpecker

Cones and a new woodpecker!

This White-headed Woodpecker was busy, busy, busy. We had a great time watching him climb down and around this pine. It turns out he eats pine cones as well….learned something new.

This week’s Winter Wednesday study was about trees, evergreens, and cones. We live in a mixed forest area with oaks and pines so we have quite a few opportunities to study cones as a part of our everyday activities.

We were on the lookout for different cones as we took our walk in a different habitat that I posted more about here in this entry, Another Glorious Winter Walk. I commented in that entry about the way we have come to appreciate that the cones fall and are available in great numbers during this snowy, cold part of the year. There are birds and mammals that are still active during this season and they use these cones as the staple of their diet. What a great design by a loving Creator.

Here are two new to us cones that we gathered on this particular walk.

We are familiar with larger cones but these were ones we haven’t noticed before. We think the bigger one is from a White Fir but we have no idea what the other one is at all.

The cone below comes from our regular hiking spot and we see them in great numbers. We think the cone is from a Douglas Fir.

We are going to keep track of our collection in our nature journals and write about each one as we find it.

The top right cone is from our Giant Sequoia in our backyard.

We all have a better appreciation for the role that cones play not only in the life cycle of the tree but also as a vital part of the food web in our forests.

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Yosemite Birds: Photos and Notebook Page

Lest you think that all I took photos of on my Yosemite trip were wildflowers, here are some bird photos. You will also note that these are not my typical “pretty” photos….birds are hard to photograph and they just don’t come close enough for my little camera.

I love to watch for birds in the early morning. The meadow near our campsite was a perfect birding site and I was up early each morning to see what I could find. The first photo is of a white-headed woodpecker and the second photo is a brown creeper.

These are both new birds to add to my life list of birds seen and identified. That is always exciting.

There is a section in the Handbook of Nature Study on different woodpeckers on pages 70-77. You might enjoy reading about the woodpecker in preparation of your next encounter.

Something else interesting is that I found a feather from a Steller’s jayand when I compared it to my Scrub jay feather that is already in my collection, I found out how different the feathers are colored. Both birds are very similar in color and shape but the patterns of color are very different. Here you can see it clearly. The Scrub Jay is on the left and the Steller’s Jay is on the right. There is a section in the Handbook of Nature Study specifically on bird feathers starting on page 29. We found it very interesting to read about the various purposes of feathers and the various kinds of feathers.

Here is a scan of one of my bird nature journal pages that I made during our trip. Nothing fancy but still a really good reminder in my nature journal of the day we saw this woodpecker. You can find the notebook page on my Freebies page.

Hope you enjoyed a little bird stuff today. I still have insects to share and a really big entry with wildflowers. I am trying to decide whether to make a slideshow of the flowers or just share a few of the over forty flowers I took photos of.