Campground #1 of ?
There are a pair of birds of prey that in spite of my desperate lunges atop, and at one point nearly OFF our bluff, I am still unable to identify. Mind you this is with both bird book & binoculars in hand (which kinda explains the nearly falling off the hill bit.) I do know for certain they they are predators. The biggest indicator of this is the local crows. They have made it abundantly clear with an avian rendition of “get the hell of my lawn.” Sorry, “out of my sky.” It’s the same routine I have witnessed hundreds of times off my mother’s balcony only in this case the hawks (?) are white, not red tailed and the crows fewer in number.
The calls of crows are universal but the ones they’re chasing have a different cry than the ones I’m accustomed to. The Red Tailed Hawk cry (Also called the “Hollywood Bird Cry” by Ducky since that is used universally for every bird in every movie ever made,) is a classic scree-scree-screee. These newbies have a small sharp squawk like a red tailed who keeps getting cut off by an impatient family member when trying to speak.
We have an amazing view of evergreens the bottom of which there is an unseen marsh. Rabbits and quail are here in abundance, both scrub jays and blue jays, the aforementioned crows and gorgeous western bluebirds.
There is a large pine of some sort in our site, branches sparse with nearly no needles left but dropping due to the hundreds of large pinecones weighting things down.
(Maybe the birds are Cooper’s Hawks? They are kind of whitish.)
I have resolutely turned my back to the expanse behind me trying to let got of the idea that I’m ever going to find out what these damn hawks (falcons?) are.
The air is fresh and bracing. The dog has appropriated my chair and is dozing from a height she can’t get up or down on her own. The sounds of the ocean can be heard and I keep having to grab at my hat for fear of one of the small gusts of wind stealing it away from me.
One of the damn crows stole a cap to one of our telescoping marshmallow toasters. (Google it, they are totally a Thing.)
We made easy friends last night with a group of campers who had caravanned down from the Bay area. We had a mutual love of fog which was good because the evenings roll it in like a blanket and in the morning it gives way like a grumpy teen being told to get out of bed. The blankets eventually come off and the landscape becomes awash in sunlight.
Dammit. My hat. *whoosh!
Okay, back now.
Let’s not discuss the fact that I am pretty sure while hunting down my signature headgear, I just scared the heck out of my neighbors (hey, they’re packing up to leave anyway,) stumbled too close to a bunny, and may or may not have nearly twisted my ankle at the entrance to a ground squirrel’s lair.
I’m out of practice at this.
Plunking myself down to write again, (now, just do it, come on,) there are California towhees in the bushes in front of my table. Their scrabbling about sounds like a town meeting is taking place in there though there are only two of them.
The wind gusts are picking up and I’m going to have to secure our chairs and put out the fire that has been burning since 8:30 (“That’s some good wood there,” the campground host told us last night, “$10 a wheelbarrow, return the barrow when you can.”)
It’s now nearly 11am, Ducky is still asleep and I’m loathe to wake him enjoying having so much quiet time to myself.
A wasp just landed on my bottle. Time to go.