I went out to Smith & Bybee Lakes yesterday. I haven’t been able to get out there as often as I’d like, but it’s great to visit and track the changes going on there over the year. Check out my last visit from April 24. I started visiting last October and plan to visit about once a month for a whole year. I love watching the changes of nature over time.
It was 59 degrees and lightly overcast. Very little wind and no precipitation.
As soon as I took two steps into the forest you could tell it was springtime. Warm, wet weather (it has just poured rain the day before). The bird song and bird calls were so loud they took over like someone turned on a giant bird radio. The plants were lush and green and full. Flowers were open and colorful. The cottonwoods were dropping cotton flakes, floating through the air like a light snowfall. What a difference from the last time I was there!
The trees had a strange rusty dust on the trunks. I have no idea what that was but it was everywhere.
I keep saying this each time I post, but the water level was the highest it’s been since I started visiting in October. I don’t know why it surprises me that it keeps going up, but it continues to surprise me each time! You can’t even get out to view Smith Lake, the path down there is so flooded. People launch their kayaks and canoes from that path, it’s a great place to do so. There is a view of Smith Lake from the other side from a viewing platform along the walking path. But my original spot to take pictures of Smith has been inaccessible for quite some time. I can’t wait to see at what point the water level goes down again.
The water was also covered with a green film. Algae or moss or whatever hangs out on top of water. The grass surrounding Bybee was so tall it was above my head.
Birds and bird families were everywhere. The robins pretty much dominated. Parents feeding fledglings on the ground. Yellow warblers were the next most abundant. Nests seen all over. I spied a morning dove sitting quietly on a nest, it was in really good cover so I couldn’t snap a good picture, but it was adorable. The osprey nest also has a young. I saw the parent fly away and one little head remained tucked down. I also saw female mallards with their little groups of teenagers.
Species list for the day:
- northern flicker
- barn swallow
- tree swallow
- yellow warbler
- wood duck
- great blue heron
- morning dove
- marsh wren
- song sparrow
- cedar waxwing