May miscellaneous


I went looking for something else, but instead found, well, many other things.

On a pond by the river, there was a loafing log with 14 painted turtles in three sizes. The mature females are the largest and there were 2 of them. Next in size were the males (5 of them), and then there were the hatchlings (7 of them). The painted turtles owe their name to the patterns on their ventral (under) side. Although painted turtles are known across the continent, only the western ones actually have patterned ventral surfaces. So, our turtles do, but to see it, you have to turn them over.

This is a male mule deer. You can see its recently started antlers, which will grow to combat size by the end of the summer. The most frequently seen deer at the valley bottom is the female white tail. The mule deer is found at higher altitudes. This one was about 1200 meters above sea level.

It is the time to see recently hatched chicks. These 11 are Mallards with their mommy.

The western trillium is found here, but is not nearly as common as many other flowers. As the name suggests, it is patterned on three: both petals and leaves. I noticed that it was reasonably abundant on the shady side of the road, with none on the other side. Well, it does prefer the shade. It is also spread by ants which love to collect and eat the shell casings but then scatter the seeds. Older flowers fade to a pinky purple. 

The Columbian ground squirrel is common in many fields in the West. However, normally, most parts of it are hidden in the grass. This view of it standing erect on a gravel road was appreciated.

This female Ruffed Grouse was in the back country forest and was difficult to photograph as it kept running back and forth in the bushes. It finally dawned on me that it was reacting to my presence and was trying to persuade me to follow it away from its nest. With this realization, I left and gave it the satisfaction of chasing me off.


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4 Responses to May miscellaneous

  1. Annette Smith says:


  2. Mary McQueen says:

    Your messages are always so interesting and provide great pictures and new information to this North Carolinian. Thank you

  3. Doug Jamieson says:

    Fabulous photography as usual!

  4. Karen Pidcock says:

    Thanks…as always, Alistair for showing us what is living around us…especially appreciating the Trillium, which I’ve only ever seen where Dirk & I used to stop beside the creek rest stop between Nelson & Salmo, but never anywhere else…guess I don’t hike enough!

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