Saturday, May 22, 2004

May 22, 2004
Well, we have almost finished moving and have been living in the new house for about a week. What a very different nature experience! We are in the foothills, surrounded by desert vegetation. Lots and lots of doves. I’ve seen only one cardinal, briefly, in the olive tree outside my new office window. I’ve seen two female hummers—one Anna’s, one black-chinned. I think they will come around more once I hang more feeders. And a bunch of very young, curious house sparrows have been prancing around on the windowsill outside the office. They gaze inside, curiously—maybe this is the first time in years that the blinds have been open.

There are lots of quail around—as I type this, a male is strutting along the wrought-iron fence railing that surrounds the spa pump. And a gazillion lizards, including some very big ones—the size of rats, that like to sit in the shade on the patio and do pushups. I am determined to learn their names. (The guy we bought the house from said they are all called “Larry.”) I haven’t seen any geckos at night—maybe I missed them, or maybe they don’t live up here.

This morning I saw an adorable little ground squirrel out on the border between the desert and the yard. I may not consider him so adorable after awhile, because there are lots of holes in the garden areas, probably squirrel holes.

I’ve put out the seed feeder, and so far no takers, ditto with the suet feeder. HOWEVER, today the most exciting thing. We dug a hole for the pond and hauled up a bunch of rocks. I have the gravel and the sand. Later today or tomorrow I start to build my pond, and then watch out! I expect a major bird explosion.

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