Sun 20 Jul 2014
The old dichotomy of “nature v. nurture” may be a false one. As a couple of photos shot at Mitchell cabin last week demonstrate, nature also nurtures its own.
These photos are hardly remarkable in and of themselves, but they record what a remarkable variety of nature is just outside my window.
The sunset on July 14 gave the western sky the dazzle of a technicolor movie.
Even more dazzling was this simultaneous rainbow in the eastern sky. Numerous people around Point Reyes Station saw it, and several posted photos of the rainbow on West Marin Feed-Facebook.
After relentless begging with its beak open and its wings fluttering, a juvenile blackbird finally gets a parent to feed it birdseed even though it’s perfectly capable of feeding itself.
Last week Lynn spotted a fox on our picnic table peering in our living room between the slats of a chair. Its presence kept the blackbird at left on the railing and off the table.
The Gray fox was on the table to eat seed Lynn had scattered for the birds.
Staying well away from the fox, a jackrabbit eats grass just outside our kitchen window.
A doe and her fawns can be seen around Mitchell cabin virtually every day.
One of the sweetest-looking little animals around, a blacktail fawn walks past our bedroom window.
Fawns seem to be often on the run. At their age, it would appear, they enjoy being able to dash from here to there.
A young blacktail buck grazes by itself in the field below our deck.
A cross between a House sparrow and a Great horned owl?
Lynn and I correctly guessed the bird is actually a young House finch, but we had no explanation for its “horns,” so we dropped by the Point Reyes Station office of the Institute for Bird Populations.
Dave DeSante, the institute’s president and founder, was in the office, and we asked him what was going on with this bird. After pondering the bird’s unlikely appearance, he concluded the horns are actually pin feathers that somehow got ruffled on opposite sides of the finch’s head.
An adult, male House finch eats birdseed next to our birdbath. As I noted here back in May, their coloration is derived from the fruits and berries in their diets. Adult female house finches tend to be light brown with white streaks.
Nor is all peaceful around Mitchell cabin. A redtailed hawk — I believe it was this one — killed a collared dove on our deck last week. We heard the impact when it swooped down and seized the dove, leaving behind a mass of white feathers as evidence of nature’s savagery.
A raccoon, which had been showing up each evening on our deck begging for scraps of bread, showed up this past week with three kits in tow. No wonder she’d been looking so tired of recent.
Here the raccoons scour the grass around the deck for slices of bread Lynn threw there to keep them away from another, feisty raccoon on the deck.
And while the kits are perfectly able to eat bread, they still try to get mom to nurse them. They sort of remind me of juvenile blackbirds that want to be nurtured.