Rancho San Antonio

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Jacky and I went to a party in the afternoon, didn’t get out for hiking until 5 or so. Rancho is close by, so that’s where we went. It started when we saw a lone wild turkey coming across the meadow; as she got closer, we saw that she had two chicks with her.

Her course took her right past the corner of the tennis courts, surrounded by chain link fence, and with an open gate. Sure enough, one of the chicks got on the wrong side of the gate and was steered inexorably into the tennis courts. Sure enough, mom didn’t even notice.

I walked into the tennis courts, tried to work around behind Junior, with the idea of herding him back out the gate. But before I could get anywhere close, he had found a way to burrow under the fence. As we watched from outside, he actually flew, believe it or not, up toward the trees on the other side of the trail.

He had reason to fly: a hawk came soaring into the trees after him. The next thing we saw was Mom flying up out of the bush to defend her chick. We didn’t see Junior afterward, but there were no screams of death, so we hope he survived the adventure.

Already a good day from the point of view of seeing interesting things.

And then we saw a kingsnake, coming down out of the grass to cross the trail. When it saw us, it did a 180 and went back into the grass, but we approached in a slow and deliberate way, and it escaped the same way, so there was an opportunity for a photo or two.

Beautiful! You don’t see these guys very often.

And then further on, we found quail everywhere, also accompanied by their chicks.

The whole hike was only a bit over an hour, but we saw more than sometimes graces an entire day. A good thing to do.

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