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Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…






no great big hawks!

...ten tufted titmice!
…nine frogs a-croaking!
…eight vultures circling!
...seven spiky yuccas!
...six types of milkweed!
…fiiiive! naaaative! plaaaaants!
…four hummingbirds!
…three moorhens!
…two mourning doves!
…and a replacement for a Bradford pear tree!

There are a couple of kinds of raptors locally—if you cross our local lake, you’ll see lots of osprey and the occasional bald eagle—but the only ones that come into our yard are red-tailed hawks and red-shouldered hawks.

Of the two, red-shoulders are by far the more common, as they hunt inside forests. They’re a very maneuverable bird. (Mostly I see them because they’re being mobbed by crows, as they also blend into these dappled brown woods like you wouldn’t believe.) They come for prey—primarily frogs from the frog pond—but also for water when it’s very dry. So every now and again, I’ll be wandering past the windows downstairs and suddenly a massive shape will launch off the deck rail and I will realize that there was a hawk drinking from the birdbath.

This wakes you up very quickly.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


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I want to give the poor hamster a hug.
I am looking forward to the happy end the day after Christmas!

EVERY time that great horned owl comes to perch on our juniper, I think of you.

Okay to be fair, I also think of you when my cairn terrorist comes in wearing remnants of the owl's horf but really, it's all in love.

Yeep! I would imagine!

There is a cooper's hawk that visits my mother's house every winter. She has an abundance of mourning doves, and said hawk realized long ago that mom's yard is the best kind of buffet. Sometimes though he just sits on the fence and watches us go about our business in the house. I can't even imagine how startling a huge ol' hawk would be!

This series would make the most awesome gardeners' / birders' calendar EVAR.

Edited at 2012-12-24 06:47 pm (UTC)

Poor hammie! I'm glad he had one easy day before this one....

Poor hamster need a hug. and some antiseptic and bandaids. then maybe a strong drink. *laughs*

Unrelated to this, I wondered if I could see about getting a complete set of Dragonsbreath books that have been autographed by you for my neices. There are a set of birthdays coming up, and they are just at the right age for this. And, of course Terry Pratchett's new book The World of Poo. I can send you money for the costs of the books and shipping them. If you had a book tour coming someplace up here near Boston, I'd just get them directly, but I don't see one on your schedule.

I'm happy to autograph, but honestly, I don't have lots of copies on hand myself--you'd actually be better getting bookplates and sending them to me. I'll sign them happily, and the you can paste them into volumes at will, and save yourself on shipping.

He is going to survive, right?

The hamster needs something fun to happen, like a Kia commercial.

Off topic, but I gave my nephew a copy of Dragonbreath for Christmas. I think he liked it. He asked if I had anything else you had written that he could borrow since it won't take him long to finish. As I mentioned in your blogiversary post, I frequently attempt to traffic people to your blog and work. Does that make me an evangelist? Ursulavist?

Edited at 2012-12-25 05:09 am (UTC)

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