Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Urban Wildlife

I doubt it'll surprise anyone to hear that I'm fascinated by animals, including wildlife.  And it's always amazed me that, in the urban Los Angeles area where I live, there are so many wild animals of so many different types. 

I'm fairly certain that I've mentioned the raccoons that sneak into our yard in the early morning hours around 4 AM to turn up the bit of sod we have there to look for grubs or whatever beneath.  The grass in that sod has taken root now so we've less evidence of raccoon visits. 

We do, however, see and hear a variety of birds.  I recently had to move some items around and off metal shelves we have on a downstairs back porch to discourage a noisy pair of wrens from building a nest there.  We see and hear hawks soaring around often.  Sometimes we hear owls at night, although we seldom see them.  And there are lots of other varieties of avians, including hummingbirds and mockingbirds, crows and doves. 

We always have squirrel visitors, too, climbing our trees and our neighbors' and scuttling across the ground in search of food.  They're always fun to observe.  But they have been known to chew power wires that then need to be replaced. 

Plus, we've got lizards in our yard, darting around when it's warm enough for these cold-blooded little creatures.  There's one in our house right now.  I spotted him last week but was unable to capture him and haven't seen him since.  Apparently lizards don't have much of a scent since the dogs seem oblivious to them. 

One of the main reasons I'm writing this now is that a mountain lion has been in the news here.  He's been labeled P-22, and his primary hangout has been nearby Griffith Park, where the L.A. Zoo is.  He's not an escapee from the zoo, though, but wild.  And he's been in the news because he was discovered vegging out in the basement in a nearby home in Las Feliz.  Animal Services encouraged him to move on, and I've heard he's finally left.  I hope he returns safely to his Griffith Park digs.

We used to own some property a few houses down from where we live now, and I've seen a lot of deer coming down from the hillsides onto that property.  Unfortunately, I've also seen, and heard, a lot of coyotes.  I have nothing against coyotes as long as they stay in their own habitats, but I worry a lot about my small dogs when coyotes are out and about.   

When I write about animals, it's primarily about pets, and mostly dogs at that.  But I'm fascinated about other kinds of animals, too.  And a couple of weeks ago, while visiting family, we visited a dairy that gives tours and got to see "baby cows" as my grandsons call them, in the process of being born! 

What are your favorite wild animals?  Pets?


Betty Hechtman said...

I'm sure you know by now that P-22 left the crawl space on his own when all the hullabaloo ended and is back wandering Griffith Park.

I don't know about you, but we seem to have an abundance of lizards and they are larger than in years past.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yes, I hope P-22 made it back safely to Griffith Park but I did hear he had departed the home where he'd been hiding. Our lizards are about the same size as always but there do seem to be quite a few of them.

Nadia said...

P-22 is an annoying creature to deal with.

Sac Rc said...

Lizards are getting bigger these days.

Linda O. Johnston said...

P-22 is a bit scary, Nadia, but he seems to be coexisting with people well enough. I just hope he's finding dinners that don't include family pets.

Linda O. Johnston said...

The lizards in our yard seem to be around the same size as in previous years, Sac Rc, but I'm sure that can be otherwise in different areas.