August 10, 2011

Flora and Fauna

The first time I read the phrase, "flora and fauna," it took me a while to realize that this simply meant the plants and wildlife of a given area. (I was a kid at the time.)

This summer has given me a whole new perspective on those two "f" words. Normally I concentrate on the flora part of my backyard area. Things starts out just fine. In May and June we enjoyed lettuce and other salad greens. Then, in July, the weather turned so dismal that I've been hard pressed to harvest more than three tiny tomatoes, some okra. Vegetation does not do well in desert conditions. Just ask my son and his wife who live in Abu Dhabi.

On the fauna side of things, the wildlife passing through our territory has flourished. We've been visited by foxes that came right up our deck to peer in the dining room as we had breakfast. They became daily visitors, and I learned yesterday that a neighbor has been feeding them because they "looked so forlorn." We've become used to raccoons and, of course, squirrels and have even spotted a bedraggled coyote one morning. Yesterday a Cooper's hawk posed on the edge of the birdbath, apparently hoping that the smaller birds would think he was a decorative sculpture and came by to take a drink or bath while he looked on--and then dined on.

Despite the heat and drought, the wildlife has done well by us. All in all, the flora has, much like the Royals, lost more games than they've won. And, like the Royals, I say, "Just wait until next year!"