11 March 2008

The eagle and the hawk

After the complete horror and aggravation that was my trip to Whole Foods this morning (2-1/2 hours to get to the store, go through the store--which is less store than it is food court--and drive home from the store), I went for a walk.

It was about 75F, and breezy. Utterly beautiful, and I could smell

Pink jasmine
Orange blossom
The earliest pittosporum

The air was so warm and heavy with scent it was absolutely intoxicating.

It's been wonderful to open the windows again.

After I returned home, I heard a redtail hawk somewhere in the vicinity of the backyard. It sounds as though mating season is in full swing.

While I was up near the hills, I looked for the western bluebirds, but have seen no sign of them yet this spring.

Already the black phoebes have reclaimed their nest over the garbage cans, and we discovered another pair built a nest over a drain pipe above the daughter's window on the opposite side of the house. A towhee has been hopping about in the camellia under the kitchen window, which drives Milton into an ecstasy of desire and terror (I've never seen a cat who is more terrified of birds. He was also suitably disturbed by the monarch butterfly that would flit very provocatively around the window yesterday). The dopey doves are scrabbling around in the dust and talking to each other, and the mockingbirds are establishing territory. A bit violently.

The goofy finches have been around, too, of course, though my window attacker hasn't returned yet. He really frightens the cat.

The parrots, as always, make their flyover at 7 am, squawking away, and the return journey around 6 pm, squawking away.

I haven't seen the scrub jays. But they may be boycotting since I removed the feeder after I found a very large and happy rat in it.

I miss my bike rides down the San Diego Creek trail (currently closed for construction). There I used to see

Cliff swallows
Barn swallows
Egrets (Great and Snowy)
Great blue heron
Cinnamon teals
Mud hens

After I turned off San Diego Creek, and had to ride up the street for awhile, I was able to reconnect with the Peters Canyon Wash trail. There I've seen

A very shy little green heron
A white-faced ibis - once
Red-winged blackbirds
More ducks and swallows

About a year ago, a friend sent me this link to the bald eagle cam at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. We watched in fascination as the eagles raised three young. This year, the pair have had some set backs, but it looks like they still have time to lay a new clutch of eggs.

And now, I need to go invent something for dinner. It will likely involve a bird.

Go listen to some good music: "The Eagle and the Hawk" from the album Greatest Hits by John Denver.

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