Saturday, January 23, 2010

Surviving the California Rain

Five days of drenching rain.

The green lynx spider continues to hold on to her geranium stem.

But her egg sac? It looks as though it may be completely saturated. Her drive to produce viable offspring may have been thwarted by the wet weather. Still she holds on and stands guard. Before the rain

Throughout the week, the bird feeders have been a center of activity. The feeders have provided food to birds even in the rain. This afternoon, however the Cooper's hawk was also using the feeders. I caught him just after he had made an attempt to catch one of the doves eating at feeder. He stopped for just a moment on top of the feeder before heading up into the wet trees. Video of a Cooper's hawk.

How the tiny hummingbirds survive the driving rain amazes me. I've been looking for nesting attempts. So far I haven't found any. I'm sure that any initial nests will have been abandoned because of the weather.

Thursday morning we spotted a disoriented California towhee sitting beside the neighbor's brick wall. The towhee's feathers were tattered. It may have been an older individual. It wasn't injured. It just seemed exhausted. We shooed it away from the street and open sidewalk and up into the bushes along our yard. At least there it had shelter from the elements. At times there have been several species of birds sitting on the patio to escape the worst of the rain and hail.

Since Monday, our tiny niche of biodiversity in Woodland Hills, California has received over 7 1/2 inches of water. I'm sure that isn't much in many other places, but in California it is a fair amount. Our annual rainfall averages only 16 inches.

A two-foot wall of mud flowed down our little canyon and was stopped by our fence. No disaster, but enough mud to close off the cottontails' regular path under the fence.

A sunny moment and a rainbow. The rain has quenched our drought parched landscape, but for some the intensity of the rain has been too much.

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