IMG_1641It’s yard day here at LuLa Land  (which is the blog alias I have given to the apartment complex where my current digs are).  The various buildings (A-Q) are arranged around large, square grassy “green spaces.” It’s a wonder they are as green as they are, considering the percentage of dogs per total number of residents (who are required to “pick up after” their dogs and almost all of them do.)  The green spaces are such that those in charge of lawn care use a riding lawn mower, and there’s a kid with a string trimmer who edges the sidewalks and trims the fringe of grass around the buildings where the riding mower can’t reach.


One of the few times somebody else is atop the chest.

The black cat finds this activity riveting.  He has laid claim to the top of the chest under the window in the office, put there for the kitties’ viewing pleasure. It’s about three inches lower than the window sill of the window that is always tuned to The Yard Channel of CAT TV.  I once had some stereo speakers I got from my folks that were designed to be sat on.  They were in finished wood, with square leatherette cushions on top.  The speakers did not make the cut in the recent move, but the cushions did.  The pair of them just happen to fit exactly on the lid of the chest.  Being leatherette, they are pretty much urp proof, and cat hair and cat litter particles vacuum right off. It is here atop the chest that the black one is to be found for a large part of the day, alternately snoozing or chattering at the grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) and the abundance of doves.  I usually flush out at least one or two of the doves every time I walk to my car, and they make this wiffling tweeting noise when they fly.  We have Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) here, and occasionally Inca doves (Columbina inca); this one is neither, but the call is the same, and that little noise they make when they fly is the same.

They’re more common than grackles here in Lula Land, and that’s saying something.  The grackles have pretty much taken over the world here.  Once upon a time, you’d only spot one occasionally.  Now they’re everywhere.  The parking lot at Walmart has a very active contingent and at least one male has staked out every fast food place in town. They are great opportunists and seem to be omnivorous.  It’s not surprising really.  Isn’t it always the generalists who tend to weather a changing ecology best?.  These birds are smart and adaptable, and have a tolerance for human proximity, so they are prospering in urban settings where a wide range of “alternative” food sources are available.  A jet black male and his harem of graceful bronze ladies stalking the lawns and parking lots is a frequent sight.  At the Walmart parking lot, they seem to have learned to patrol under the cars during the heat of the day, venturing out only if they’ve spotted something.  They’re rather elegant looking birds, I think, with their sleek slender bodies, IMG_1636long legs, long beaks and baleful yellow eyes, but their calls are very unmelodious and raucous.

In the window where the chest sits, I have a cast iron sleeping cat that I put on the sill.  In the living room window, I have a cast iron sitting cat at one end, and a cast iron owl at the other.  Gives the folks outside something to look at besides a window full of venetian blinds.

Oh, BTW, in yesterday’s mail, I got a check from AT&T for $5.  Yes!