Last month after writing a post about photographer Joel Sartore and his work on the National Geographic Photo Ark, I invited you, our readers, to send in your photographs to help build our own Circlewood Photo Ark. Thank to all of you who responded. The result is the wonderful, varied collection that I share today.

As you look through the photographs, I hope you enjoy the individual beauty of each creature represented as well as the ark as a whole. It reminds us that nonhuman creatures are living all around us, whether we see them or not. We share this world with them—it is their home as much as it is ours.

I would love to continue to expand the Photo Ark, so feel free to keep sending photographs my way and I will add them to this post on our website. There's plenty of room for more creatures in our ark.

Left: Song sparrow, Lawrence Township, NJ, Christina Lelache; Right: Sea star, Bellingham, WA, Jessalyn Gentry.

Left: Tree frog, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor; Right: Cardinal meadowhawk dragonfly, Whidbey Island, WA, Martha Ellis (seen at Greenbank Farm, central Whidbey Island)

Left: Barred Owl, Cinebar, WA, Randi Reed; Right: Southern purple mint moth caterpillar, McKinney, TX, Mike Merchant. (Obscure caterpillar that feeds on mint plants, mostly in the southern US. Identified from accompanying photos of adult.  Feeds on rosemary.)

Left: Rough Skinned Newt, Camano Island, WA., James Amadon; Right: Snow Geese, Skagit County, WA, Mac Taylor.

Left: Mallard duck, Chicago Botanical Gardens, Chicago, IL, Douglas Johnson; Right: Pacific marten, Marblemount, WA, Martha Ellis (We encountered the Pacific marten in the summer of 2021 along the Cascade Pass trail.  We've seen martens in several places over the years, but this was our best look ever).

Left: Northern flicker, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor; Right: Eight Spotted Skimmer, Bothell, WA., Louise Conner

Left: Great blue heron, Whidbey Island, WA, Martha Ellis (Keystone is the Whidbey (Coupeville) terminus of the ferry to Port Townsend.  There's an old fuel dock nearby that usually hosts quite a few cormorants.  In recent years, a few pairs of great blue herons have started nesting there as well.); Right: Marmot, Mount Rainier, Jerry Gentry.

Left: Neck of horse clam, Boston Harbor, WA, Louise Conner Right: Black-capped chickadee, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor

Left: Fawn, Cinebar, WA, Jeff Reed; Right: Great Horned Owl, Whidbey Island, WA, Martha Ellis (This photo was taken through our kitchen window in 2021.  We hear great horned owls quite often in our neighborhood along Coupeville's Parker Road. There's been an incursion of barred owls in recent years.  The 'alien' barreds are definitely aggressive, but the great horned owls are managing to hold their own.)

Left: California Quail, San Juan Island, WA., Mike Merchant; Right: Townsend chipmunk, Snow Lake, WA, Louise Conner

Left: Pika, Mt. Baker, WA, Martha Ellis (seen along the Chain Lakes trail near the ski area, in Sept. 2019.  Pikas are some of our favorite creatures!); Right: Mussels, Oregon coast, Jerry Gentry

Left: Spotted sandpipers, Boston Harbor, WA, Louise Conner; Right: California sea lions, Whidbey Island, WA, Martha Ellis. (Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey's west side, is a reliable place to see northern Steller's sea lions in the water and hauled out solo or in groups of 3 or so on a particular buoy well offshore.  Last year, however, we also got much closer looks at smaller and darker California sea lions when they hauled out on the docks at the Captain Whidbey Inn, on the Penn Cove side.  Highest count of Californias was 40-some, as I recall.)

Left: Raccoon, Hope Island State Park, WA, Louise Conner; Right: Red breasted sapsucker, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor

Left: Bald eagle, Whidbey Island, WA, Martha Ellis (Whidbey has quite a few nesting pairs of bald eagles.  Territory is at a  premium and most of the young ones eventually have to find their own spaces over on the mainland, but it's always fun to see the juveniles while they're here.); Right: Mountain goat, Banff National Park, Jerry Gentry

Left: Baby bunny, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor; Right:  Black-capped chickadee, Boston Harbor, WA, Louise Conner

Left: House finch, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor; Right:  Northern alligator lizard, Bothell, WA, Louise Conner

Left: Western tiger swallowtail butterfly, Coupeville, WA, Martha Ellis (our neighbor has several very large rhododendrons which attract lots of western tiger swallowtail butterflies and other species); Right: Common loon, Whidbey Island, WA, Louise Conner

Left: Harbor seals, Bellingham Bay, WA, Jerry Gentry (as seen from a whale watching boat over this summer); Right: Tricolored bumble bee, Bothell, WA, Louise Conner

Left: Evening grosbeak, Monroe, WA., Mac Taylor. Right: Anna's hummingbird, Boston Harbor, WA, Louise Conner;

Right: Tree swallow, Monroe, WA, Mac Taylor; Left: Unknown horned creature captured on webcam, Cinebar, WA, Jeff Reed;

Left: Curled pill bug, Boston Harbor, WA, Louise Conner; Right: Uncurled pill bug, Boston Harbor, WA, Louise Conner

Left: Northwestern salamander, Lake Stevens, WA, Sally Jo Sebring; Right: Moose, Alaska, Corryn Vento

Left: Mule deer, Yosemite National Park, CA, Karen Hoyt; Center: American robin, Yosemite National Park, CA, Karen Hoyt (Photos from Yosemite the last day they were opened before closing for the pandemic. It was beautiful and silent. We were just about the only people left. It was magical); Right: Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar, Edmonds, WA, Forrest Inslee.

Left: Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar, Edmonds, WA, Forrest Inslee; Right: Dragonfly, Yelm, WA, Mark Carlson.

Left: Umber skipper butterfly, Yelm, WA, Mark Carlson; Right: Yellow-faced bumble bee, Yelm, WA, Mark Carlson.

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