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Wooly Pussytoes (Antennaria lanata).

Ha! That has to be the funniest name for a wildflower
that I've ever come across.

In case you are wondering what this is all about
with the Wooly Pussytoes, my Audubon Field Guide
to the Pacific Northwest
arrived in the mail
yesterday. It took so long to get to me that it
actually came as a surprise to get it — I ordered
it through Barnes & Nobel but in their used section,
so the book actually came through a small independent
bookstore. Which was why it took so long. The book
was described as "New" — meaning "Like New" really,
and is in excellent shape. I got it for $10.

The Audubon field guide is packed with all sorts
of information about the environment of the Pac
Northwest. You can find stuff on geology, handy
star charts, information about parks and nature
preserves, and all sorts of flora and fauna common
to the region. And then there is the heart and
soul of any Audubon guide — the birds. I was
glad to find descriptions of the bird's song for
each entry. And it is amazing that in most cases
that I can approximate the sound of the bird by
following their written transcription without having
actually heard it. For example, the sound of the
Hermit Warbler is described as "3 high and 2 low
sweety-sweety-sweety-chup-chup." Try it yourself.
Easy, yeah? I think it takes both a very musical ear
and a talent for language to transcribe something
like that.

Summer is finally here in Spokane, kinda sorta,
and in spite of my devout prayers to the Weather
Goddess that it remain Winter all year long. But
the warmer weather does allow me to carry my
messenger bag again, which is kind of a pain to
carry over a Winter coat. The field guide will
fit in it perfectly. So I'm hoping to go exploring
a bit, inasmuch as I am able. Somewhere, that is,
besides the grocery store and doctor. In fact
having the Field Guide in hand will keep me quite
busy even walking down my local streets.

"Learn of the green world what can be thy place."

— Ezra Pound, Canto LXXXI


Clockwise, l-r: Pacific Blood Star, Cooper's Hawk,
Sockeye Salmon, Tall Oregon Grape.

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