Monday, June 21, 2004

June 21, 2004
There are wispy clouds on the horizons, a sure sign that the monsoon is beginning to approach.

Things continue as they were at my riparian paradise. The birds are using the pond, though not in the numbers I saw at first. Maybe the water still tastes bad. The algae have not returned, but some of the rocks under the waterfall are a bit green. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal continue to use the seed feeder, but I haven’t seen the juvenile in a while.

Three days ago I saw a road runner on our property for the first time. They are such ungainly but interesting birds. I love to watch them. This one didn’t let me watch for long, but I’m sure he will be back.

Yesterday morning I saw our first snake—a big, gorgeous, cream-and-green striped king snake. He was just meandering through the riparian area. I hope he will eat our pack rat. Shortly after the snake, I checked the spa to find a drowned mouse. I had previously placed a flat rock on one of the stairs, leaning against the top of the spa so anything that falls in can get out (something to put its claws into, rather than the smooth tile that runs around the top of the spa). Anyway, it didn’t work for this mouse, though it’s been quite a while since I saw a drowned lizard.

This morning I had a close encounter with a juvenile bunny rabbit, who had somehow gotten into the grapefruit enclosure and couldn’t get out. As I approached he became frantic, trying to jump (too high) or gnaw his way out (chicken wire too strong). I scooped him up in a bucket and let him go. He hadn’t done any damage to the tree that I could see, but I hope he has learned his lesson.

A few minutes ago a little chipmunk came scurrying onto the porch and lay down flat on the cool concrete, under the gate, to eat something with both his hands. There is so much going on out there it will be amazing if I ever get any work done again!

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