The pleasures of living in this area are many all year round! We particularly look forward every year at this time to the emergence of families of quail who materialize from the shrubs and scamper out on the lawn. Innocent little things guarded by Papa, up on the fence keeping a watchful eye, and by Mama, making sure they are steered in safe directions while they forage for bugs and seeds.
This year, though, things were a little different. We started out by observing the usual family gatherings, but then a papa appeared with about eight or nine chicks in tow. A few days later, there were about 16 or 17 with him - hard to count when they're in and out of the bushes. Last week, he had 28 or so in his brood, of three or four different sizes. Still no Mama, just Papa. It was funny to watch him take after one who was acting up and give it a little discipline. Last night he led all but three of the bunch over to the edge of the lawn, then went back to the stragglers. He chased one back to the others and the other two followed.
Talk about family values. What a remarkable and pleasurable pastime it is to watch these creations of Ma Nature!
Richard Kinz and Frank Garzanit