I’m uncertain, but if the local wildlife is any indication, it appears as though February may be the start of spring around here. And, wouldn’t that be fitting… with lovebird Valentine’s Day upon us too?
Here’s my Valentine, snooping amongst blooming azaleas. Azaleas! In February!
This sub-tropical climate confuses me, but I enjoy experiencing it, and learning about it. Check out a few of the love-signs we’ve been seeing around our new digs.
Here I captured a flirty sandhill crane, dancing & splashing for his mate. A few fast facts: these big birds can be about 4-5 feet tall (that’s almost as tall as I am!), live to be about 20 years old, and mate for life.
Then, there are these little geckos. They’re everywhere. It’s common on our walks to hit a small tribe of them, and they scatter like seeds. Observing this fellow, he shows off his greatness by doing countless pushups. Then, as if listening to some great tunes, his head starts bobbing. Little gecko girls love this stuff. I’m told the real hot geckos have a fancy dewlap (skin under their chin), which expands and can turn a brilliant red-orange. If I catch a pic of that, I’ll be sure to share it – it sounds cool, even to non-gecko types.
Not far from our doorstep, we’ve been fascinated watching a couple of osprey. Here are a few fast facts on these guys: they too, mate for life, return to their “crib” each year to raise a family, eat strictly fish, and often have bald eagles as
neighbors. Apparently, bald eagles prefer to scavenge their food, rather than hunt for it themselves; having an osprey next door, makes an eagle’s job a lot easier. We’ve seen crows, bald eagles, and hawks loitering by this pairs’ nest. I’m guessing they’re scoping out the egg and/or food opportunities in there. Keeping a daily eye on “our” osprey nest, these uninvited guests, including us, do not seem to interrupt their nest reinforcement mission. We’ve seen them carry sticks, easily twice their size, to this nest. It’s awesome too – similar to an airline pilot, they use a circle-to-land approach, clearing any obsticles and observing the best spot for their booty.
The last evidence of looking for love, which may be a stretch because it is quite possible he’s just trying to eat, is this guy:
In Portland, we – and the rest of the neighborhood – would hear male woodpeckers calling bachelorettes by drumming on metal flashing, or other hard material, to make as much noise as possible. Clearly, this guy is not making such noise on this tree, but I couldn’t resist including him in my report.
Yes, I think it’s safe to say, spring has sprung, and love is in the air.
POST UPDATE: THE woodpecker here, is actually a yellow bellied sap sucker! It is a type of woodpecker, but the name is worthy of a good laugh – at least for us, when we thought such a name was a put-down to a person who was a scaredy cat.