Thursday, November 19, 2009

November: "At This Time"

November brings cool wet days. On Mount Wells, the mist rises up and wraps the firs in wet gray cloaks.


The lichens that drape the Garry Oak have lost their dry brittle look and are flourishing in the moist fall air.

Along the Chain Islands migrating shorebirds dot the reefs. 
Hundreds of Dunlins accompanied by Black Turnstones, Surfbirds, and Black-bellied Plovers perch shoulder to shoulder on the rocks. Three species of cormorants, Double-crested, Brant's, and Pelagic, stand like dark sentinels among flock.

Three Short-billed Dowitchers remained for a week in Oak Bay before continuing on to their wintering grounds in Mexico.

The last scarlet leaves of the Choke Cherry are brilliant against the forests of Matheson Lake.

Hooded Mergansers and other ducks are returning from their breeding grounds to winter along the coast of Vancouver Island.

Harlequin Ducks gather along the rocky shoreline where they dive for snails, limpets and chitons.



The Red-breasted Nuthatch, the Winter Wren and the Song Sparrow are our winter companions in the Gary Oak meadows of Victoria.  


The tidal rush is strong past Beechy Head creating eddies and backwaters that shelter and feed the fish, the birds, sea lions, seals and orcas.

In the Sooke Hills, the forest is now wet, wet, wet. Mary Vine Creek is high and fast as water rushes over the rocks.

The Bird's Nest fungus waits for the rains of fall to release its spores. The eggs within the nest are spore packets waiting for a raindrop to splash them out.