“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 —
Amaze, amaze!
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!
Little child
O’ th’ western wild,
Bard art thou completely!
Sweetly with dumb endeavour,
A Poet now or never,
Little child
O’ the western wild,
A Poet now or never!

Lurking Lizard: Search and Rescue

I’m involved in a search, rescue, and release mission because a baby lizard somehow sneaked in the house.

Right now he’s lying low, evading my efforts to liberate him, lurking behind the sofa.

I’ve tried everything; this isn’t the first time it’s happened, but so far I’m not successful in this rescue and release.

And that means neither is that lizard because there’s nothing for him to eat here – no flies, worms, caterpillars, nada.

I’m only trying to help.

I cleaned behind the sofa and now there’s no dust, either.

WHERE ARE YOU, LIZARD?

A brief Google search let me know that lizards symbolize resurrection, rebirth, and regeneration. In Egyptian hieroglyphics, the symbol of the lizard was representative of plentiful abundance. A lizard in one’s house is often seen to represent an old friend or acquaintance, reminding you of their spirit. 

The next morning…still no sign of this lizard, but I’m still looking. I haven’t given up yet.

Just after noon, I almost stepped on this little lizard as he was well camouflaged on a floral rug, but he made a wise choice to reveal his location. I grabbed a plastic container, pushed him in, and ran outside to set him free.

Enjoy your freedom, my friend!

Mission accomplished.

Look Down! Baby Bird Alert!

When it cooled off slightly in late afternoon, I went out to the garden to water plants because it’s been SO HOT and everything is parched. We haven’t had rain in a long, long time.

I heard chirpy calls that sounded a bit distressful. How could I tell? I like to think that I can communicate with animals–whether or not that’s true, it does make me listen to them, and I feel that I can distinguish one sound from another, sort of like when you know why your baby is crying, whether it’s hungry or tired or frustrated…

At that precise moment that I heard those chirps, I was walking on my stone pathway and I looked down. There, camouflaged on a rock, I spied a tiny bird. If I hadn’t paid attention, I would have stepped on him/her!

I ran back on the deck to grab my phone, and he had hopped up on an exposed tree root.

I began to have a chat with this darling creature who appeared to be lost and a bit scared. I can understand why, because he’s definitely NOT supposed to be sitting on a gray rock exposed to all sorts of danger.

I brought over a small pan of fresh water and watched him hop around a little and flex his wings, so I surmised he had fallen out of a nest and wasn’t actually injured.

Again I became aware of lots of birds circling the area, yellow chirpy finches calling out to this little guy, so I knew it was a Lesser Goldfinch fledgling, a common bird in Southern California and one I often am lucky enough to see around here.

From the tree root he hopped onto a hanging succulent and finally made it all the way into a basin shaped planter on top of the tree stump. With his family encouraging him to join them and fly to safety, I thought it was best to give them all space and went in the house.

Later, just before dark, I checked and he was gone. As soon as I woke up this morning, I checked again and there’s no sign of him.

Fingers crossed, I’m hopeful that this was another happy ending at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

I discovered a lovely poem by Mary Oliver:

Goldfinches

In the fields
we let them have-
in the fields
we don’t want yet-

where thistles rise
out of the marshlands of spring, and spring open-
each bud
a settlement of riches-

a coin of reddish fire-
the finches
wait for midsummer,
for the long days,

for the brass heat,
for the seeds to begin to form in the hardening thistles,
dazzling as the teeth of mice,
but black,

filling the face of every flower.
Then they drop from the sky.
A buttery gold,
they swing on the thistles, they gather

the silvery down, they carry it
in their finchy beaks
to the edges of the fields,
to the trees,

as though their minds were on fire
with the flower of one perfect idea-
and there they build their nests
and lay their pale-blue eggs,

every year,
and every year
the hatchlings wake in the swaying branches,
in the silver baskets,

and love the world.
Is it necessary to say any more?
Have you heard them singing in the wind, above the final fields?
Have you ever been so happy in your life?

Compassion

“Compassion is the awareness of a deep connection between yourself and all creatures.”

This picture could totally be me.

Someone once told me I was a wolf in a former life and I wasn’t actually all that surprised. Even as a little girl in Detroit. somehow I always knew that wolves and coyotes were my spirit animals.

During my lifetime, I rescued a wolf hybrid, studied wolves in college, and worked with wolves at a wildlife refuge.

There’s nothing to compare with the feeling of deep intelligence when a wolf looks directly into your eyes. It’s transcendent.

Humans really really need to stop murdering sentient beings. Really. It breaks my heart.

From Don’t Fund the Wolf Massacre States

Dove and Hawk Encounter

Intently absorbed in my dishwashing chore, I heard a scuffling sort of sound from the backyard and looked out the kitchen window.

Perched on top of the canvas awning shading a garden bench was a giant hawk. I followed his eyes and saw a dove rush for safety under a lavender bush.

I watched him fly a few feet away to the fence and grabbed my camera. It’s not as sharp a photo as I wished, but it’s better than nothing!

I hoped the dove had escaped even though I know doves are a favorite meal of birds of prey. Honestly, with all the rats and mice and bunnies running rampant in my garden, I think those creatures are much better options than a poor little bird.

I heard a familiar “coocoocoo” — take a look at what I found on my deck, none other than the dove. She wasn’t alone; there was a baby dove, too! They weren’t at all scared of me as I crept closer and closer to see if anyone was injured by the hawk.

I’ve never before seen them on the deck. As usual, I didn’t want to interfere unless it was necessary. They sat close together for a couple of hours, then mom flew up to the roof.

She spent a long time calling to the baby to encourage him to fly to her, to no avail. Just as I was prepping a box with a soft towel to scoop up the baby for a visit to Project Wildlife, the mom came back.

This time, they flew away together.

It was a happy ending for the doves and I was once again impressed but not surprised by the obvious caring and affectionate behavior of animals to their children that often far surpasses human maternal actions.

Mom’s devotion to her child was inspiring. Who can claim animals aren’t sentient beings?

Animal moms are some of the best moms on this planet.

Bobcat Sanctuary

I wonder if this gorgeous bobcat knew how much I miss Bandit, my kitty daughter, and decided to take a before dawn stroll through the upper gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

I have a new wildlife camera; one that has audio as well as video, but no sounds emanated from my nocturnal visitor.

It’s been a long, long while since my coyotes stopped by but I’m hopeful they’ll pass through very soon.

I placed my older camera in the lawn area and I’ve been enlightened as to what goes on while I sleep. There are a lot of RATS seemingly coming out of nowhere, more than I had suspected. I placed white mesh bags around every grape cluster on the vines and that seems to be working to protect them from being totally destroyed by those rodents. I’ll try the bags next year when the apple tree bears fruit again. At this point, I’ll try almost anything.

I can’t tell if this is a male or female, so I’ll need to find a name that works for either gender. Any suggestions?

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

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:

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!