The rain is back today and poured during my weekly adventure searching for Crow Tales. At the beach a few hardy Northwestern Crows were foraging and were happy for a little bread. Here is one of the crew looking a little soggy.
With not much to report on Baby Crows or my usual cast of characters I thought it would be good to talk about Madrona trees. I mention them a lot lately because the Crows play, breed and hang out in the Madrona Forest that is above the Arroyos/Seola Beach. A lot of you might not have had much contact with them since they are a species that is not seen often outside of the Western side of the Pacific Northwest.
They have a very graphic look with their distinct color trunks and foliage. They are most often seen close to bodies of salt water and are fussy about drainage around their roots. They have white little bell-shaped flowers that become red berries. Many animals love them from birds to raccoons. We call them Madrona on the US side of the border. In Canada they are referred to as Arbutus. It is also known as the Madroño, Madroña, Bearberry, or Strawberry Tree. Its species name was given it in honour of the Scots naturalist Archibald Menzies who noted it during George Vancouver’s voyage of exploration.
Their Latin name is Arbutus menziesii and are described in Wiki as a broadleaf evergreen tree with rich orange-red bark that peels away on the mature wood, leaving a greenish, silvery appearance that has a satin sheen and smoothness. I found one that recently fell down and you can see the fabulous reddish bark they have in this picture.
Now a picture from the beach looking up towards the forest to give you a greater view of where they are and why the beach wildlife love living in them.