Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Winds

They're blowing...hard. Last night I slept with my bedroom door open in case firemen happened to pound on my door at three AM telling me to GET OUT GET OUT! They didn't, although brushfires are burning all around Los Angeles right now. Quite a few folks are without power and I'm knocking on planks that it doesn't happen up here. A power pole went down yesterday afternoon on Topanga and Fernwood Pacific but besides a few stutters, the electricity stayed on. Candles have been strategically placed and I'm ready. A little insurance when Himself is away always makes sense.

As I said, good friends Kim and Jenny are now back in the UK. Jenny trains dogs, or more specifically, she trains their owners and will eventually train dogs as assistance animals to the handicapped. As an animal lover, she really wanted to see some of the denizens of the Canyon...like coyotes or bobcats or [shudder] maybe a mountain lion or a rattlesnake. It being winter and all, I knew her chances of seeing any snakes were slim so I thoughtfully laid fake ones around the property, just for that frisson factor.

Last winter coyotes would regularly sit at the bottom of the drive waiting for us to go to bed before they headed this way for clean water and amusement. Our fountain bubbles underneath the carob trees and the water and choolattie carob pod flavors proved to be coyote crack. Every morning I'd shovel out their scat and look forward to the last pod dropping and the coyotes moving along to some other addiction. This year, those fickle animals showed no interest in the pods and I could only speculate that someone must have been feeding them straight chocolate elsewhere in the Canyon. So, it was with some amusement that when I wandered out to water the potted plants this morning, I almost tripped over some scat. Mere hours after K & J left, Roger and I had two separate coyote sightings...together, so Jen can know that I'm not lying for the benefit of a posting. Himself doesn't exaggerate or lie.

I have seen some big buggers, though. Lost, I expect. So, before lifting them with a spatula and depositing them back in the brush, here's a pic. More to follow...

The wind has stopped. I should have posted this before I went to spend time with my wee granddaughters. It's completely different now and I need to put my candles away since instead of looking prepared, I just look untidy now that it's calm again.


Blogger granny p said...

Lucky you having coyotes - even if they do eat cats. Special animals - but you can keep the rattle snakes, and I do hope your winds die downNo bush fires here. But we still need candles on hand.

7:16 AM  
Blogger junebee said...

Hee hee, the fake snakes are so funny! Did she fall for it?

Hope you don't have to evacuate in the middle of the night because you will have to have plenty of Hershey bars on hand to fend off the coyotes. I've heard about coyotes being a nuisance to ranchers but I didn't know they bothered home owners too. Do alot of pets get eaten by coyotes?

7:30 AM  
Blogger JB said...

The Santa Ana winds are really something, aren’t they? I, too, live next to a canyon and the wind just tears through it and whistles through all the cracks in the house.

About wildlife—I love that we can see all the critters. About six months ago I saw a bobcat on my morning job on the rim of the canyon, and while hiking I’ve seen a couple of mule deer and even a mountain lion (off in the distance—no worries!). CB and I spotted two coyotes right after we moved in, but we haven’t seen any more since.

I also like the cottontails and the red-shouldered hawks who prey on them, both of which I see all the time

Snakes? I saw a HUGE rattler this summer out on a paved walkway sunning is great scaly body, and there was a green garden snake living in a old, rotten log out where I like to stretch.

We live in a great area, don't you think?

8:32 AM  
Blogger BPW said...

It's so nice to hear that carnivores and other predators haven't been completely wiped out! In so many places, the top of the food chain is missing, so other animals lower in the food chain (deer, rodents) have explosive, unmanagable population growth. Ah, you just made my day, with your coyote-ful utopia. :)

7:24 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I'll never forget the story I read about a woman who had her face ripped off by a wildcat while mountain biking on some trail. And Halle Berry lost 2 Maltese dogs to coyetes before. I did see 2 BIG raccoons one night near my apartment, but it's safe to say that Chicago is wild-life free, and I quite like it like that. ;-)

6:52 PM  

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