I love butterflies. I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to point and say, “Look at the butterfly!”
Category Archives: Animals:Defend/Protect
Gifts From Above
My crow cousins have been leaving gifts for me all around the garden and deck.
Shiny and sparkly!
So far I’ve discovered these four baubles. I always look up to see if I can catch the gift giver; so far I haven’t, but I say thank you out loud as I pocket my treasures.
Crows are known to give small gifts to people who pay attention to them or feed them. The phenomenon is actually called “gifting”. I don’t feed my local crow family as there is plenty to eat without my intervention, but I do talk to them and generally love their presence, so maybe they feel that emotion and return the affection. I’ve read that crows (and other corvids) remember the faces of those who are mean to them and those who are especially kind.
Some of my neighbors don’t appreciate our community of crows as much as I do, and I’m positive they aren’t receiving the same kinds of gifts like I am.
I’m full of gratitude to my bird family Thank you, cousins!
Check out another crow post:
Night Owls 🦉
I share my world with coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, skunks, possums, lots of bunnies, even more rats, and an assortment of birds including scrub jays, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, hawks, egrets, and herons.
Late at night I’m lucky to hear the hoots of a mating pair of Great Horned Owls in the tallest eucalyptus trees. It’s a soothing sound as I fall asleep, the hooting of owls in the distance.
Last night was different. I was awakened at 2:30 a.m. with the sound of that distinctive hoo-hoo-hoo only MUCH closer. Even through a closed window, it was LOUD, and so was the answering call.
This back and forth conversation didn’t stop for an hour and it was impossible to get back to sleep.
I learned that owls lay eggs in March, so maybe that’s what the chat was all about. My around the corner neighbor has an owl box, so that’s a logical thought.
Hopefully, they took turns hunting all the rats and mice around here, too.
Symbolically, hearing owls at night provides protective energy. The spiritual meaning of hearing an owl could be that it’s important to establish energetic boundaries.
Owls use their excellent hearing, keen eyesight, and silent wings to hunt and keep safe. So when our vision fails us in life, the owl’s call at night symbolizes protection and guidance. Hearing an owl at night can represent gaining a new direction in life.
Owls use their calls to claim their territory, to signal that there’s a predator nearby or to communicate with their partner.
The meaning of hearing two owls is related to spiritual enlightenment. An owl is the ultimate symbol of wisdom and maturity.
Two owls hooting is a sign that you’re in the middle of strong spiritual energies and you need to let them lead you into the changes your soul is going through.
It’s a reminder to open your heart and embrace the changes.
Higher forces have recognized it, so they’re sending you owls, as a dose of additional energy to move forward.
Owls are always carriers of important messages. If you’re wondering what it means to hear two owls late at night, the answer lies in the way you observe things around yourself.
Owls want you to change your perspective about recent events and try to discover why they really happened. There’s a hidden message behind it and you need to discover it.
If you hear an owl hooting near your house and wonder: “What does it mean when an owl hoots outside your house?”, the answer will cheer you up: an owl outside your house is considered to be a signal of good luck.
Owls are observed as highly spiritual animals and their hooting can only bring positive vibes to you.
Although different cultures have different interpretations of owl symbolism, almost every culture treats owls as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. joyceelliot.com
I’m tired today, but always find joy and gratitude in my wild friends.
It’s almost time for the March full moon and the night sky is clear and bright.
House Finch Invasion | Correction: Robin Invasion!
Thanks to the wonderful Marilyn from https://teepee12.com/, I learned that what I thought were House Finches were really American Robins.
I didn’t even know they called Southern California home, but I saw a note from our local Audubon Society that confirms it: “Have you read about the abundance of Robins in San Diego County this year?”
I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and looked out at an amazing sight. There were literally dozens of chirpy birds invading my garden, SO MANY I couldn’t even count them all.
At first I thought they were finches, which are plentiful here, but as I learned, was incorrect. All those birds were American Robins!!
I no longer have feeders because of my arch nemeses, RATS, so what they’re feasting on here is actually an invasive species, a Brazilian Pepper tree that somehow sprouted into the neighbor’s yard and they didn’t get rid of it like we did.
There’s no way I could capture as many as there are, but I’d say definitely more than fifty of these lovely red breasted birds are visiting Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
This makes sense because they’re eating red berries from the pepper tree.
They stayed for about an hour, saturating my world with their most delightful song and chirpy calls to friends and family. Every tree in the garden is full of these guys as well the rosemary and lavender bushes.
I’ve never seen anything like this. For me, It’s as exciting as spotting a pod of whales or dolphin. I’m grateful they chose my garden to visit. Pure joy!
Crows, Crows, and MORE Crows!
Kids really do listen to everything we say, that’s absolutely true.
One time I looked up as a crow flew by and said, “Hello, cousin!”
Angel Girl asked me why I said that, and I told her that crows are very smart and that I feel they’re like family to me.
The next time we saw crows fly by, she pointed and said, “There goes one of your cousins, Grandma!”
Mom asked her why she said that, and Angel Girl told her all the crows in the whole world are Grandma’s cousins, which is a great thing to her because she loves her own cousins.
The best part of the story is that it makes perfect sense to her that animals are family. I like that a lot.
Besides a murder of crows, there are other collective nouns for crows: a horde, a hover, a mob, a parcel, a parliament, and a storytelling.
As for a storytelling of crows? This is a bit of an unknown but crows do tend to gather in large flocks and are known for their loud ‘caw’. Perhaps someone observed this and decided that they weren’t so much plotting a murder but were telling stories to each other, https://www.birdspot.co.uk/
This photo from late yesterday afternoon must tell quite the story; I’ve never seen so many crows on the school field.
Seeing crows at sundown is a common occurrence around here, but not on this grand scale. Everyone driving by slowed down to gawk and neighbors came out to record it like I did.
On the roof, on the fence, on the fields — all my cousins!
Update: I sent the photo to my original Angel Boy and received a video text from his almost seven-year-old clone, AB 2.0 — “Hey Grandma, that’s a lot of cousins!”
My happiness grew exponentially.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge
After yet another too real lucid dream about my kitty Bandit, I’ve been thinking about all of my children, from Misty to Tawny to Sabrina, Yenta, and Stella Rondo (named for a character in a short story by Eudora Welty) to Victor, Blackie, darling Ban — cats and dogs, mostly Border Collies, but also my rescued wolf hybrid Beowulf (of course) and crazy Tovah, my neurotic black German Shepherd.
I can’t wait to meet my babies again; happy and healthy. It’s going to be HEAVENly.
Art by Susan Alison
LISTEN to the Serenade of America’s Songdogs
Last night in the garden around 9pm, I heard this chorus of beautiful songdogs; my beloved coyote family. This lasted nearly a full minute, along with other shorter lyrical melodies.
Turn up the volume, as it was extremely LOUD! I wanted to run up the hill to join them, but I did that once and broke my wrist in the dark, so I merely sent them all my love.
I know what you’re thinking, but there are other reasons for this symphony besides a fresh meal…
“The sound of coyotes howling and yipping at night sometimes causes people concern and alarm. Some mistakenly believe howling indicates that a group of coyotes has made a kill. While coyotes howl for a variety of reasons, it is not likely because they have downed prey. Doing so would draw attention and might attract competing coyotes or other predators to their location, which is not something a hungry coyote would want to do. Coyotes howl and yip primarily to communicate with each other and establish territory. They may bark when they are defending a den or a kill.” https://wildlifehelp.org/solution/district-columbia/coyote/should-i-be-concerned-if-i-hear-coyotes-howling-yipping-or-barking/93
RIP P-22: The Mountain Lion of LA’s Griffith Park
Even if you’re not from Southern California, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of P-22, a mountain lion that resided in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, on the eastern side of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Somehow he crossed freeways to settle in the rugged, chaparral-cloaked slopes of one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. He remained there since then, hunting mule deer and other animals for food in the natural areas of the park.
P-22 was first identified in 2012 and was the subject of significant media attention, also as the subject of books, television programs, and works of art. He even had his own Facebook page, courtesy of savelacougars.org/
He wasn’t just a big cat. He was a symbol of resistance, resistance to the idea that LA has no wildlife, to development in his own backyard, to dwindling numbers of mountain lions in SoCal.
P22 had been living in Griffith Park for about ten years, but it’s as if he was actually trapped. He could never find a mate as no other mountain lion could reach the park without getting killed on the freeways.
What a confusing world he must’ve lived in with all these loud humans with their fast cars and concrete. For me, he served as a reminder (along with coyotes and bobcats) that we have always been the invaders. They were here first.
A mountain lion believed to be the famous P-22 allegedly attacked and injured a small dog in Silver Lake until he was scared off by the pet’s owner. After that, he was captured and sedated for medical testing to evaluate his condition.
So far, I haven’t found satisfactory answers to my questions about why he wasn’t previously relocated, moved to a sanctuary, or helped before he reached such a deplorable physical condition. It seems to me as if he was used as a test subject solely for the purpose that his movements and actions could be studied by humans.
Did anyone actually CARE about HIS quality of life?
However, when he was captured, according to the LA Times, the wildlife agencies said in a joint statement that they had “already been in contact with leading institutions for animal care and rehabilitation centers”.
Too little, too late.
In 2016 it was believed that he killed and ate a koala from the LA Zoo,
California mountain lions are a “specially protected species.” Killing a mountain lion without a depredation permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment in the county jail or a fine of up to $10,000.
P22 was the focus of research led by federal biologists trying to “better understand how mountain lions are surviving in increasingly urbanized and fragmented habitat,” said Kate Kuykendall, acting deputy superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area. (Curated from https://www.baltimoresun.com/la-me-mountain-lion-to-remain-20160316-story.html)
Officials wept when announcing the decision and shared images of a severe herniation of his abdominal organs. Multiple organs were shutting down and he had a parasitic infection. The poor old guy was in pain and suffering. At that point, there was really no other compassionate solution. Sadly, I agree.
Is there no end to human cruelty, the tendency to exploit other living creatures? How disgusting.
Rest in peace and freedom, you beautiful creature.
You can pay to watch the video, P22: The Cat That Changed America here:https://www.earthtouchnews.com/video-on-demand/p22-the-cat-that-changed-america/
or view a short version on YouTube:
World Vegan Day | November 1
“Every time we eat, we have the power to radically transform the world we live in.” Ed Winters
From the amazing and dedicated Earthling Ed:
“Happy #WorldVeganDay everyone. I hope that you can take five minutes today to tune into my new short film which will be live on my YouTube at 6pm (GMT).
It would mean the world to me if you watched the film and shared it with someone in your life who still consumes dairy products. World Vegan Day would be a wonderful day for them to make the change.
Thank you so much for your support as always, I’m so proud of this project and incredibly honoured to have worked with so many kind and talented people on it.”
Earthling Ed (Ed Winters) is a vegan educator, best-selling author, public speaker, and content creator, widely known for his viral debates, speeches, and video essays.
In 2018 Ed announced the opening of Unity Diner, a non-profit vegan restaurant in London where all of the profits go directly back into helping animals.
He was a guest lecturer at Harvard University in 2019 and 2020.
In 2020, Ed founded Surge Sanctuary, a forever home to abused and unwanted animals on an 18 acre site in England. The sanctuary is currently home to more than one hundred rescued animals.
Learn more about him and being vegan at https://earthlinged.org/
“Here Kitty, Kitty!”
Besides me, who wants to pet my beautiful bobcat?
It’s the witching hour…the veil is thinning…it’s the time when all my nocturnal creatures visit Casa de Enchanted Seashells. PS Check out the exact time of this video, lol.
‘Tis the Witching Time of Night
by John Keats
‘Tis ” the witching time of night”,
Orbed is the moon and bright,
And the stars they glisten, glisten,
Seeming with bright eyes to listen —
For what listen they?
For a song and for a charm,
See they glisten in alarm,
And the moon is waxing warm
To hear what I shall say.
Moon! keep wide thy golden ears —
Hearken, stars! and hearken, spheres!
Hearken, thou eternal sky!
I sing an infant’s lullaby,
A pretty lullaby.
Listen, listen, listen, listen,
Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten,
And hear my lullaby!
Though the rushes that will make
Its cradle still are in the lake;
Though the linen then that will be
Its swathe, is on the cotton tree;
Though the woollen that will keep
It warm is on the silly sheep —
Listen, stars’ light, listen, listen,
Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten,
And hear my lullaby!
Child, I see thee! Child, I’ve found thee
Midst of the quiet all around thee!
Child, I see thee! Child, I spy thee!
And thy mother sweet is nigh thee!
Child, I know thee! Child no more,
But a Poet evermore!
See, see, the lyre, the lyre,
In a flame of fire,
Upon the little cradle’s top
Flaring, flaring, flaring,
Past the eyesight’s bearing.
Awake it from its sleep,
And see if it can keep
Its eyes upon the blaze —
It stares, it stares, it stares,
It dares what no one dares!
It lifts its little hand into the flame
Unharmed, and on the strings
Paddles a little tune, and sings,
With dumb endeavour sweetly —
Bard art thou completely!
O’ th’ western wild,
Bard art thou completely!
Sweetly with dumb endeavour,
A Poet now or never,
O’ the western wild,
A Poet now or never!