We have forest on two sides of us up here on Cougar Mountain. The seasons are right on schedule, with very heavy growth of green foliage and incredible amounts of salmonberries (finished now) and red elderberries (just finishing). The birds are gorging themselves: song sparrows, goldfinches, band-tailed pigeons, spotted towhees, crows, parijees (Swainson’s thrush), western tanangers, chickadees, and dark-eyed juncoes, not to mention those awesome songsters, the Douglas Squirrels, who seem particularly vocal in the cedars all around us this year. The deer and bunnies have neglected to molest our flowers, presumably because of all the lush foliage everywhere they turn. And, what with the pattern of heatwave, drizzle, heatwave, drizzle, the white fungus that usually strikes the forest in late spring is completely missing in action this year.
All the leaves are still bright spring green and shiny. And the birds and squirrels are bursting with song–Shelley says they are singing out with the joy of being alive in such a fine and lovely place. The parijee songs are awesome soaring flute concertos in the forest canopy. The Douglas squirrels chirp and chitter in counterpoint, often timing their calls to those of the parijees. Enchanting!