The coronavirus is affecting humanity in a way that has not been seen before in my lifetime. It is a humbling experience to think of a tiny virus, a microscopic blob of RNA, can kill one person within weeks and leave another one with mild symptoms. None of us knows whether they will be one of the lucky ones and live to tell the tale. Those of us who are hiding out in our homes and behaving responsibly are sheltering in place and practicing social distancing while watching the numbers of deaths go up at an alarming rate. And until a vaccine is discovered, we will all be vulnerable to catching this virus and possibly dying from it. There is no place that is safe anymore.
I am spending my days exploring the backyard with my camera in hand and the wildlife is thriving and actually doing better without all of the people around. The birds are singing with less interruptions, and my neighbor down the street even had a wild turkey hen visit her backyard. Sweet Pea, the dominant male, Costa’s Hummingbird rules his territory with lots of spunk and plenty of girlfriends, and I had a Phainopepla, a rare blackbird with red eyes that usually only lives in Agua Caliente, visit the other day. He must have blown in with the fierce winds that have rattled the blooming ocotillo that then scatter seeds and pollen everywhere across the sand. Hooded and Bullock’s Orioles arrive to raise their young and the bright golden yellow of their feathers is startling to see after the faded and washed-out colors of the windblown brittlebush have all but disappeared. A Belted Kingfisher suddenly showed up one day and announced his arrival with a comical cackle that pierces the silence when he dives down into the murky water from a tree limb that hangs outstretched over the shoreline. He quickly disappears under the surface with a splash and effortlessly catches a fish and flies straight back up to the same branch he left just seconds ago with a tiny fish wriggling in his strong beak. The graceful Great Egret soars across the surface of the water silently on huge outstretched wings and settles down on the safety of a rock for the evening in the company of noisy frogs croaking loudly in the fading light.
Callie is doing marvelous and has a brand new passion. Every evening a family of some kind of desert mouse comes out from their daytime burrow and zips along the outside of the sliding door of the entertainment room in search of a meal. She waits with heightened anticipation and excitement at dusk and just about the same time every day she chases them along the glass barrier until they disappear into the night. They seem to know that she can’t hurt them because they stop and stare at her which drives her absolutely insane. Her tail jerks spasmodically as she chirps to herself in frustration at not being able to catch her prey. The bats won’t arrive again in huge numbers until the summer months, so thank goodness there is a new game in town for her to enjoy.
I hope that all of you are staying safe and healthy and learning to cope with your newfound reality. If you are reading this blog post, surely you have a blog of your own and have a creative outlet to explore. I can’t imagine not having something to do that gives you joy during these difficult times. Thank you again for taking the time to read my adventures with Callie blog. I am hoping we can hit the road again soon.