In early October, I’m monitoring larvae in all stages on the narrow-leaf milkweed that grows in several large stands on my property. But Monarchs are not the only regal presence on my hillside; it’s the rutting season and a number of very handsome bucks have made themselves visible again. It’s almost comical the way they follow behind the does, their powerful necks outstretched, upper lip curled back to “taste” the smell of a particular doe—all of whom seem to do their best to ignore or avoid them.
Gardening with Wildlife
(all photos are by Bob and Mieko)
Now that fall is soon upon us, and hopefully the rainy season as well, the time is perfect to plant California natives. Many gardeners have issues and great frustration with the deer interfering with their planting plans. I happen to love and respect these animals, and from personal experience know that it is possible to create a beautiful native garden despite the presence of deer. You can have it all; a wonderful habitat rich in natural resources, complete with the native wildlife; your own zoological parkland !
A Paradise ruled by Queen Calafia
Two major human caused environmental disasters drastically changed the natural world of a land that was long ago described as a mythical island; a terrestrial paradise ruled by a statuesque and beautiful queen named Calafia.
For many Californians throughout the state, deer are the largest free-living animals they will commonly encounter; and for anyone with an affinity for the natural world, it’s an impressive thing to realize that these animals are self-sustaining, leading their own lives and needing nothing from us. But they are also are more than just beautiful creatures to admire; they are in many ways symbolic of a more calm, untroubled, and carefree life outside of the human hive of activities.