Saturday, July 09, 2005

July 9, 2005
I can't believe how many quail there are running around, across our back and front yards, through the pond, into the wash, across the streets (cringe). Pretty much every time I think to look up from typing, I see some combination of adult and juvenile quail out in the riparian area. Day before yesterday I caught a glimpse, as they left the yard, of a gazillion (or maybe two gazillion) little bitty guys--the dandelion-fluff stage of baby quaildom. They were so cute. I counted about eight or ten, but there were more.

Also, I don't know if all quail mamas are stupid or fat, but practically every time I see one now, she's trying to find a mesh square to get through to get out of the riparian area. Why not just fly over the fence, duh?

And speaking of duh, Mama Dove is at it again. I saw her with a twig in her mouth the other day over by the old nest on the shelf. Two days later she was sitting on the nest, and she is still there. She does have shade where she is, but it's SO HOT. I wonder if she will lay (or has laid) hard-boiled eggs? (This is her fourth brood of the season, counting the egg that didn't hatch.)

The last set of baby doves apparently fledged successfully. They had gotten pretty big and were walking around and even flying a bit. One disappeared, but I think it may have flown away to its own life. I saw the remaining one sitting on the shelf, alone, and when I approached it flew off, its wings flapping strongly. I hope they're okay--this weather has been brutal. It can't be a good time to be born, whether you are a dove, or a quail, or anything. I'm sure that my little pond is helping some guys make it through the tough early days.

The monsoon is probably arriving next week, and not a moment too soon. We've had I think 27 days of 100 plus heat, and at least another week to go. Despite the coming humidity, it will be nice to get back down in the nineties.

Final nature note for today: yesterday out on the River Walk a kestrel landed on a wasit-high fence just in front of us. So beautiful!

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