Dia de los Birds of Prey, this must be. My eyes come to be welded to a Merlin doing a thrilling slow, then rocketing, then suspended-in-air ballet and when I turn my head to the side what I look right into are the eyes of a Harrier sailing in straight for my face, something that’s become a real habit of this bird! It tilts slightly, glides over my head, as laid back as a stoned hippie. It obviously doesn’t care what my business may be, and goes about its own chores unperturbed by my presence. A short while later there comes a Peregrine in a stoop down over the pastures, it races over the Meadowlarks who scream out and bolt blindly off in different directions to be anywhere but there.
The globs of silk webs that have lately been appearing at the tips of small mesquites in the pastures are decorated with the tiny dried mesquite leaflets, much as are the coverings of bagworms. Inside there is no worm or larva–but spiders, very showy spiders, black with white stripes and spots. Their silk hiding place must be a tight little shanty for them on these cold nights.
Mesquite seeds are still sprouting fresh green pairs of cotyledons from cow poop, to give us joyous chores of some Christmas Yet to Come when the trees they’ve grown into have to be pulled with incomparably more effort.
Not a grasshopper, not a dragonfly. These fields can be almost motionless for days, and silent, and then suddenly as happens today a tree will fill with Lark Sparrows and their whistles, cheeps and bright chattering.