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Otter at the River, Orioles at the Feeder, Woodpecker Nest, Toads in tree hollows

April 23, 2015

I spent a day in the garden, surrounded by wild animals. Orioles have returned early to feed at my hummingbird feeders. Hummingbirds stare me in the face as I clean the porch.

Last year a strange and unhappy guest posted photos of a dead walnut tree overlooking my porch; she said this was an example of unsightly things up here, along with clothes I was sun-drying on the line. Oh WELL. I have not stopped sun-drying my laundry, but try doing it when guests aren’t here. As for the dead tree: I was about to have it cut down when I noticed a woodpecker had made a new nest in it a couple of weeks ago. She speaks to me if I get too close to the tree when gardening, and I speak back, “I’ll leave your babies alone, don’t worry.” Then I spotted a hole in the base of the tree at ground line. A gopher, I thought, and stuck my hose into it to flood it out. I was surprised when a toad hopped out instead. Toads and frogs are attracted to my water features: ponds and fountains. I have decided to leave that tree alone.

This evening I drove to the old Rumsey Bridge to look for more wildlife. An otter was busy scouting the bottom of the river for food. I loved watching its back legs paddling when it stuck its head down amid the rocks. Two geese swam by. Clouds were red from the sunset over the peaks. Everything was quiet and I was happy.

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