The two decent sized storms that we have had this rainy season have been enough to bring up the grass on the open portion of our property. A huge high pressure zone remains parked over most of California, deflecting all of the storm systems to the North—there is no forecasted rain in the foreseeable future.  Our heavy clay soils here retain moisture well, however, and with the short days and cool nights lessening the evapotranspiration rate,  we still shouldn’t have to irrigate for another 2-3 weeks at least. Let’s hope the storm track drops down our way before then.

The Fall bird migration seems to have slowed down here, but last month I saw a most remarkable sight. For weeks  beforehand we had been seeing large flocks of cackling geese (a smaller version of the Canada goose) passing overhead on their way to points South. As I was leaving the farm I saw a group of 20-30 of them resting in the neighbor’s bare-dirt field. Returning a few hours later, I noticed that the geese were gone, but a bald eagle was on the ground where they had been. It was surrounded by a large circle of feathers and in a circle beyond that were 3-4 vultures and several ravens who were taking turns harassing it. As I stopped to watch, the eagle took flight, struggling to stay aloft with the weight of the dead goose in its talons, all the while being dive-bombed by the ravens. Its mate circled nearby, presumable to lend encouragement. Whether or not they made it back to their nest I never found out, but odds are that they enjoyed quite a Thanksgiving feast.

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