Saturday, August 18, 2007

Wildlife of Corvallis: The Llama

The Willamette valley of Oregon is, geographically speaking, the northernmost reach of the greater Bolivian Altiplano. As such it is home to the Desert Jaguar, the Flamingo, the Northern Capybara, and of course the deadly Llama.

In the mid- to late northern summer, the llama flocks begin to arrive from the southern parts of their habitat, to lay their eggs and feast on the abundant ripe blackberries. Here is a young hatchling, or llambkin, spotted in a nearby field:


Despite their majestic beauty, the llamas are considered pests in the valley. Farmers spray for them at the start of blackberry season, and homeowners employ netting on their chimneys to avert the nuisance of cleaning up sooty llama prints between the fireplace and kitchen every morning.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wildlife of Corvallis: Black-capped Chickadee

The Willamette valley has a lot of plants and animals that are new to me, so I wanted to blog photos of some of them. I have a new phone with a camera in it, which I love very much, but you'll have to pardon the quality of some of the images.

Today's find is called a "black-capped chickadee" by the folks at the Audubon society booth. My own name for it is the "white-cheeked seed pig", because of it's white cheeks and it's cookie-monster-like eating habits. I've circled it in blue below. If you compare the photo with bird books, it doesn't look that great. But if this were a picture of Bigfoot, this photo would be considered SHOCKING PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE. So I ask you to judge it by those standards.

Black-capped chickadee

Here's another photo of the same bird by a guy on flickr named prariedog:

Black-capped chickadee

I think you can see the resemblance.

We have three of these seed-pigs that visit the yard as a group. Are they a breeding pair and a brother-in-law? A menage-a-trois? Three hot chicks out on the town? I can't tell because I'm a lousy chickadee sexer, and know nothing of their chickadee ways.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chris and Andrew Go to Oregon

I live in Oregon now. I live in a house. I have a yard. It is very thirsty. I have bad plants. I have to cut them. The spiders live in the bad plants. They bite me. We are not the best of friends.

We have a kitchen. It is pink. It has mirrors. It is tacky. But I love my kitchen.


Here is my boyfriend. He is sitting in the pink kitchen. Sit, boyfriend, sit! Enjoy your pink kitchen! The spiders do not bite you.