Friday, February 04, 2011

Here Be Dragons?

Zone 1 always surprises me. Zone Map

If I asked you what wildlife I might find in this small area of the yard, you might say a few ants and a spider or two. In the past this strip of cement walkway, stairs and a narrow planter has revealed numerous species of spiders. Zone 1 in summer 2007.

So far this February the variety of species has been down, probably due to the season. But the winter-blooming berginia is looking lovely, see blooms.

This short retaining wall at the edge of the walkway has an intriguing little cave. At the left side, where there is a triangular opening, a pile of debris is stacking up. Are these the remains of someone’s meals?

It is an interesting collection that the cave’s resident has pushed out its door. There are empty brown garden snail shells; some fragmented by strong jaws. Could the owner of the lair be a southern alligator lizard? A foot-long individual was seen in this area last summer.

But there are also holly-leaf cherry pits that have been gnawed open and the seed inside eaten. Is some kind of native mouse living in this dark dwelling?

Some animal is living in this tiny cave and if you are snail, you might just consider it a dragon.

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