Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Predators, Bunnies, Squirrels and Raccoons

I was lying in bed early this morning when a sparrow flew quickly across the patio followed by the sparrow hawk. It saddens me deeply to know that he has chosen our home. I'm sure he's grateful that I am fattening up his food. He probably sees my mustang grape vine as his private restaurant since this is where the baby sparrows spend their days. I realize he has to eat, I just wish he'd eat somewhere else!

There are white bumps all over the prickly pear cactus near the road. I found a blog discussing them. They are left by an insect, and when you press on the bumps a reddish-purple, sticky substance squishes out. Apparently, the native American Indian tribes in this area used this substance to dye their clothing. I believe this--it is really dark and does leave a stain!

I was walking through the yard late last night when I noticed a baby bunny on my bedroom patio. I stopped walking, but the bunny had obviously seen me, so I started to speak to her in my soft baby bunny voice. She sat down. She was looking through my glass bedroom door, most likely watching the cat. She must have realized neither one of us could or would harm her. Then she stood up and hopped toward me to the end of the patio, watching me.

I continued to speak to her, and she stood and stared at me for at least ten minutes. I wanted to share her with my husband, so I slowly backed up, and she did not run away. I ran to get my husband, but when we returned, she was gone. I put a dish of water and some food out for her in case she returns, but I think I'll go back to shutting the garage door again so the dogs go out the other side. It's much better that way, anyway. The little creatures tend to congregate in the back yard and there is plenty of room for the dogs to roam on the other side.

The one-eyed squirrel was back for the third day in a row and I am so happy that he is growing bigger and still comfortable with my back porch, even though Chewy the chihuahua keeps marking his territory on the legs of the table. The squirrels rarely jump on the table from the ground, though. They generally scamper across the roof and down the trellis.

Speaking of scampering--I was just falling asleep last night when I heard a loud scampering across the roof just above my bedroom. It sounded like two large animals chasing each other. I am guessing it was raccoons. I think they climb the branches of the trees behind the garage and leap onto the roof of the house. A neighbor was sitting in our garage once late at night when he was watching our house and he said he saw a raccoon climb past the window. I didn't realize they could climb, but it would make sense that it was a raccoon on the roof last night--they are certainly large enough to make that kind of noise!

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