Say hello to my little friend

Sorry for the punniness, but this little guy is a gorgeous little kestrel. He hunts on a strip of road that is part of my commute to and from work and school every morning and afternoon. This is the first time that he’s let me snap some pics of him as he hunted from a telephone wire. I just love my birds of prey!

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Close encounters

I should start off this post by saying that these pictures are courtesy of Maria Matthews, my mom, who took them on a walk at Harvey Bear while I was at work. With that said…that’s a Diamondback rattlesnake! My mom didn’t realize it until she’d ended her photoshoot with the rattler when he gave her a short warning with his rattle to give him some space. Pretty crazy! For whoever’s reading, make sure you know that if you see a snake with a triangle-shaped head in the US, that’s a rattler and you need to be extra careful!


Manresa’s Great-Horned Owls

We recently spent some time at a beach house in South Santa Cruz County and in the 1.4 acres of hilly grassland and eucalyptus groves, my family encountered countless native creatures, as usual when we visit this property. In past years, we’ve seen bobcats walking on the perimeter fence, coveys of quail darting in and out of the brush, an osprey flying over head, headed straight for the beach, and an ever-developing family of great-horned owls. The invasive and normally disruptive eucalyptus trees are extremely valuable for the owls, acting as perfect camouflage! We captured photos of the mama and her bigger, fluffier teenager at sunset one evening, and then again early the next morning.