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Category: Slugyard’s Favorites

Wizard of the Woods

Wizard of the Woods

Yesterday I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee at the edge of the woods in my backyard.  While I was standing there enjoying the forest, a bird swooped into the tree above my head.  I couldn’t get a very good look at it, but from what I did see I could tell it was not a bird I normally see. Taking a closer look, it was obviously a bird of prey.  My first thought was a Sharp-shinned Hawk since…

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Woodpecker Wilderness

Woodpecker Wilderness

Last weekend I spent just a few minutes outside in the backyard, but that’s all it took to see 3 different woodpeckers.  Though I admit that seeing almost any bird gets me to grab my camera and hurry into the yard, there is something special about watching a woodpecker looking for food. What got me out there to begin with?  I was looking at the woods and I thought I saw a crow flying with some white food in its…

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One Cubic Mile

One Cubic Mile

The Cascade Mountains are a series of volcanoes located here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our family last week took a trip up to see Mt. St. Helens up close.  30 years ago Mt. St. Helens had a famous explosive eruption. The top of the mountain was literally blown off and slid down the valley at a very high speed.  This was followed by a massive eruption which sent hot ash flying everywhere. Look at the image above.  How much rock…

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The Majestic Janitor

The Majestic Janitor

What comes to mind when you think about vultures?  Most people probably think they are disgusting, dirty creatures and don’t give them much of a second thought.  I used to be that way too, but not anymore. Look at a soaring Turkey Vulture, struggling in the winds to keep steady, rarely flapping their wings, rarely making any noise.  The Zone-tailed Hawk is impressed enough to pretend to be one by imitating its shaky flight pattern.  OK- maybe it does this…

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Black and White Hummingbird?

Black and White Hummingbird?

This dull-colored bird was sitting in a pine tree across the street this week.  It looks like a hummingbird, but aren’t they supposed to be colorful? Now that’s more like it!  A very colorful bird, indeed.  But wait a second- it’s the same bird!  That’s right.  Hummingbirds don’t actually have any coloring.  But if their bodies are angled just right towards the sun, the sunlight breaks up as it reflects off of their feathers.  This is why we see such…

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Honey Bees do the Dirty Work

Honey Bees do the Dirty Work

Honey Bees are incredibly important to people.  They are not from the U.S., but without them we would not have a lot of the food we eat.  This Honey Bee looks clean and beautiful walking on this Purple Coneflower, but let’s take a closer look. Well, that is quite a bit messier!  The Honey Bee is drinking nectar from the flower.  While she is there, the flower’s pollen is sticking to her- that’s all of that yellow goop you see…

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The Difference Between a Crow and a Raven

The Difference Between a Crow and a Raven

Last week in central Oregon I took this picture at the top of Lava Butte.  Is it a crow or a raven?  Do you know the difference?  Look at the next two photos I took below- one is a crow, one is a raven. Any idea which is which?  It is hard to tell, but they are very different birds.  There are a few good ways to tell them apart: Ravens are much larger than crows.  They are about 6…

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Venus Flytrap Helping a Boxelder Bug

Venus Flytrap Helping a Boxelder Bug

Yesterday my neighbor Al and I saw this Boxelder Bug walking on my Venus Flytrap.  We kept expecting it to get caught, but then Al noticed that the Boxelder Bug seemed to be feeding on whatever was inside the flytrap mouth. Look closely at the photo (click on it to zoom in).  It looks like the bug has injected its feeding tube into the flytrap’s prey.  Boxelder Bugs normally feed by pressing this tube into a plant and sucking the…

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