Monday, May 01, 2006

Wild Wild Life

Here on this mountaintop
I got some wild, wild life
I got some news to tell ya
About some wild, wild life - Talking Heads, Wild Wild Life soon as I say the turtle has gone stealthy... he makes an appearance this morning. And it's confirmed now - definitely a red-eared slider. Yay.

It has long front claws and the tail is fairly big. Those are long distance sexing tells, suggesting it's a male. I'm going to go ahead and default to using male pronouns, until she gets pissed off about it and lays her eggs.

In other, Fair Play CA, wildlife news -

The avian edition:

* The wild turkeys are out and about, en masse. We're seeing 1 to 3 show up daily now. Our property must be part of at least 1 Toms' territory. I've tried to take some pics - but since I'm so old school, we'll have to first go develop the film (!) before I can upload here.

* We have a neighbor on the ridge who breeds peacocks. We've been hearing the distinctive 'aaw, aaw, aaw' call, up close. Apparently at least one has flown the coup and is again living the wild, wild life. Local guy says they make very good rattlesnake detectors. Looking for confirmation of this, it seems we score a hat-trick, with all three good rattler sentinels. On average, only 800 people are bitten yearly. That's 11 times more likely than being struck by lightning, but one-sixth as likely of a being a pedestrian fatality in a car collision. On all counts, I'm not worried.

* Owls. I love owls. One dropped by a couple of nights ago to give us a lecture on the virtues of stoicism.

The flora edition:

* After all the rain, the wildflowers are blooming like nobody's business. So much so that we've decided the area we had originally considered planting with grape vines is far better suited to remaining wild grasslands. We've seeded some more CA native flowers, just to help jumpstart the diversity. I feel good about this. All that potential vineyard work was pre-stressing me out. And no mowing either. There's a book in where eco- and slacker- friendly landscaping comes together.

* But we put the veggie-patch in this weekend! Now we wait to see what comes up. Both Deb & I have developed a mid-life appreciation for beets. Never could stand them as a kid. Preparation might be the key. When they write the history of this generation, Alice Waters had better figure most prominently.

In closing, Happy May Day. Support migrant workers - there's no one at the normal day laborers pickup corner here. I don't hear any of those obnoxious leaf blowers. Home Depot is empty! Makes me wish the organizers would help with the anti-war mobilization. Speaking of, it's been 3 years to the day since the decider (intentional lower case) said 'Mission Accomplished.'


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