Squatters

Coming home from exercise this morning, I pulled past my drive to pick up my mail, and did a double take.  There was a dark shadow on my doorstep.  But I wasn’t expecting any packages.  On second glance I noticed that it was a javelina, lying on the mat in front of the door.  And there were three others, nestled in the cool dirt right on top of the salvia greggii that I had just planted.

I stopped the car in the street, entered through the garage and ran downstairs for my camera.  The one on the doorstop, of course, had vacated his spot.  Here are two of the others.  The plant was much the worse for wear.

A dozen years ago, while the Bridge House next door was being built, I was living in a rental which had a half-dozen orange trees planted along the driveway.  They were watered by a drip system.  There was a coyote with a bad case of mange who used to lie under the farthest tree from the house.  The damp earth must have felt good.

(Mange is a class of persistent contagious skin diseases caused by parasitic mites.  I never took a photo of the poor guy; this one is from the internet.)

Despite the fact that my windows are very dirty (am having them washed next week), yesterday two birds crashed into the kitchen window, breaking their necks, a white-winged dove and a goldfinch.  I put them outside the fence so that someone would eat them.  I noted the white feather on the side of one of the javelinas in the photo.  Do javelinas eat dead birds?

A cardinal couple have built a nest in an acacia outside my living room window.  The tree is so dense, however, that you can’t see the nest from the house, as it is on the far side, just the birds flitting back and forth.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to get photos of the eggs hatching.

The quail have been looking pretty plump.  Guess they’ll be ready to lay eggs soon too.

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