Monday, July 13, 2009

The California Quail

This Edenic patch on Lotus Island is the most northern range for the California quail , of which we have in abundance! They are without doubt the most picturesque addition to any garden. Here, they have several sets of chicks per season and the chicks resemble little walnuts scurrying around, always close to cover, near the underbrush. Several adults, guarding a family of up to a baker's dozen little walnuts; parents and aunties all clicking vociferously if danger lurks or cover is needed. Lots of thick cover will assure you of a cavalcade of these feathered friends in your garden. I guess I really don't care if they eat all my new garden pea shoots. They have very little protection from the predators, crows and raptors. We have many eagles, hawks,crows and ravens. I hate to see the carnage but I suppose it's the way of the world. On the one hand, all creatures, including us, are engaged in eating one another. Al Capp invented the Shmoo that love to be eaten and in my opinion the quail is the closest thing I know that physically resembles the Shmoo. Given the hypervigilance of the adult quail, and the obedience of the offspring to the clicks, it's unlikely that the California Quail is enchanted with the prospect of being eaten! The quail, along with the bunny, has the survival capacity, as a species, to endure by way of it's procreative ability. Lucky for us!

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