Tiny Catch

An American bittern catches a small fish

I’ve frequently seen bitterns catch tiny little fish like this one and I often wonder if it’s worth the effort (especially so when the larger herons and egrets do it). I guess they’re not expending much extra effort while on patrol looking for all kinds of prey, be it fish or frog or vole or snake or earthworm.

Catch, Dunk, Swallow

An American bittern swallows a Pacific treefrog

They say pictures never lie but they can certainly give the wrong impression. This American bittern, swallowing a treefrog it just caught, caught it further away from the water but came down to the water, dunked it, and swallowed it. As adults treefrogs often live near water but spend most of their time on land (and more often near the ground rather than in trees). The bittern has covered both its eyes with a nictitating membrane to protect them as it flips the frog down towards its throat.

Trixie Beats the Heat

Our tortoiseshell cat Trixie yawns while sitting on the kitchen counter

The window nook in the kitchen has become one of Trixie’s favorite hangouts, especially in the midst of an unusual heatwave where the cool kitchen counter provides some welcome relief. By the middle of next week we’re in for a brutal week of hot weather so I’ve ordered a portable air conditioner so we’ll have at least one comfortable room we can all hang out in.


Rocks on Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington

From a distance Rialto Beach looks like an endless stretch of gray rocks. While walking down the beach my eye was initially drawn to a small red rock amidst the gray, and on closer inspection I realized there was a variety of sizes and shapes and textures and colors beneath my feet. One thing they share, though, is that the endless waves of the ocean that brought these rocks together has worn away their rough edges, leaving them different yet also similar, a whole greater than the sum of its parts.