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Window Shots~


Meep-Meep Jr. is much shyer than Mama-Meep.

He likes playing me like Wile E.

Whenever I venture outside,

he vanishes, in a cloud of dust.

He forces me to shoot him through the double-paned, not too clean, windows.



Cheers to you from the very fast, quite shy, and oh-so-wiley, Meep-Meep-Junior~

Froggie Went A’Courtin~


Either Mrs Toad is expecting, or she is feasting on far too many bugs! She is over 5 inches long and quite chubby.

Dragon, the fly, needs to keep his distance, because Mrs T can spring into action quite suddenly.

Mrs T is a clever critter, who waits patiently at the right time of day for the drip line to start emitting precious water, providing needed relief for an overheated toad on hot summer days.

T is a California Western Toad, a threatened species of ‘special concern,’ due to die offs caused by fertilizer contamination, disease, and habitat destruction.

Western Toads are terrestrial, and we have a thriving colony of them inside The Holler fences.

Cheers to you & happy weekend from the comfortably chubby, and quite toadish, Mrs Toad~

Winged Lightning~


Of all The Holler’s,


flying folks,


Hummer’s are the fastest of the fast.


They pause, only seconds, to sip,


and then flash by,


like winged-lightning.


Cheers to you from the The Holler’s fastest flying folks~

Baby Peter Cotton Tail~


So far, Baby Valentine the owlet, only looks at Baby Peter Cotton Tail,

and visa versa!

They don’t know what to make of each other……

yet!

Cheers to you from The Holler’s still safe baby buntings~

Baby Valentine~


Sleepy owlet Valentine wears his ❤ on his face. (Click to enlarge and see Valentine better).

Mama has left him, and it is his first day alone, out of his nesting box.

Valentine doesn’t know what to do,

so he decides to fly down near the human,

watch her out of one eye,

until he falls asleep, clinging to his cactus bed.
Cheers to you from Valentine the confused little owlet~

Note: We have a barn owl nesting box at The Holler, usually woodpeckers nest in it, but this spring a barn owl family actually moved in. Valentine is their chick. I kept an eye on him for his first 24 hours out of the box, which was easy because he seemed quite unafraid of me. I think he was a bit shocked and confused. He passed his second night last night, and I could hear him in the oak groves. Today I haven’t seen him, but have heard him in the trees, so I think he is starting to figure things out.

Reflections on a Silent Sea~


The Salton Sea,

in summertime,

is scorching,

stark,

solitary,

and stunning.

No one here but you,

and the silent sea.
Good news for a change! California voters passed Proposition 68 this week which will allocate $200 million dollars towards saving The Salton Sea. The monies are earmarked towards rebuilding the wetlands that are so crucial to migrating birds and to conserving all the wildlife that depend upon the sea. Funds are also allocated to mitigate the harmful dust that is damaging human health. Everyday, amidst all the negativity, so many people do very good things! Thank you California voters for protecting our wild creatures and wild spaces.
Cheers to you from the soon to be saved Salton Sea~

Black Necked Stilts in The Salton Sea~


Black Necked Stilts (BNS) are found from California to as far east as Florida, and as far south as Central America and the Galapagos.

They are waders and have the second longest leg to body proportions of any bird in the world excepting the flamingo (Cornell Lab of Ornithology).

These birds were photographed in The Salton Sea in Southern California.

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. It rests directly above The San Andreas Fault, and lies 71.9 meters below sea level.

The Salton Sea is under serious threat, is shrinking, and is heavily polluted.

The sea is considered the second most diverse and significant habitat for migrating birds in the US. Over 400 species have been identified here, and it is a critical migratory winter resting stop on The Pacific Flyway.

BNS populations are in decline due to habitat destruction and wetland pollution.

If the sea were to dry up, the millions of birds who rely on it during their annual migration would be imperiled.

It would become a giant toxic dust-bowl threatening the public health of millions of Californians. The shrinking of the sea is already emitting toxic dust and chemicals harming human health. Effective plans do exist to save and refresh the sea, but no plans exist to date, to implement them.

Cheers to you from the threatened Black Necked Stilts at the vulnerable Salton Sea~

(For more on The Sea read: http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-salton-sea-20151001-story.html).