Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #220

Our little Community is  overflowing with babies right now, as Spring brings warm days. We have numerous “apartment dwellers” on our porch. Sparrows that sleep between the beams and rafters of the roof. They’ve been there for years; probably not the same birds, but none of the “apartments” are ever vacant. We also have different pairs of nesting birds; some in official bird boxes, others in their own constructed nests. A pair of Mourning Doves already successfully hatched one set of babies, with two more babies ready to fly out soon. Lots of Sparrows were almost ready to wave their fledglings off as well and there was quite simply a whole lot of excellent parenting going on.

Well, it is officially Snake-season. Snake tracks everywhere, including Sidewinders: they are out in force and they are hungry! Last Sunday was a particularly warm day and within the space of about an hour, not one but two Gopher snakes had plucked a lovely meal out of our birds nests. A smallish snake, about three and a half feet long, got one of the baby doves. Then, one of the largest Gopher snakes we’ve ever seen, got a baby sparrow. The smaller reptile, holed up in a bookcase for a few days, to digest his enormous meal, until Jim picked him up and released him in a tree. The bigger reptile was back two days later, trying to get inside the house. Phaw! I knew we were in for a “Snakey” Summer, but this is ridiculous. I watched in horror, as the huge snake, which was at least 6 feet long and as big around as my forearm, tried to force its way inside, through my bedroom window. I couldn’t believe how agile it was; how high and effortlessly it climbed. Anyway, it gave up finally and by the time Jim came home, the snake was nowhere to be seen: very disconcerting!

Our monthly USDA Food Give-away is Monday, April 20 from 8:30am. Next Saturday is the Potluck Party; your Hostesses Mary and Chris, picked “Spring” as the theme. Stay well!

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