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A Bird of Marsh Grass
Wrens have upturned constantly moving tails that give them a busy appearance. One of my favorite wrens is the Marsh Wren. I have been on a constant quest to get a good view of this bird. In most of my attempted sightings, I see a wren grab precariously to the top blade of a marsh grass and then plunge back down towards the muddy muck. I am left clumsily trying to focus my binoculars on a swaying piece of grass.
My blurred sightings of marsh wrens have always taken place at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, California (the San Francisco Bay Area). Walk across the boardwalk above the freshwater marsh to try to catch a glimpse of this active bird.
In Celtic foklore, a female wren and a male robin are symbols of devotion to one another even in death. The robin is a symbol of winter and the wren a symbol of summer. Wrens are associated with oak trees and Druids, Celtic priests.
House Cat LOL which is kinda scary because cats are my childrens totems (amazingly all three girls have the same one at least that is how it seems so far)
Habitat: soft beds at night, sunlit spots on the floor during daylight
Language: a variety of meows to indicate feelings from enthusiasm to irritation. Many cat owners also feel that their cats attempt to communicate telepathically, but many cats have given up due to the lack of response by the humans they have attempted to contact.
Occupations: prowling the perimeters of their territories, checking empty food bowls at 15-minute intervals to see if food has miraculously appeared, monitoring doors to attempt to run out when they open
Typology: My father and I have speculated about how to categorize the impressive cats that have entered our lives. Here is our attempt at a typology. The cave cat: squat physique, short legs, short body, short tail, large eyes encompassing at least half the face. Able to open cupboard doors to shelter and hide within. The mountain cat: long legs, long tail, exaggerated whiskers. Able to walk a beam less than an inch wide at great heights. The happy-go-lucky cat: brightly-colored, often a tabby. Able to walk right up to a bus stop full of children and become the center of attention. The October cat: black, capable of scary yowls and piercing gazes. Loves to gaze at a fire in the fireplace and sit quietly next to his family.
To me, my cat seems to be able to see the unseen, hear sounds less than a whisper, sense my feelings even when I cannot voice them, and show trust simply by slowly blinking her eyes. It is a tribute to the cat's powerful and challenging presence that there is so much cat mythology, both good and bad, throughout many cultures.
During the period of horrendous massacres of black cats that took place during the Middle Ages, "God's finger", a white patch of fur on the chest of a black cat, spared cats from death.
At the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise, it is said that only a cat studied the path from paradise and remembers how to return.
The Irish Celts believed that cat's eyes represent a door to another world.
The Welsh King Hywel Dda passed a series of laws protecting hearth cats around 1000 A.D.
The Irish Book of Kells contains a fanciful illustration of a cat chasing a mouse clutching a communion wafer.
A legendary Welsh eccentric, dictionary-writer and linguist Richard Robert Jones, travelled around Wales with his books and his pet cat in the 1800s.
Cats, like crows and ravens, are said to be able to see past, present, and future as if time were not linear but circular.
Burrowing owls are not what you would expect when you think of the classic owl, swooping through trees on a dark October night. Burrowing owls live in grasslands or deserts in abandoned burrows. In the early morning, they may venture out of their burrows to warm themselves in the light. You are more likely to see them comically standing on top of small mounds at dawn or dusk than flying overhead at night.
Burrowing owls build their nests inside their burrows. Male birds are the main builders adding grass, cow manure (do the poor baby birds have a sense of smell?), and feathers to the side of the nest. After the seven to ten eggs hatch, the young birds learn to make a rattling sound like a rattlesnake when anyone disturbs the nest.
Burrowing owls are listed as threatened or endangered in almost all of the areas where they live. Plowing to create farmland has destroyed burrows. Pesticides make the owls sick and kill off their food supply. The owls' habit of hunting near roadsides has led to collisions with cars. Some concerned nature-lovers have begun constructing artifical burrows as an invitation to the owls to take up residence. Check out these instructions for making a burrow.
I saw a burrowing owl while participating in a guided field trip to Central California's Carrizo Plains held by the Morro Bay Festival in January of 2002. The morning was bitterly cold and every blade of grass was iced white. One burrowing owl stood by its mound while the second only poked its head out of the burrow. See the Morro Bay Bird Festival Website for more details on guided birdwatching trips and activities in and around California's Central Coast each January. I highly recommend this festival!
Burrowing Owl Drying its Wings at Local Airport
Recently our whole family saw a burrowing owl at a local airport here in Northern California. Unusually for the season, it was raining in September, and the poor owl, possibly finding its burrow partially flooded (and smelling of wet manure), was trying to dry off on a post.
Hopi Native Americans believe the burrowing owl to be the god of the dead and protector of all that is underground, including seeds. To me, this owl represents security and home because it seeks out its burrow.
The Desert Cottontail of the American West will climb small desert trees to escape predators or just to survey the landscape for new plants. They have their own fascinating geometry. They run in a zigzag pattern to elude predators. Their prints form the number 7 in the sand. Desert cottontail's close cousins, brush rabbits, create a maze of pathways that lead to the best produce in their "gardens," the small territories that they stake out for themselves.
One of the desert cottontail's favorite plants is the creosote bush. For more, go to the Creosote Page.
You can observe desert cottontails in the Mojave Desert spanning California and Nevada. On hot days, they are most likely to be active at dawn and dusk
interesting indeed I would think I be a house cat too LOL