Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not as tough as it looks

This insect on a yarrow flower in Discovery Park has a yellow jacket's angles and stripes, but it hasn't got a sting. Take a look: big eyes, tiny stubby antennae and only two wings. It's a hover fly, of genus Spilomyia.

Discovery Park, storm coming in

I set out with pretty fluffy clouds sending interesting shadows over the water.

I reached the north beach. Hmm, what's that dark spot to the north?

The meadow at the time of the first raindrops. Time to find cover.

And that was the beginning of a (relatively) rare thunderstorm.

Glimpses of red in Discovery Park

Fall in the lowland Pacific Northwest tends to have low-key palette of greens, yellows and browns, but once in a while, reds emerge.


Trailing blackberry.

Vine maple, which tends to turn yellow in shady spots.

And finally, a true sign of fall, the ruby red eyes of western grebes, back in Puget Sound for the winter. I saw eight off Discovery Park's north beach.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Change of season

From Issaquah, some signs of fall.

Licorice fern emerging from a moss mat on a big-leaf maple tree. Like many epiphytes hereabouts, licorice fern's growing season is in the cool, wet part of the year.

Chinook salmon in Issaquah creek.

Thelephora palmata, or "fetid false coral." Fred Rhoades tells me that this smells pungently of some kind of combination of garlic and burning rubber. Shamefully, I didn't notice.