Here and There.

Have been trying to catch up with the huge piles of emails, RSS feeds, and comments from the past month or so’s online inactivity. It’s a bit daunting ! Just finished up the gardening folder late last night, and that was clocking in at 4000 individual posts or so. I felt very accomplished, being able to close it up and see no “pending” marker on it. 🙂 So apologies to all of you who got spammed with two month old comments yesterday, now you know why. Hee. Something I discovered just the other day that has been a TREMENDOUS help …

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Return of the ducklings!

As I’ve mentioned before, we live next to a large park where waterfowl of all kind like to hang out. Being a quiet, closed community with lots of water features, our feathered neighbors decide to take family vacations here pretty often. Last week, this mother duck and her brood of 12 showed up splashing about in the little creek that runs by our patio. We were watching them through the window from only a few feet away, and I actually went out to feed her some bread after taking these videos. Socute.

I am duck paparazzi.

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There’s this pair of ducks that nests every year in the little planted oasis with the waterfall next to our apartment complex’s main pool. They like taking leisurely strolls around the greens and sometimes hang out in the other areas as well. We’ve seen them every spring over the past few years and this year was no exception. A few weekends ago, Mr. and Mrs. Duck were taking an early morning constitutional around the parking lot. I saw them and wondered outloud if they had nested yet. I got my answer yesterday morning.

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They had 7 ducklings this year! The lovely mother paraded them by my front door right as I was headed out with a couple bags of trash for the bin. I grabbed my camera and tagged after them for a while, since she’s never been very afraid of people and usually lets me get right up close to her. I figured I’d try to get a shot of those adorable fuzzy babies.

Two more ducky pictures and 2 streaming videos behind the cut *g* It’s hilarious when she stops, looks at the camera, quacks a few times, then just keeps plowing along. After taking some time to meet the press, mother duck resumed her walk through the complex, across the parking lot, and through the fence that led to the regional park next door. I’m sure the babies are spending their first full day on the pond as we speak 🙂

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“You forgot fluffy!”

I just discovered today that apparently, the western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is considered a threatened species by the federal government. Sadly, my first response to this was to bust out laughing. Now, I love animals, truly I do. Was studying to be a vet not so long ago, even. Have a history of supporting various conservation groups. It’s just. Well, if you’ve ever met an UCLA squirrel, it’d make more sense. The buggers are possessed. Like, we’re talking large and in charge. Let me tell a story. So once, I was having a nice lunch on a nice grassy …

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Saturday afternoon adventures

We went to a sea lion rescue yesterday and watched a bunch of the pudgy flippered critters flop around in plastic pools and nuzzle each other. It was fun. There was one sassy little pup that made goat noises at the little blonde girl that kept running by. Then the elephant seal pup burped and wailed, managing to traumatize certain individuals in the process. The rescue was next to the cat shelter, the dog park, and the custom Jeep lot. And the place that only makes dulcimers. We’re wacky that way.

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Little worm carcasses everywhere after a rain are so depressing. If I’m up early enough in the mornings, I usually try to get them back to the soil before the sun comes and fries them. Today, though, was an all-out massacre. My parents have a rather large garden, so it was like trying to carry a city out on your back. You’d think they would have managed to evolve some sort of emergency-gills or something, especially in places where they *know* there’s annual flooding. Bah. No hungry birds today.

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This weekend… * I saw deer. Two black-tailed deer, endemic to Pacific coastal mountain ranges between Alaska and California. They couldn’t have been mule deer, which are also common around here, they were much too small. A mother and a baby. They were just ambling along the side of the hill, about two feet from my parked car. It was well past dusk, outside of Sheila’s apartment complex. She lives up in the hills, smack in the middle of Wild Kingdom, so it seems. There’s also a huge warren of wild rabbits that frolic on their lawns, small flocks of …

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