Monday, July 13, 2009

But first: fishook pincushion cacti are blooming all over the place. These little guys (mammillaria grahamii) are just a couple of inches tall, but they have big, candy-colored pink blooms.
pincushon cu gorgeous 7-10-2006 6-26-16 AM 1238x1049
And now the Darwinian moment: A family of eleven was at the quail block (nine chicks). The parents stopped feeding and looked up, alert, then rushed over to the corner of the garden, where they started frantically scratching and pecking at something. They moved closer to me and I saw they were pecking at a little chick. It must have gotten lost, and been calling for its parents.
The other chicks gathered round while their parents continued to attack the abandoned chick, then the whole family left. The abandoned chick just stood there, looking dazed and confused, but was apparently unhurt because it began to look around, I suppose searching for its family. It pecked a little at the quail block. I was thinking this wouldn't be a bad place to live alone if it could avoid being killed by the adult quails. But then a female adult showed up. They showed no recognition of each other, but after a few moments the female left and the chick followed her, so I guess she was its mother.

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