Book Review:: Lapwings, Loons & Lousy Jacks

9781784270926The exact moment I became interested in bird names was the day I was walking through a Finnish nature reserve listening to an unfamiliar bird call and searching the trees trying to find it. As I stood looking and listening, an old man walked by, mumbled something in Finnish to my companion and wandered off. I learned from my Finnish speaking companion that the old man had told him the bird singing was a Tikli, which of course meant nothing to me at the time. Fortunately, I had purchased a bird guide in…

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365 Nature – Day 299

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


The complete opposite of yesterday, this morning was much brighter and the sun even came out. Naturally, I didn’t bring my tripod. I contented myself with a walk through the woodland garden which is ablaze with the Japanese Maples. There are as many colors are there are varieties and though they’ve passed their peak, it’s still a colorful walk. There are so many mushrooms yet to discover around the arboretum. As soon as one disappears, more emerge…

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365 Nature – Day 298

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


I planned properly this morning and remembered to bring my tripod with me to the arboretum. Last time I went with my camera to take photos, it was a very dark day, a common problem this time of the year. That was Day 293 and I had discovered a bonanza of mushrooms in the arboretum, but because it was so dark my photos were pretty grainy. I’ve been planning since then to return with my tripod to try…

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365 Nature – Day 297

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


This morning I cleaned out the bird feeders from the soggy bird seed which had become drenched from our recent rains. I replaced the seeds and hung them back up before sitting in front of the window with my camera, waiting for the bird to come. I waited patiently and a few Dark-eyed Juncos arrived, foraging in the orange and red leaves. But they stayed in the shade, rarely venturing into the sunlight. The Black-capped Chickadees were also…

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365 Nature – Day 296

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


This morning I got to do something very exciting, I designed my own Toikka glass bird. Every year the Museum of Glass in Tacoma has the Bird Lover’s Weekend where they have a focus on glass birds designed by Finnish glass maker Oiva Toikka. He has been designing birds for over 40 years for the Finnish glass company Iittala. There are hundreds of different birds, many out of production and hard to find. They release new birds each year and…

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365 Nature – Day 295

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Yesterday afternoon I noticed a damselfly larvae in my wetland in a bottle and watched it for awhile. It was resting on the bottom, walking over the gravel very slowly. I put up my hand loupe and saw it’s jaws moving back and forth. Perhaps it had just had a meal, or was preparing for the next one. As I watched, it put its legs very slowly on the side of the glass jar and tried to…

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