|Northern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis oreganus) with frontal portion of body sticking out of hole and soaking up morning sun. Preggers?|
|Rattlesnake well camouflaged from the distance. Can you see it?|
|On a hot day, maybe just a small amount of scaly skin exposed to morning sun provides safe thermoregulation.|
|Can you spot the single eye of this rattlesnake?|
|Now there are two rattlesnake eyes looking at the camera. (Click photo to enlarge.)|
|Nightly buckeye tree roost of the juvenile great-horned owl.|
I find an owl feather under this tree almost every morning.
Here is a silly video of my stumbling around in the dark with a flashlight trying to find the juvenile great-horned owl. You can hear the screeching call of the juvenile bird before it learns to hoot.
Today, I got up early to pull yellow starthistle on the hill above the orchard before it got hot. I didn't find very much starthistle in the areas where I pulled it last year which is good. But I found a dead bobcat. That was kinda sad but it explains what the coyote was doing up there most of Sunday. I think it was one of the juvenile coyotes dispersing from the den I have been watching further west on the ranch.
The rest of the day got interrupted with poacher issues and several sightings of an adult and a juvenile mountain lion near a trail at another preserve. No-one got hurt, but again, it seems like the young animals are out and struggling to get food and cover without becoming food or trouble themselves. I understand that predators have to eat other animals and that many juvenile animals do not make it to their first birthday. I am fortunate to be in a place where I get to see these facts of life firsthand on a frequent basis. Still, could tomorrow just be one of those days where I don't have to see a single animal kill or die? I would like to stick to simple survival techniques like cooking a big pot of spicy beans and designing a tile pattern for the bathroom.