Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nobody Can Prove that We Started This Fire with the Flames of Our Love

We celebrated our wedding anniversary by taking a leisurely walk to the spring where Lion Creek comes into Dryad Ranch. We spent quite a lot of time watching birds come down to drink and escape temporarily the heat of our 111 degree afternoon. Their bills were all open in the way birds do when it gets hot - evidently it helps them cool off. In addition to the usual acorn woodpecker and oak titmouse sightings, we were able to enjoy spotting another new addition to the ranch list - a wrentit! These birds have an unusual looking eye - yellow with a black center. And yes, they do look like like a wren and also like a tit! There were several juvenile ash-throated flycatchers there as well as a Bewick's wren family, making our luncheon stop ever so enjoyable. After our stop at the spring, we headed down to the river and during portion of our walk, the clouds gathered, the thunder roared and I'll be darned if rain didn't start rearranging some of the dust, sort of.

After getting back to the house and cleaning up, we headed to Mariposa for a lovely dinner, including a gooey and sinful dessert, and on the way home stopped to watch firefighters working this brushfire, which was started by a lightning strike during the aforementioned thunderstorm. We spoke to some other folks who were also watching the fire and assuming everything stays under control, no one's home seemed to be in danger. And we were reassured that it was traveling away from Dryad Ranch.

Our final interesting discovery of the day came as we were stopped to open one of the gates coming into the ranch and saw this Common Kingsnake. Good thing we didn't squish it with the car! It was a fine looking guy or gal and a good 4 feet long.

Wrentit photo in the public domain US Fish and Wildlife Service

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