The June Full Moon is called the Strawberry Moon. The Algonquin tribes associated this moon with the gathering of strawberries.
The June Full Moon is also known as the Rose Moon, Honey Moon, and Mead Moon. Perhaps it is the time of collecting honey, picking roses and making mead.
I have not noticed a pink hue to the moon in the past couple days. The night before it was officially full, I gazed upon a lovely, if not ominous, moon surrounded by swirly clouds. I especially liked the way the moon was lighting up the clouds around it.
I quickly shot a bunch of hand-held photos. Not sharply in focus, they do not need to be. Think of them as atmospheric, dreamy.
On the following night of the real full moon, I looked out and saw a crystal clear white moon, with no clouds. Not as interesting, so I did not shoot it.
Strawberry moon? I have been waiting for my strawberries to ripen. They seem late and not many so far this June.
True, we have had cooler, cloudy weather, but I usually am harvesting many berries by now.
There is promise: strawberry blossoms and unripened fruit.
It’s officially June! I found this ten-lined June bug, or June beetle, right next to my front door! That was really strange, because just minutes before I was singing a line from a Lucinda Williams song that goes “June bug versus the hurricane…”
I had only seen one of these beetles in my yard once before.
This large beetle is a member of the scarab family. The grubs live underground and feed on plant roots. the adults feed on plant foliage. There are several varieties of beetles called June bugs and they all look different. Another common one is a large green one.
I’m glad this attractive one came to visit. I discovered that they hiss!
Birding at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Hoquiam, Washington, I walked from the parking area to the trailhead, past these old structures at the little Bowerman Airport.
The absence of people and planes, and the starkness of the hangars against the surrounding landscape and big sky drew me to photograph them.
The blue and white buildings; the blue and white sky; white building and white flowers.
Last time I was out here, the restaurant was still operating and was bustling with hungry customers. The retro décor and classic diner menu were lots of fun. Back then when my birding group stopped there for lunch I thought, what a strange place for a restaurant. But now I see it was likely a sort of landmark that drew birders, pilots, as well as locals for good food and company. Now, it was closed, enhancing or perhaps causing the atmosphere of abandonment.
Part of the Port of Grays Harbor, this airfield has one runway. The facility has fuel, a pilot’s lounge, rental hangars, and is touted as “jet-capable.”
The hangars have seen better days and I wondered whether there were any planes inside. What could be the purpose of the oddly shaped roofs?
I don’t know how often planes use the airport, but nearby, birds and birders flock to the wetland habitat at the wildlife refuge. Particularly in spring, the salt marsh and mudflats host thousands of migrating shorebirds. Raptors also are drawn to the abundance of prey.
This landscape is a magnet for wings of different sizes and shapes.
We call them pigeons. Birders have called them rock doves. Apparently now, the powers that be in the bird world have declared them to be rock pigeons.
One of the most familiar birds worldwide, these chunky, multicolored birds have adapted so well that we can find them in cities and farm fields, in parks and on rocky cliffs. They are members of the Columbidae family, along with all other pigeons and doves.
Their natural diet includes seeds and fruits, but they’re excellent scavengers, loitering in places where people gather and tend to drop morsels that can be snatched. They are equally creative in using various spaces for their nests.
Pigeon skills in navigation and homing proved valuable during World Wars I and II, when they were used by the U.S. Army Signal Corps to carry messages.
Though pigeons seem ubiquitous, the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) estimates that the population has declined by almost 50 percent since 1966. The survey is a long-term, large-scale cooperative effort of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service.
The program began in 1966, led by Chandler Robbins, a researcher at Patuxent and good friend of Rachel Carson, who penned the landmark book Silent Spring. Her book alerted the world to the effects of pesticides on bird populations, but was considered quite controversial when it was published. Robbins died in 2017, just short of his 99th birthday. He was a renowned ornithologist and often birded with Carson. You can read more about them at http://www.rachelcarson.org/mChanRobbins.aspx
The BBS continues to be an important tool in avian research and the formation of conservation programs.
The global population of pigeons is estimated at 120 million and though declining in North America, they are not currently a species of concern.
Watching pigeon behavior can be a fun past time. Recently while waiting at a bus stop in downtown Seattle, I watched a group of them ambling about. It’s fun to make your own narrative of what’s going on.