I may have mentioned that we are losing a twenty plus foot tree in the backyard. Or, maybe I haven’t. I’ve been busy working on getting someone to remove it before it, you know, falls on the house. California’s drought situation has made a lot of pine trees vulnerable to beetle attacking the bark and we are losing… three; two twiggy, one massive. It’s kind of heartbreaking to lose this massive old pine that’s probably at least as old as this neighborhood. But as always, there are compensations.
This is a cheater shot taken not in the backyard because I can’t get them into focus for long enough to actually get a good shot, but we have teensy birds coming out the — well, let’s try that again. We have teensy birds all over the place. Birds we’ve never seen and aren’t sure we can identify. Tiny ones with peach colored belly feathers and stripey heads. Tiny black and white ones with red crest feathers. These are varieties of wrens and chickadees, creepers and dippers and wrentits (I know, is that a real thing? Apparently, yes). Bushtits and nutthatches. Flycatchers, grosbeaks, buntings. (The Audobon people have had a field day with the names, let me tell you.)
We may not be able to keep the trees, but I’m grateful for the little buggers eating the beetles and feasting on the pine cones, cheeping and chirping and generally just jumping around happily on its gently dying corpse. For every ending, there is a beginning, right?