Saturday, July 25, 2015

The residents we've been waiting for!

Dear Waiting Patiently,

Good news!  The California Quail that we have hoped for have finally arrived.  We planted the Saltbrush shrubs (atriplex) that they like 6 years ago, and we have tended and mounded brush piles, hoping to attract them.  This Spring we noticed a pair of California Quail now and then, here and there, and last week, lo and behold!  The nest:




The saltbushes have been evolving for 14 million years, and they are named for their ability to live on water with a high salinity content. There is a tiny bladder in each leaf, that collects the salt, which isolates the salt from the rest of the plant's cells.