Early Spring

by Pat Jaquith
pat@westvalleynaturalists.org

Mud season 3.16.17

Winter is melting into summer. Every day is a surprise: will the snow retreat today? or will we experience a fall-back into freezing temperatures and even get some snow? When will we see some green in the in the cold, black soil of fields that were sown last fall? When will we see the first-of-the-year (FOY) Sandhill Crane? Who can guess correctly the day of ice-out on the potholes? How many geese, ducks, swans fit in the one open pool? Are those trees really starting to blossom? Will I be able to leave that heavy coat home? Read further for some of my FOY’s!

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Birds and Berries


by Pat Jaquith
pat@westvalleynaturalists.org

Western Bluebird on ornamental Cherry

In spring and summer when birds are nesting and raising young, insects are prominent in their diets. The young fledge, and their diets tend more toward fruit, berries, and other high energy foods to fuel their needs for warmth if they’re staying here or energy for migrating.

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Berries

by Skip Via
skip@westvalleynaturalists.org

Many birds and other animals such as foxes depend on berries as food sources, especially in the winter when other food options are limited. The valley has a wide variety of plants that produce berries, some of which are edible by people but many of which range from mildly to severely toxic if eaten. DO NOT consume any berries unless you are completely confident of whether or not they are safe for human consumption.

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