Category Archives: Animals

The Cucumber That Got Away

If you’ve gardened for any length of time, you’ve probably found a huge zucchini hidden under a leaf, too big to be edible, but fun nonetheless. I saw this Armenian cucumber weeks ago, too big already to be very good, … Continue reading

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A Not Insignificant Serpent

Wandering the garden this afternoon, I surprised this beautiful and LARGE California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae), the first snake of any kind I’ve seen this season. The beast quickly retreated to the safety of a hollow space under a nearby … Continue reading

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Lungless Salamander with Herbs

Signs of spring are everywhere.  The shiso and epazote self sowed as I hoped, and are popping up all over the place.  The almond and Felix Gillet quince are waking up, as are the pomegranates, grapes, kiwis, figs, nectarine, peach, … Continue reading

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Friendly Neighbor with Horses and a Front Loader = Sweet Pile of Manure

My neighbor, a horse owner and all-around nice guy, recently acquired one of those sweet Kubota tractors with the front loader attachment.  I spent part of the afternoon over in his horse yard, loading up the truck with lots of … Continue reading

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The Fox Returns

This time she – I think it’s a she – hung around for about 20 minutes, then left, to return again at 4 AM or so.

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All These Flying Things…

…and a few more that wouldn’t sit still for the camera. One of my favorite things to do is to observe all of the representatives of Kingdom Animalia – the insects and reptiles and birds and amphibians and small (and … Continue reading

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Fox in the Compost or The Secret Life of the Garden

A friend of mine – Jason Pittman (Professor of Geosciences and co-conspirator in the project) let me borrow one of those automatic trail cameras, and I set it up near the compost pile, hoping to catch a picture or … Continue reading

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The other day, I borrowed one of those automatic infrared trail cameras in an effort to capture a photo of the bear. I set it up out in the clear cut, thinking the bear would once again go for the … Continue reading

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The Bear Is Back

A year ago (or was it 2?), a sow and her yearling cubs killed my three ducks, and perhaps 24 neighbor chickens, over the course of three nights. A couple of nights ago, a bear – likely the American black … Continue reading

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Of Butterflies and Bulbils

Instead of making seeds, shallots, like some other Alliums, produce bulbils – essentially tiny little shallots – at the end of their flower stalks.  The heavy cluster of bulbils at the end of the long flower stalk will eventually fall … Continue reading

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