A Bird In The Hand

Yesterday a teeny tiny hummingbird flew into my house. After chasing it around for about 15 minutes, along with my old calico cat, and my German Shepard dog, I finally caught it. Oh such a tiny creature. I put it on the rail of my front porch, forgetting that humming birds don’t walk or have much in the way of legs. After about a half of a second it flew off into the sky as fast as a humming bird can go. This is the second humming bird I’ve had come inside in the past few months.

At first I thought it was a bat, because we do get tiny bats in the house every few months. We have to also catch the bats or shoo them out a door. Again, the old calico gets excited about the chase.

When sparrows or finches come inside the cat has a good chance of catching them, since they’re slower and fly lower than bats or humming birds.

Right now I can see five grown wild turkeys sitting on my back fence. Don’t even suggest Thanksgiving dinner with these birds. They’d be as tough as old tires, and I’ve watched them since they were just tiny turkey chicks. They are not mine to kill or eat. That also goes for the deer who walk along my fence line.

This morning before the sun came up I could see Jupiter and Saturn bright in the still dark sky. When the sun came up a lizard sat on a scrap of wood soaking up the warmth. Another lizard tried to share the wood but the original lizard would have none of it. A third lizard also tried to sit on the scrap of wood in the sun with no luck. Sometimes one just needs to be alone in the morning, be it over a cup of coffee or on a piece of wood in the sun.

In an hour or so the coyotes will come walking by and all of the dogs in the neighborhood will start barking at their wild cousins. They coyotes are bold, but not enough to jump the fence. The dogs who bark are large and well fed. The coyotes know what is and isn’t safe.

Last week brought rain. I’m in Northern California and we’ve been in a drought so a few days of heavy rain was welcome. After silence for way too long, we finally heard frogs. The frog songs are a constant around here. The small Sacramento Valley Chorus Frogs (yes that is what they are called) live in vernal pools that only come alive when there is rain. The rest of the time the frogs lay buried under the hardened mud waiting for the next rain to come.

Usually in the summer I get tiny frogs on my deck. The deck is up high, but somehow the tiny frogs manage to travel a couple hundred of feet from a creek up a hill, and ten up to my 2nd story level deck and into my planters. This summer there were no frogs. Not on the deck. Not in my kitchen. Not in my garden. Of course as always, there were a few big frogs who live under my front deck where it is cool and where they get water when I take care of my front flower beds.

As I write, my cat Oscar, a gray tuxedo cat, who is neither wild or a hunter, is eating a late lunch. He has scars on his face and ears, but he is no hunter or fighter. Oscar has earned the title of BooBoo Cat. He is, and always will be my baby.

Most of my day was spend at the art museum. It is lovely and peaceful there, but it is always good to get home to a few hours of quiet with the wildlife, and my three domestic friends.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


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