Rain and pleasant weather is the pattern, hopefully those freezing nights have passed but that is not likely just yet. The stone fruit trees are in bloom unfortunately there is not a pollinator to be seen, although Saturday I saw a Mourning Cloak butterfly on our walk along Willowside Creek.
Dwight has been cleaning out and refurbishing old nesting boxes as well as building new ones from recycled lumber. We are hopeful that birds will move in and successfully raise their young.
Chickadee Nesting Box
Western Bluebird Nesting Box
Northern Flicker Nesting Box
Nuthatch Nesting Box
In the open field to our South not long ago I noticed Turkey Vultures circling and landing. My curiosity had me climbing over the fence and walking up to see what lay on the ground . . . a dead doe. And not far away a pair of grey foxes were playing. It has taken the dozen or so Turkey Vultures about two weeks to clean the carcass.
And a few afternoons ago I saw in the same field, what I thought at first was a fox but then a tail with circular strips shot up in the air. With my binoculars I could see the pointed ears of a bobcat which lounged about in the grass for some while.
We often take Rose to Shollenberg Park along the Petaluma River for walks. A few mornings ago we were fortunate to see a River Otter swimming and diving in the river. We are pretty sure it was a male since he was so large that at first we thought it was a seal. “How cool is this?” we asked each other.
With all the rain the soil along the South perimeter of our property is saturated hence we have a running creek. Rose loves to play in it. While she is having her afternoon nap, the ducks enjoy foraging along the narrow waterway and into the grass, under the bushes. With all the food they forage they barely eat any organic laying pellets. And we have been gathering an egg each morning now for a few weeks.
Many early blooming natives are in flower here at MuRefuge. Here's photographs of just a few.
Aristolochia californica (California Pipevine)
Carex nudata (California Black Flowering Sedge)
Arabis blepharophylla (Coast Rockcress)
Ribes speciosum (Fushsia flowering Gooseberry)
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Sentinel’