Friday, August 6, 2010

Chaparral Musings...

Empty.  Six quarts of “hummer juice” consumed by scads of hummingbirds yesterday.  The two quart-sized oriole feeders were less than one third gone.  The hummers were mad – you could almost hear them yelling “ What's up with the service around this joint?  Where's our food?  BRING US OUR FOOD, NOW!!!”

This morning the dogs were very subdued.  Noses down.  No noise, not even a subliminal growl.  There was a musky scent in the air, which was at 61°F, 35% relative humidity – practically perfect olfactory conditions.  The waning moon was just above the northeastern horizon.  The Pleiades were above and to the right of the moon, but very bright and not washed out at all. Jupiter was very high in the southeast, and due east my old early-morning friend Orion was just starting to appear over the mountains.  The Milky Way was a great splash all across the high sky from the northeast to the southwest. 

The dogs were completely unimpressed by all this celestial glory – but they were very impressed by something they smelled or heard.  All of them stayed very close to me – not one tug on the leash.  They were cautious and worried, even the normally oblivious Race, who usually bounds around looking for pine cones and other fun toys.  Something big and scary must have been nearby; the musky smell would indicate a cat.  A mountain lion, perhaps...

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