Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fauna change

Today the Oregon Junco has returned en masse to Lotus Island. They are slipping and flitting everywhere, reexploring the locale. Next will be the Rufus sided Towhees. They, like their cousins are our winter bird. They fly so close to the ground in the underbrush I have momentarily mistaken them for a rat. Startling! The Black Tailed Mule deer have lost their smooth caramel coats for a heavier grey brown and the young bucks are starting to rut and have already slashed my declining Gunnera to pieces and soon will sharpen up on the bark of various defenseless trees. The pianist and I watched a river otter run across the lawn from the harbour yesterday and it flushed out a bunny that it startled. I don't really think an otter would eat a bunny but the bunny obviously wasn't taking chances. The otter with a long body and tail and short legs runs in a sinuous, loping fashion,quite ungainly. The California quail walnuts are now large but still clinging together and listening to mum and dad. There are a few runty sized deer still around, late gestations, and I fear for them this winter as they have little flesh. There is often a corpse or so later, under the tool shed, frozen stiff. The deer here are endemic as there are virtually no predators. We have all adapted to the deer and they to us. This is a great spider season. The webs in the morning with the dew are fantastic and if you don't duck, wherever you walk outside you get a face full of web. We are careful around the old woodpile for the "Widow and the Brown Recuse". A large empty wasp nest we finally took down from the top of a pear tree, wasps long gone. The nests are beautifully made. The fruit flies in the compost generate at an unbelievable rate and it is not surprising that the ancients believed in spontaneous generation.Thank goodness the fruit is soon finished, however there is an interesting observation to make. The fruit in the house has a myriad of fruit flies, whereas the supermarket fruit section has no fruit flies. Tells you something doesn't it?

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