This morning's visitors

lilosophieSeptember 3, 2012

Quail checking through the spilled hay for seeds, busy little beings, lovely birds.

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west_gardener

It is amazing to me how the birds know when food is available. They seem to show up from nowhere.Great representative pic.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:07PM
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mawheel

Lilo, they look so cute. I'm glad to know they aren't food for you! At least, hopefully not, from my perspective, anyway. I have eaten pheasant once or twice, and eat chicken all the time, but seriously doubt I'd do so if I had to do the catching, killing, etc.

DH says he remembers his Mother chasing a chicken around the backyard, wringing its neck, once she caught it, then fixing it for Sunday dinner! Oh my! Once a city girl, always a city girl, I guess. :>)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:46PM
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lilosophie

No, no, no we don't eat the quail!We don't eat our own chickens either, though chicken is a big part of our diet, the ones we eat come from the market.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:14AM
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kris_zone6

This picture was taken several years ago in my backyard. Don't get the little ones any more, but we do get the adults.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:14PM
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kris_zone6

Whoops, what happened to the picture.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:15PM
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lilosophie

The ones living around here keep the little ones welll concealed in the brushy area until they can fly, then they parade them down our drivewaym an adult male will sit on the fence-posts and sound warning when cats are showing up and they all fly into the trees

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:27PM
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mawheel

Kris, besides the cute litle birds, what a beautiful lawn! There must have been lots of rain that summer for it to look so green and lush!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:42AM
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don_socal

One of my favorite customers for over twenty years passed about seven years ago. She had over three acres on a windy road and her property backed up to an undeveloped area that has since become a golf course. Her yard was mostly natives and a bit hilly so there were trails all through the back and no grass. I would work for her five times a year to space the work and avoid disturbing any nesting birds. She would take my arm and we would walk through to asses the work each time.

Betty was an avid birder and had a jay that would sit on her shoulder begging for peanuts. There were many other varieties in her yard and I would trim around the nests in the trees even if they were not in use so they could come back and re-use. There was a covey of quail that would peck around every morning and that was unusual for living in the middle of a populated city even with the wild area behind, it was an island in the midst.

When she passed her daughter gave Missy all her bird books as they had become great bird buddies and called back and forth to report the sitings in the yards. I gave cards to the selling and buying Realtors and three times to the new owners but never a bite. Three years later they had a hack and whack outfit come in and trim it all. Hope the birds have found new digs and are doing well.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:01PM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

Those quail look so sweet. I've never seen them in the open.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:45PM
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mrobbins(6b - Brooklyn)

Lilo, what great pictures. Thank you for sharing them. I like quail very much too -- such grace and pudginess rarely show up together in the same creature, and I found that if you take their eggs when they are just laid, the spots wipe off with a little rubbing with a clean rag. I've made tiny pysanky with them.

Don, what a moving story. I am so sorry the chain was broken! Maybe someone, or several people in the area, will recover/restore some habitat and the birds will come back there. I hope for the bird and human communities around you that this happens. The sense of life and loss in your words reminded me of a column in the New York Times today; its garden column writer is moving on from six acres in Maryland that sound like an oasis similar to your late customer's place.

There is a little house in upstate New York that I am thinking of rescuing. Nobody wants it because it's in the middle of a 100-acre abandoned farm, which was sold to a developer who has, so far, been unable to raise the money for building. Around the house are wetlands and forest and field, and inside the little house, where a woman lived alone from about my age until her death, there are still binoculars and a Peterson Field Guide on the small table by the front door. I am now understanding why she did not "manage" the property more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Saying Goodbye to the Family Farm

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:08PM
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kathyjane(z6VA)

What a nice walk---- Lilo's busy sanctuary to Kris' perfectly mowed back yard---I live on a mower---your yard blows my mind---I'm impressed---
--to a family farm being sold in MD---my DSIL grew up on a dairy farm near Bel Air, MD---he brought all he learned doing that hard, hard work as a young boy, to join the life he has now as a family man. That knowledge has kept him humble and honest. I know no better man.

MRobbins, good luck with your house-I hope the binoculars and Peterson's Guide will be there waiting for you to have your turn.
How far north is your dream?
---I only ask because my heart belongs to the Adirondacks and the Green Mtns. of Vermont, where I was born.
(When I go through tough times, I make my way through it because those mountains are in the very blood that courses through my veins; I know that as surely as anything else I've ever known...)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:19PM
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anneliese_32(6)

I still bemoan the loss of all the wildlife here, quails in the backyard, owls at night, tree frogs, the pond down the road, the nighthawks and nightjars, all gone.
Wish I had a quiet little valley away from others.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:15AM
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rob333

:)

just keep coming back and looking. quails make me think of my childhood home. also like what is written here.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:21AM
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kris_zone6

We are lucky that we live where water is plentiful so we can keep that lawn green in the summer. Our house adjoins a small park but we fenced in our backyard so I could plant all along the fence. I have many shrubs and plants in beds that are 6 to 8 feet wide. Yesterday afternoon there were at least 15 quail just meandering among the plants. We have two bird feeders and a solar bird bath that are busy all day long. We have a couple of hummingbirds that love the agastache and perennial sages. I love to sit and watch.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:52PM
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