Archive for the Wildlife Category

Wild and Crazy Cemetery Visit

Posted in Beauty, Birds, Cemetery, Death, Funeral, Nature, Wildlife with tags , , , on June 4, 2014 by Morguie

Oscar C Meyer — not the same guy who invented lunchmeat

I discovered where they put old Oscar Meyer!




Warning sign posted at the entrances of Glenhaven and Sholom –DO PAY HEED



Right when you least expect it, something wild and crazy happens to you…


One of many species of trees which beautified this place


In April, I spent a good part of my afternoon in a cemetery — actually, two cemeteries, which are actually side by side on the same property. I took lots of pictures of the beautiful parks…so peaceful and still. The expanses of trees there are stunning. In the backdrop, the Valley and beyond that, greater metropolitan Los Angeles.   It was a warm spring day with a slight breeze stirring. I witnessed a burial from afar. I liked that I was able to notice the attendees, mourners, joining hands and singing while they stood around the graveside. This was not unusual; what was unusual was the actively working backhoe.

As the mourners stood by, the backhoe was busily taking care of business, filling the hole.

Most times, this final work is done after the service and out of sight of onlookers.

Mourners witnessing the final burial at the graveside

But, the “wild and crazy” happening wasn’t this.

I departed this cemetery, drove a few yards down the lane and turned into the Jewish cemetery. I noted the sign warning of the snakes, smiling to myself. Yeah, sure, I did believe there would be that possibility. These parks were indeed along the foothills and edge of the National forest.






However, as I was selecting a shady spot to park, at the top of a slope, it was a huge bird that caught my attention.

At first it looked like a Golden Eagle, it was massive. It was atop a pine very near my parking place. I fumbled with my camera, hoping to snap some great pics.

The bird was not an eagle, it turned out to be a large red-tailed hawk. I saw the bird literally jumping about on this tree’s most top part, the tip. A great flurry of activity…I dropped the camera onto the floorboard, cursing as I attempted to retrieve it and turn it on. I thought I might be witnessing an act of mating, however I saw no second bird.

Just as I was about to get engaged with the camera, which unfortunately was not cooperating, the bird suddenly rose off of the treetop, and what I saw next was the wild and unexpected…

The bird had been killing a snake in the tree! When the bird rose up it was grasping a 4-ft. long serpent!!

Damn! My camera was of no use. The bird lofted, snake in talons, over the slight slope and down a ways…landing a few seconds later in a tall pine. I could see a nest there. AND, two people at the foot of that very same pine, apparently visiting a grave there. I was stunned.


Looking toward the hawk's tree--note the two figures standing below

Looking toward the hawk’s tree–note the two figures standing below

I jumped out of the car, heading quickly toward them, to tell them about the hawk and the snake directly over their heads, in case the snake were loosed or dropped, placing them in possible harm’s way— ( pictures below. I labelled to show where the nest was in proximity to the visitors, sorry it isn’t my better work…I am a novice with photo edits, as you can see)












I got to them as they were moving toward their car, and they were in no danger by then. I talked with them about what I’d seen, and they were happy to know they missed the scene. The lady hated snakes, and the gentleman just didn’t hear well, so he began to ask me who I came to pay respects to, instead.


They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’  well, I’d have to agree here.

We visited a little longer before I gave up on taking in another spectacular “Wild Kingdom” moment to capture on film.

I doubt I shall see another such moment like that again.

Caveat to prospective visitors of this lovely place:  DO watch for the rattlesnakes! One may be right over your head.

©2014, C.S. Thompson.

Tortoise Tuesday

Posted in Animals, Beauty, Children, Family, Friendship, Humor, Inspiration, Life, Love, Musing, Nature, Pets, Relationships, Sheldon the Tortoise, Wildlife with tags on June 3, 2014 by Morguie


We decided to create a seasonal aspect here. Maybe. For now, while we are fresh on the topic of CJ’s desert tortoise, Sheldon, we are simply going to allow him to be center-stage. For today, anyhow.


As promised, we present to you….


Sheldon’s face. In terms of tortoise beauty: he is a handsome little devil.   The operative word here IS devil.

Always have to realize he will be up to something when back is turned.




The pics show “somebody” attending to the duty of locating that darned old breach in the super-max penitentiary fence perimeter.


CJ catches somebody in the act of scaling the fence.

Uh oh. Mommy spoiled the plan again.

What?   That wasn’t ME.   The impostor  that’s who it was, Mom.


Here, Mom, a smile just for you, because I’m always so happy to see you.

Foiled again! But there’s tomorrow, hehe.


Yup. Operative word here:  D-e-v-i-l.








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Cornell’s Owls are … ooops…fledged?!

Posted in Animals, Birds, Family, Inspiration, Life, Nature, Parenting, Pets, Video Clips, Wildlife on May 17, 2014 by Morguie

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Blog for some very special things breaking open in the nests at Cornell’s Bird Cam…


Please run and look…enjoy!




Cornell Lab Bird Cams | Virtual Bird Watching at its Best.





The Fields Are Alive With Color!

Posted in Beauty, Friendship, Guest Post, Inspiration, Life, Musing, Nature, Thought For Today, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Wisdom with tags , , on April 24, 2014 by Morguie






Hello Everybody!  Such a beautiful Spring Day here!

Too nice to let the blues get us down!



Look at all the pretty poppies!  As you may or may not be aware, We are coming at you from

The Mojave Desert…in Southern California. These are the State Flower, The Golden Poppy.

We took these pics just a week ago; quite a surprising show of beautiful flowers considering the

drought crisis we currently find ourselves in here. March brought a bit of rain. It appears it was just

in time to be able to bring the thickest, most vibrant fields-full we’ve seen in years! Such a treat!

AND…our local Annual Poppy Festival takes place this weekend! Sometimes the Festival happens but the

Poppies forget to show up! Or The Poppies show up but not exactly in the locale of the Poppy Reserve,

instead opting to grow a bit further out to the north-west — which causes the throngs of

tourists to be a bit disappointed in the few

flowers actually here…that happens! Hey! We are NOT going to dictate to Mother Nature, ok!


If you happen to be nearby, stop by the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

or in to Lancaster’s Poppy Festival

this weekend APRIL 26 – 27! Don’t Forget Your Cameras!



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