Friday, February 20, 2009

the quail are coming ...

--------------------------------------------photo by Elaine A. Russell

When we first moved here... our yard was a mess. There were 13 dead trees on this very small plot of property, tons of dead turf, and rock.

Now, while it would be arguable that we have done anything to improve the landscaping... we have naturalized it so to speak. We took everything that was dead out... and slowly have raked and spread the dust and dirt around to minimize the prickly stuff ( goatheads, prickers, oh my.. ).

Over the years several of our neighbors have pulled up all their cacti.. and rather than see them thrown in the trash, we have a "cactus garden" of sorts just over our wall and into the arroyo behind us.

Now we have a regular little sanctuary out there. It is amazing to watch. We have tons of jackrabbits, a Coyote that has built(dug) his den there, a great horned owl that comes to our cottonwoods at night, and today I saw 20 !!! (yes 20)... California Quail nesting in the bushes out back. I have seen them over the past 2 years cut through our yard... but I didn't realize they had been nesting (and apparently re-producing) so well back here.

I tried to take their photograph... but the little buggers move pretty quickly.