Mountain Quail Return


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors on August 11, 2011

Mountain Quail (male) Oreortyx pictus, offset ...

Image via Wikipedia

My sister and I were talking about the birds, she thanked me for sharing my hummingbird “recipe”. I couldn’t believe that people actually buy that junk they sell in the store. Okay, I confess, I bought it ONCE, too, but then I learned the secret and I’ve been making my own hummingbird food ever since.

I was telling her about the Mountain Quail and mentioned that I haven’t seen them for a couple of months now. They normally come down the mountain late evenings, right about dusk. I’ve never seen just one mountain quail, they come down a dozen or so in a flock, I’ve seen as many as 20 at a time. I was so pleased to walk outside to find a flock of Mountain Quail in my yard. They are such nervous birds that whenever I head outside, they run off.

I think I’ll try to get up early tomorrow and open the blinds, maybe I’ll get to watch them for a bit. It gives me great pleasure to sit and watch the habits of all my bird friends. I have one little bird about the size of a grosbeck, maybe a tad smaller, I love to watch as he walks around the yard, using his little feet to kick up the leaves and pine needles. The bird will do that for hours at a time. Maybe he’s looking for bugs?

The little Nuthatch is another one I love to sit and watch, the noisy little birds can be seen for long periods pecking on the side of trees.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Nuthatches are active, agile little birds with an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds. They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted Nuthatches may be small but their voices are loud, and often their insistent nasal yammering will lead you right to them.

I have been slowly trying to educate myself and the family about birds and the wildlife in and surrounding Twain Harte. If you are interested in birds and not all that experienced, you may find this article helpful: Top 10 Ways to Get Better at Bird Identification. I am finding that watching the birds helps me to relax more and keeps me from thinking about all the noise pollution.

Just this morning, I woke up to one of my more thoughtful neighbors hammering away on something — AT 7:00 A.M. — come on now. Even though fireworks and whatnot are illegal, we still have nuts setting off firecrackers in the parking lot of the Twain Harte Market. Not a smart thing to do. It doesn’t take much of a spark to start a fire in these parts, especially this time of year.

We made a trip through Twain Harte last night to make a Post Office run and I couldn’t believe how many people were downtown. The Rock had an overflow crowd hanging out on the balcony, and most of the other restaurants appeared to be just as busy. It was a Wednesday evening, I can’t imagine what could have drawn so many people to town.

I don’t have any official numbers to post, but I can tell you that judging from my own experience there appears to be many more summer vacationers this year, but my perception could be tainted since we moved in January and I’m not as familiar with this side of town.

Do you think we have more, less or about the same number of people vacationing in the Twain Harte area this year? Tell me what you think.


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Missing Cat with Purple Collar


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Twain Harte News on July 1, 2011

Sandy the CatOur part Birman cat was last seen, Thursday morning (June 30, 2011) sometime in the early morning hours around 2 or 3 a.m. and has not been seen or heard from since. She answers to the name Sandy and is very friendly, which leads to me think someone may have found her and thought she was lost.

She hates cars and will avoid them at all costs, but she is very curious and may be trapped in a garage somewhere or worse. She once found herself trapped under our house and couldn’t get out. We found her that time after just a few hours.

$100.00 Reward Offered for her safe return!

We are praying hard that a mountain lion, owl or hawk hasn’t found her instead. She is greatly loved by our family. Please pray that she is found.

Have you seen our cat this week? Please call: (209) 565-1273, if you have details on her whereabouts. Please share the link to this page with anyone you know who may live, work or vacation in the Twain Harte area.

She was last seen in the Twain Harte Market area, on Tiffeni Drive, in Twain Harte.

About Sandy

Sandy was a stray cat when she adopted us — one of half a dozen cats I used to feed from the neighborhood. Every day she would come to visit, one night I left a window open without a screen, she climed in and hung out with me in the kitchen, then curled up on my lap and went to sleep. That was 7 years ago and from that night on, she has been with us.

“Pretty Girl,” as we lovingly called her loves to talk and she will pester you, until she gets her way. She understands English very well and will answer your questions if you talk to her. I’ve never met the person who didn’t warm right up to her. She would even sleep with our overnight guests if they didn’t mind. She only eats Fancy Feast grilled in gravy and a special blend of dry foods, which we keep available for her at all times. She is a great mouser and will catch lizards, squirrels and birds as well.


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Rain and Fog


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Opinion, Twain Harte News on June 5, 2011

Well, other than the snow that fell in my dreams last night, so far so good. It sprinkled rain on and off for most of the day today, it wasn’t until about an hour ago, when it really started to pour.

Velvet AntlersAbout an hour previous to the rain picking up intensity, the fog had rolled in. The air was heavy with moisture, it was eerie. It made me think of what it must have been like in that movie, “Gorilla’s in the Mist,” with Sigourney Weaver. The fog has lifted slightly, so it’s not quite so dense, still, motorists will want to slow down some — the animals can’t see much better than us in this fog. Hitting a deer anytime of year is not fun.

It’s 47 degrees currently. So far we aren’t getting any thunder and lightening and so long as the temperature stays near where it is, we won’t have any snow to worry about either.

Do watch out for the deer, we have quite a few young bucks running around out there. They still have the fuzz on their antlers — and they are so beautiful. We have a chat together almost daily. I just can’t get enough of them. They are very alert right now but inexperienced and most are just now getting out on their own.

I understand now that the mothers were showing them safe places to go for an easy meal just a few weeks back when they were all stopping by in groups. It was almost as if the mothers were making their introductions.

I’ll be back when I think of more to babble about.  🙂

Thanks for reading – I’d love to hear about your deer encounters. They are such magnificent creatures.

I just took a peek outside and the fog has lifted for the most part, which means the fog is probably pretty heavy around Sierra Village, as it appeared to be traveling East. Of course Jamestown gets more than it’s fair share of fog at times, too. Drive safe!

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