January 18th, 2011
I can’t see the moon through the fog, but it must be there because it’s so bright, However, it’s not the same type of bright that exists with a clear sky and a good moon. It’s a thick, gray blanket that somehow is reflecting whatever light there is through my bedroom windows, and, it is wet. Dew has been dripping off the roof for at least the past hour.
The fog also seems to be stopping the night sounds from drifting outward, because everybody seems to be just a few feet from the house. By everybody, I mean the three Great Horned Owls hooting back and forth (I read that owls are courting this time of year), the neighbor’s little rooster and the seemingly thousands of Spring Peepers down at the pond. Oops, the peepers have stopped for a while. How do they do that? They always stop at once and then they always just start up again at once. It’s so cool! (I wander if any graduate student has figured out why?) The owls are really going at it! There are only two now, the third must have given up and moved on. Their hooting goes hand-in-hand with the fog…a perfect fit.
That’s odd, the peepers haven’t started up yet? Ahh, there it is, the moon. So the moon was behind the fog after all. The peepers have started again, all is well.
I hear a car in the distance, people are starting to go to work. In fact, Karen is about to leave. What a way to wake up, and, it’s Jay’s birthday. Yep, a great day!
December 11th, 2010
It is quite common for me to find fox scat or pee on one of the two morning papers laying at the head of the B&B driveway. I think it’s one of the adult Gray Fox that hunts the property routinely that is doing it, but I haven’t caught him/her in the act.
Last summer (2010), we had a litter of Gray Fox at Roundstone Farm. This was the first litter in years, for a distemper outbreak a few years back greatly impacted the local population. Anyway, last spring and summer I watched an adult fox (I’m assuming one of a pair) routinely hunt in the pastures surrounding the pond and on the backside of the inn. I watched the adult(s) catch many a gopher or vole in the volunteer hay. As long as I stayed about 5o yards away, it would let me watch it without running off. Once it caught whatever it was, it would head immediately towards the barn and lower pastures. It wouldn’t stop or slow down for anything…it was on a mission. I never did follow the fox, for I didn’t want to scare it off its den, wherever it was. Years back we often found a bunch of kits in one of our large Eucalyptus tree stumps. But, that wasn’t the case with this particular pair of fox.
Later that summer, in August, I was down by the barn checking out the summer’s blackberry crop, when I spotted a kit slink out of one of the smaller blackberry batches heading to the largest one in the middle of the bottom pasture. Once I got my “fox eye” I noticed a different kit watching me from a runway in the largest patch. It just sat there on its haunches watching me, it didn’t seem to care, it just watched. Almost immediately I saw another kit walking up the hill behind the patch towards it. The kit walking stopped abruptly and caught a huge alligator lizard. Well as would have it, the first kit that I noticed saw the third kit with the lizard and proceeded to try to take the lizard from it. Not a chance! The third kit ran off with it to some tall grass and chomped on that lizard for at least 20 minutes. I watched the three of them for another 30 minutes and headed home. I went back to that blackberry patch a couple of times after that, but never did see them again. It looked to me that they were about the size to head out on there own anyway.
So, I don’t know which one of the five (3 kits & 2 adults) is leaving me their little tid bits, but one thing I do know…they must be eating pretty good.
March 26th, 2010
Just at half-light this morning I heard a turkey gobbling down near the pond, but couldn’t quite pick it out visually. When picking up the morning paper in the driveway of Roundstone Farm, I saw it roosting in one of the big Cyprus trees. While fixing breakfast for the guests I started to hear more and more turkey’s calling. I assume they were in the trees also, but I didn’t see them initially. Anyway, while the guests and I were talking at breakfast I looked down by the pond and spotted a bunch of gobblers in full display. Man, they had their tails all fanned out and were strutting around all over the place trying to impress the ladies. Typical male reaction to Spring. And, it’s not only the turkeys, for I’m even starting to work out more…gotta look decent at the beach!
March 15th, 2010
A California thrush is, once again, taking dumps in my car. A couple of years ago I had a pair of California thrush that took it upon themselves to fly into my car whenever a window was open to defecate on my steering wheel. Years back, I had this big old, ugly, maroon Chevy Capri, which I loved because I could haul four boys with all their football gear back and forth to practice and games. I wasn’t the only one who liked it, for at that time there was a pair of thrush that would fly into my car whenever I left it in front of the garage at Roundstone Farm. I mean, they were in there minutes after I went into the B&B. And, they never got stuck in the car, even if the windows were only open a few inches. They were out of there in seconds when I came back outside. Cheeky devils, they would leave a pile on the steering wheel just where I placed my hands. They also used to leave a pile on my head rest, only mine, not the passenger head rest. The boys would often say, “Gads Frank, there’s bird doo in your car.” Like it was supposed to bother me. Well, for a guy that washes his car, at the most twice a year…it didn’t. That pair of thrush were around a couple of years and I totally enjoyed their antics. I doubt that it’s the same birds, but whomever they are…they can take a dump in my car anytime. I mean, what are friends for?