Wild things make me smile.
In the last several years, I’ve had ringtail cats, one
bobcat and numerous deer march,or come slinking, through the fruit trees below
my house. And I have a pack of about six cottontails that come foraging every afternoon.
There are a bird and a bird bath that are nestled in front of my patio. The free food and nice bath seems to attract ravenous birds from every nearby county. I go through a 50 pound bag of seed in less than a week.
if I’m remiss in refilling the feeder, gangs of malevolent finches and starving
sparrows will come up onto my porch to remind me of my duty.
The local ground squirrels also benefit from my bird buffet.
I’ve watched at least two litters of squirrels grow into adulthood this year.
And softy that I am, I’m not above buying a couple of pounds of peanuts very
week to chuck at the squirrels. Bu the thing is: scrub jays love peanuts and
are food aggressive and territorial. The morning battles between a young
squirrel still marked by his camouflaged coat and a particularly raucous scrub
jay over the occasional peanut is very funny, particularly when the squirrel
But the most interesting animal here is the resident
ringtail (a close cousin to the Central American kinkajou but which is a much more
serious “kill-your-dinner” carnivore.
My 94 year old mother was raised in Azusa Canyon and ringtails are animals she’s very familiar with. When mom noticed our resident ringtail was hugely pregnant and had waddled into a den in the hedge in front of her place, She casually asked me if I would reach into the ringtail’s den
and check for babies
“Like I’m going to do that while I ‘m on blood thinners,
Well the baby ringtails emerged in May and they’re now out hunting rats and mice. It’s just another year here on a mountain top on the wild side of the intersection of
urban housing tracts and Mother Nature’s playground in north San Diego County—Jim Forbes, 7/25/2012.