Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday's Treasures & Things

The treasure for this Tuesday is Wildlife in the Canyon. There is so much going on in nature this time of the year: Babies are born all to all species, parents are busy finding food and defending their territories. Bugs, flies, lizards and snakes are waking up or coming to life. I think some of them took a turn-around and went back in their holes because of the cold temperatures lately. This morning we woke up to frost once again and the temperature was 28 degrees F at six a.m. So we had to say goodbye to our vegetable garden for now. We may plant some more later or we may not. Before, I got up I snuggled in bed, listening to an owl hooting outside. It was lovely and it was then I decided to dedicate this post to wildlife, the real and true treasure of our lives here.

Yesterday, we had a visitor. This rather scrawny looking coyote came by. Right after the coyote left, three little baby jack rabbits came out and started eating. We have seen them grow up and we wonder what happened to their parents. They had a close call with the coyote.

About a month ago, we saw a very large, tan colored, bob cat. The cat was so big we started looking for a long tail. I'm still pretty sure it was a bob cat, while my hubby, wanting to be more dramatic, thought it was a young mountain lion. I was too busy looking for a tail to take a picture and the cat was far away. It was playing in the grass and so much fun to watch. Very cute, at a safe distance.

This is another bobcat that came by closer to the house.

Two mule deer also came by last month and it was fun to watch them. We have deer in the canyon, but not that many and we seldom see them down at our ranch.

This photo is of another encounter we saw on a hike this past winter.

My husband saw a fight in the air between a red-tailed hawk and two ravens that ended with the hawk fleeing as fast as it could. 

And I saw a strange sight as far as birds are concerned. When I sit at our dining room table, I face north and have a nice view of wildlife passing by. Last night, and also a few days ago when I took these photos, I saw two doves pecking away in the yard. At first I thought they were mourning doves, a bird I'm very familiar with from Los Angeles. However, on closer inspection, I noticed these birds were almost white and had a distinct black band around their necks. So I looked them up in my Audubon Society field guide and identified them as Ringed Turtle Doves. I always thought that turtle doves just existed in that Christmas carol. But I was in for another surprise when I read about them at the back of my book. This southern Asian species has been a caged bird for centuries, I learned, and a small number of them escaped from captivity and lives in down-town Los Angeles, California, and has apparently not spread. So its range is downtown L. A. where it is localized to a few parks and tree-lined streets. I guess these two, like me, got tired of all that traffic and noise and decided to seek adventure in the mountains.

The Western meadow larks are still here and I'm happy because they sing the prettiest songs of all the birds in the canyon.

Earlier in the spring, I would see the quail in pairs, now I see only the males. I assume the females are busy raising their many young chicks or keeping their eggs warm. I imagine they find food closer to home while busy with their young. I'm looking forward to later in the summer when I get to see them with all their little chicks.

Best of all, we spotted this guy, my favorite canyon bird. He was marching north and kept on marching that evening about a week ago. I have looked and looked, but I have not seen him again. I hope a pair is living somewhere around here because I find road runners the most entertaining birds to watch.

Finally, the most common birds in the canyon are still here, of course, looking for trash and trouble, but also helping to keep the canyon clean. My friends, the ravens.

As far as my health goes, I'm feeling much better and I will probably find out what's going on with my back later today. Have a great day everyone!


  1. I think I'll start calling you Mrs. Adams--as in Ansel. Wonderful photos (again)! How wonderful it must be to be surrounded by all that wildlife. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great photos Inger! I have missed a few of your posts and I apologize. I got in a little funk and quit reading blogs for a bit. I seem to have popped out of it now though. I am glad to hear you are feeling better too.

  3. What wonderful wildlife. I took a trip to Antalope Island the other day, and guess what I saw...Antalope...and a jack rabbit, buffalo, and lots of birds.
    Right now we are tending to an abandoned kitten. He's doing well - going on 5 weeks now. :)

  4. you do have a treasure trove of wildlife to share with us there!!! i loved it all!

    hoping the news on your back is good! glad you're feeling better too!

  5. I don't know if we're even going to plant a garden this year! Tomorrow it's June 1st and we're supposed to get T-storms in northern CA!!
    Love all your wildlife photos. I sure wish I could get close enough to a bob cat to snap a good photo!

  6. Inger, I love the various birds you have there; the Meadowlark is so pretty!
    and well, if you have only 28 degrees this morning, you aren't going to want to hear we are at 98 right now...a heat wave in NC for certain. I can't remember the last time it was below 90. However, I am NOT complaining :) but my golden is; he doesn't want to go out for a walk!

  7. What a great variety of wild life you have.
    I wonder if this weather is effecting their food sources.
    Road runners are cool to watch, I just hate to see them eat.

  8. You have such great wildlife there in CA and we did too in the foothills of the Sierra. Here in Alaska we don't have nearly as much as we have very few mammals and no critters like lizards and such. We get lots of visitors here to raise a family but in the winter they go South. I love the big cats they are so gorgeous.

  9. what a menagerie!! you're so fortunate to have such an view from your dining table!

    sorry about your garden though. it's a shame when you put all that hard work in and it gets wiped out overnight.

  10. What a beautiful post, Inger. I felt like we were having tea together, watching the world outside your window go by. Thank you! I've never seen a road runner. From your photo, it's prettier than I had thought.

    That's good news about your back. Just a bit more time.

  11. Nice shots of all your wildlife! I imagine you keep that camera handy, just like I do. I am not as lucky with the shots as you though.

    I hope the check-up is promising and you are completely mended soon!

  12. I am glad to hear that you are feeling better.

    Loved the pictures of the fauna around you. The bob cat impressed me. I've never seen one. The dove could not be more round - it looked like a little bubble on the ground, the cutie.

    We also love the Roadrunners, and had one parade all over our front lawn once. They catch snakes and we were wishing they would nest in our little forest, behind the pond.

    Have a great day too, Inger.

  13. Thanks for sharing. So much wild life. Is the Raven from one of the three that you took a picture of sometime ago. You can probably come up with a story with your pictures. Such nice posts:)

  14. Hope the doctor's report is good news... we're having mild weather here on the Valley floor this week... dreading the hot weather just around the corner though.

  15. My condolences on the loss of your garden!

    Your wildlife is beautiful. Just think of the people who have never experienced even one of those wonderful animals/birds in real life!

  16. You have some great wildlife. That is what I love about living far outside a city. So much to see when you look outside the window!

  17. what a treasure trove of creatures.

    Mountain Lion usually longer than they are tall

  18. Hi Inger - first hope yesterday went off alright and your back is improving and will heal completely.

    It's always strange that it can be so cold in a desert .. but then the wildlife is so different. Lovely pictures and descriptions ..

    Loved seeing the bobcat, western meadow lark and the road runner .. thanks - Hilary

  19. I'm still partial to the road runner. xo

  20. Thanks for your comments and no need to apologize for not visiting, Sandy. I have missed a lot of blog reading myself lately. Thanks again Upupaepops, this cat was boxy, like the one in the photo above and having seen so many of them, that's what convinced me it was a bobcat. The color was unusual and it was very large, but playful like a youngster. I am very fortunate to have all these critters visiting me on a regular basis.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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