Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Life in the wild

It seems as if there is a quail convention going on. This morning my front hill is filled with several families whooping and pecking, at least 40 or 50 of them. After a long discussion they decide to break up into two groups. Half ran across the street and went up the hill and proceeded left, in-line, to continue to climb.

The second group after finding whatever they could to eat on my hill made their own procession down to my backyard, through which the greenbelt runs. Earlier there was a single young doe that came walking up the road and into the forested area across from my home.

First though it paused to have its fill of oak leaves and to watch me furtively and with great curiosity. Just the two of us, me on my deck, she on the opposite hill until the chipmunk breaking cover startled her and breaking eye contact she moved quickly into the greater density of the forest.

It is interesting to see how the wild creatures look out for each other. The Quail always have a look out that tells them when it is safe to go and in which direction. The squirrels too have posted guards to make warning calls by slapping their tails when danger or humans are near. When a feral cat or predator comes near the whole forest comes alive, squirrels slapping, birds screeching, quails whooping like telegraph drums in the wild.

Some birds will swoop in and dive while  rabbits and chipmunks run for cover. Sometimes I see a Quail Hawk perched on a pole or wire waiting to spot a quarry to dine on, but more often than not he is thwarted, as is the feral cat that comes to hunt stealthily in my garden.

I think at times they feel as if I am one of their lookouts as well, high up on my deck. And I too call out warnings or shoo off the trespasser. I also provide seed, water, nuts and other treats to the wildlife so that many gather in my yard. I realize they were here first and we live in peace and harmony here.