Monday, January 07, 2008

We Took a Breath; We Looked Around

We are still in Leisure World, Orange County. A retirement village of 18,000 units. Golf courses, tennis courts, and palm trees. Speed limit 25 mph, gated community, and club houses. Now that things have settled down a bit, still one more doctor's appointment Monday afternoon, we have started looking for the little bits of wildlife that seep through the cracks.
First we noticed a flock of Bushtits in the flowers and bushes outside our window.
Then we saw this crazy paperbark tree. We'd never seen anything like it. A little research reveals that it is from Australia, a Melaleuca quinquenervia. Cool to look at, but an invasive species in Florida and Hawaii.
Then, I went to get the mail and heard a familiar cry from the sky. I couldn't believe it. I brought the mail in, and could still hear it from inside the house. So, I grabbed the camera and ran to the parking lot to see where it might be. There it was, in the tree at the edge of the parking area. A wonderfully wild Red-shouldered Hawk. Like a good friend, a reminder of the world.

Thanks so much for all your kind comments and emails. My mother is recovering. Little things are still going wrong, but the big picture is looking good. We are hopeful.

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