And the quail shall feast with the bunny. And the thrasher.

It was a lovely morning.

I sat at my desk looking out at the pile of brown Madia sativa that had been growing in the south garden big bed, that I'll develop this fall. It was getting in the way of "seeing" the bed. It was ugly. I yanked it, getting very sticky in the process.

Madia sativa, coast tarweed, is native all up and down the Pacific coast from Canada to Chile. It's other name is Chilean tarweed. I tolerate it but if it gets in my way I yank it. It's sticky and not very attractive and extremely abundant and very large too. Madia elegans is its more attractive cousin, you might say.

I was feeling a bit bad though - all those yummy seeds, good for wildlife, destroyed just because they were inconvenient to me. When up from the chaparral strutted a covey of quail.

And they made straight for the pile...

For three days now the quail have feasted on the seeds in this pile on their morning rounds. Here's a sentinel keeping guard this morning.

I think of birds and bunnies as skittish of everything that moves, but of course, that isn't true. Quail and brush rabbits happily browse together.

Our neighbors (a few miles away) at Curbstone Valley Farm have a lovely post about the native brush rabbit you might enjoy.

And moreover they have one on the quail, and other birds, with clear photos and photos of a nest of eggs! The quail (Callipepla californica), in case you didn't know, is the California state bird.

Yesterday, the sentinel was on the fence post. And nearby was a thrasher, quietly taking in the foggy view. Behind him was, I think, a western scrub jay, but I am not too sure.

I wonder what different species that exist comfortably together like this think about each other. (Well, think is maybe not the right word, outside of storybooks.) I really enjoyed watching them quietly hang out together.

Closer view of the sentinel.

We often hear the covey burbling away among themselves as they forage in or near the underbrush. They jump and scratch away the surface of the sandy soil, then peck to see what they got. They take daily dust baths. They scatter in a sudden burst of noisy flight into the bushes, when Duncan comes on the scene.

And so do the bunnies!


Sue Langley said…
Mouse, just lovely photos, especially the 'morning' and of the 'sentinal'.

Quail are quite charming and I'm so glad they're creatures of habit..and that I've learned to identify their different calls, so I can go peek.
The largest quail family I've ever seen was , surprisingly to me, in new Zealand by the shore! Parents and 10-12 babies, looking like little walnuts on tiny legs.

It's so nice to have a view from your office,..I imagine wonderfully distracting at times!
Country Mouse said…
Thanks for visiting Sue, and enjoying the quail - I guess there are different kinds of quail all over the place, though I expect the ones in NZ could have been introduced for food and hunting? England has quail too but I'm not sure what species exactly.
Joe said…
Beautiful photos. Love the post title too--sounds like a passage from the KJV Bible. :)
Town Mouse said…
Oh, too much fun! Those fall days are wonderful, and soon the migrating birds will arrive...
Country Mouse said…
Yup, Joe you got that overtone. I had a feeling of the peaceable kingdom indeed.

I need to reread my little bird book, The Bird Year, that goes through the seasons in California, to get a sense of what's migrating when.