Reminder: Solstice Celebration at Chavez/Huerta Solar Calendar tomorrow, Wednesday Dec. 21, at 4 pm. Details.
(Burrowing Owl Update Below)
No sooner had I waxed lyrical about the beautiful berries (“pomes”) of the native Toyon tree in the Native Plant Area (See “Signs of the Season,” Oct 16 2022) than they were gone — stripped clean. I observed individual finches taking individual berries, “Berry Feast,” Nov 2 2022 and crows doing likewise, “Crow Berries,” Nov 15 2022, but I I was totally unprepared for the sight that met my eyes earlier this month. There was not a single berry left on the entire tree. I thought possibly the rainstorms we had might have knocked berries to the ground, but a close inspection showed not one berry down there in the leaf litter below the tree. This was a berry feast by the birds. I wish I’d been there to document it as it was happening.
Could humans have harvested these berries to make pie or jam? They would have had to have a very fine-toothed picker with a long extension, and even then they could not have claimed every last berry on the tree. This was done with an efficiency and thoroughness that only the descendants of dinosaurs can muster.
Here’s what the Toyon looked like before the birds descended and stripped it bare:
Burrowing Owl Update
Sad to say, the Burrowing Owl could not be found this morning at 7:30 in either of its habitual perches, or anywhere else. A second check at 9 am had the same result. Apparently the bird is taking another day off. Watch this space tomorrow for an update.