My Lovely Lizard

It’s time to grab the camera when this little guy strikes a pose!

He’s reclining on an outdoor sculpture of (what else) seashells and starfish.

It seems a lovely vantage point to observe the garden. Nice and warm in the sun, he stayed in that same position for quite a while.

#WordlessWednesday

Death, be not proud

Yesterday in the late afternoon I took a walk around the lagoon.

Although I’m a fast walker and normally gaze straight ahead, at one point I looked down and saw a hawk feather and then another and another and my eyes followed a trail of feathers to the tragic and somber sight of a juvenile hawk that must have had a catastrophic collision with a vehicle.

His poor little mangled body was crushed beyond recognition but I was able to collect a handful of feathers. I thought I’d bring them home and design some kind of creation to honor his short life.

Native Americans believed a hawk’s death is a good omen and it’s symbolic of when their troubles will end and they will receive blessings. The appearance of a dead hawk is an indication of a significant event or could also be suggestive of a needed life transformation.

I immediately thought of the Donne poem, Death, be not proud. I’m not exactly sure that the meaning works in this situation, but since that’s the first thing that came to mind, here it is.

HOLY Sonnet: Death, be not proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy’or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

John Donne – 1571-1631

Scott’s Oriole

My bright and beautiful Scott’s Orioles are back! From bunnies to birds, I don’t have to go anywhere to be entertained.

I can’t say rats are bringers of joy, though, Or the mouse I saw this morning, but thank goodness it was outside so I didn’t have to completely freak out.

I think my little wounded bun is going to be OK. Fur is growing back and he’s still eating the greens I put out for him, which is a whole lot better than enduring the trauma of being captured.

Backyard Bunny Drama

Every spring I see baby bunnies but the core family of about five rabbits stays the same. I can only assume that the babies grow up and move away to other locations.

This year it’s a bit different. For about a week, I’ve noticed a baby bun as small as my hand, hiding under lavender bushes or in the plants around the deck. He was one of the bunnies who was eating an apple that got stolen by that horribly disgusting rat.

A couple days ago I accidentally got him wet as I was watering and he ran right by me so I got a good look. There seemed to be a wound of some sort on top of his head, not actively bleeding, but if I had a guess, it has the appearance of talons or claws. Maybe a hawk or owl grabbed it but for some reason, didn’t fly away with dinner. These wounds weren’t there when I had previously seen him.

I called Project Wildlife to find out if there’s anything I should do or could do for this little guy. They advised me to monitor the bun for a day or so to see if the wound looked better or worse or if the bun seemed less mobile and in distress. If so, they told me to put him in a box and bring to their location.

It makes me very sad to see any injured animal, and I want to do what I can to help. I put a few pieces of garden lettuce in the place I’ve most often seen this bun. A few minutes later, they were gone. I put more out with other veggies like small carrots and red pepper slices, and watched him eat those, too.

I’ve been moving closer and closer. He’s becoming more comfortable with my presence which is great because I want to cause the least amount of trauma if I have to throw a towel over him to put in a box lined with soft t-shirts.

So far, so good. As long as he eats and still runs around, I will continue to monitor him today, and think about bringing him to Project Wildlife tomorrow.

Here’s a photo of the little one with two separate head wounds. Doesn’t it look like he was grabbed by something?

Talking About Coyotes | Compassionate Coexistence

From the wonderful people at Project Coyote, download a free ebook to learn more about the beautiful songdog: Coyotes in our Midst:
https://projectcoyote.org/resources/books/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=8962dc96-ad12-412d-9113-cb717cf36b2c

And definitely watch this video encouraging the concept of compassionate coexistence:

A Modern Day Apologue

[Apologue, a moral fable, especially one with animals as characters.]*

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful garden. It was filled with lush fruit trees and vegetables and flowers of every color.

On this day, the sun shone warm and bright even though it was late afternoon.

Three rabbits and a baby bunny were in a sort of circle, sharing a meal of a small green apple that had fallen from the tree and rolled onto the lawn.

I was able to view this idyllic scene directly from my bedroom window where I had stopped for a moment to take off a couple of rings and a bracelet.

Without warning, a gigantic rat ran up to the bunnies, stole the apple and scurried away with it in his mouth.

None of the bunnies seemed to care or even defend their ownership of the apple.

I became paralyzed, rooted to the floor, unable to process what I was seeing and unable to even snap a photo.

The End

*I don’t know what the moral of this story is supposed to be, except that I seem to be surrounded by vermin and also it’s also a play on words (apple/apologue).

More than 15,000 rat bites are reported each year in the United States. All rat bites should be treated by a doctor. Some of the diseases that can be spread from rats to people are bubonic and pneumonic plague, murine typhus, salmonella, leptospirosis, Hantavirus, and tularemia.

Early Morning Butterfly

That’s not my newly planted milkweed, but a forsythia bush where this Mourning Cloak butterfly is soaking up the quiet morning sun.

Bunny Breakfast

Around 6:30 this morning as I pulled back the curtains and looked out my bedroom window, I was greeted by a darling bun chewing on a few kale leaves I had picked but forgot to bring inside.

I thought I read somewhere that rabbits don’t like kale, but this little one enjoyed every bite.

What a happy way to wake up and face a new week!

Raven or Crow?

Both ravens and crows live in my neighborhood, but I think these two thirsty birds are crows.
What do you think?

This photo was taken as I peeked through the long pointy fronds of a ponytail palm situated directly outside my downstairs living room.

Here’s an especially informative Audubon link that helps to discern the differences between the two:https://www.audubon.org/news/how-tell-raven-crow

Bees All Around

I guess the bees in my neighborhood decided to celebrate Earth Day by swarming in my loquat tree which is right next to the deck.

I can’t believe how fast it happened. As recently as yesterday I was tying the long branches of a grapevine to the loquat branches — not ideal, I know — but this year the grapes went crazy and there was no other place for them.

This morning I saw a few bees near the vines and the tree and thought it was odd, and as I started to walk closer and closer I saw a gigantic mass of bees.

Somewhere I read that a swarm of bees means happiness. Swarming bees mean richness, gain, and luck.

It’s very windy and in the eighties today but I’m keeping a VERY WIDE berth away from these bees. I hope they rest and move on quickly because that location is too close to the patio door and as much as I heart bees for their existence, I don’t want them in the house. Or even close to it.

UPDATE: I had to close the patio doors when those hundreds of bees that created a swarm decided to buzz away at the same time. It was a frenzy of bees! I wish I had gotten video but I was rooted to the spot watching the activity. Moments later they were all gone. Not one single bee remained. I feel so lucky that they chose my tree to rest in and catch their breath before moving on their journey. They knew it was a safe place, a sanctuary. How awesome is that?