Pretty Critters (Part IV)

Last September this pretty critter

was kind enough to share his habitat with us. He was one of several roadrunners living in front of a holiday bungalow we stayed at.

Roadrunners are uniquely adapted to life in the desert. They are also fun to watch. One late afternoon I saw this particular bird snatch and eat three dragonflies and two lizards. The MO was always the same:

o stroll over the grass

o pretend to be totally oblivious to one’s surroundings

o walk by a bushy hedge several times

o jump up suddenly

o stick beak into hedge

o descend with food in beak

o eat

o don’t mind wriggling tails or flapping wings

The lesson I learned from this: if one gets reborn as a small lizard or dragonfly, never hang out in a bush without making sure first that no roadrunners are around. Those blighters sure have sharp eyes and quite an appetite.

Wildlife in the City

Take a walk in Griffith Park and this is the view:


One gets a very good impression of how this huge area of unchanged natural habitat nestles right here into the city. One can observe a wide variety of wildlife – from woodpeckers to Red-Tailed Hawks, from lizards to snakes, from bunny rabbits and deer to – yes, coyotes.

Coyotes have been here forever. It’s their land, so to say. They live and thrive and multiply. That’s what coyotes do. They also leave the park now and then and wander down into residential regions. First of all, it is their land and second, food is quite easy to find. The odd small pet gets caught and taken away. Ever since I saw the spectacle of two coyotes trying to round up a cat in a residential street, I know. Granted, the coyotes were young and somewhat inexperienced and the cat was a true city cat, thus thumbing its nose at the intruders while making a clean getaway. Interesting was that this happenend on a Thanksgiving afternoon. Maybe the two young coyotes wanted to have a barbeque – and there are more cats in LA than turkeys.

So, yes, they do come down from the park for food. Lately however, they seem to become more sophisticated. Coyotes have been seen on Melrose. For a spot of shopping? Where would they go? To “Aardvark” for some retro fashion or to “Urban Outfitter” for the latest in city chic?


One of the big advantages of Christmas is that Los Angeles empties out. Everybody goes somewhere else, to visit, for a holiday trip, and those choosing to stay behind enjoy uncongested freeways and beautiful parts of the city minus the usual throngs of people milling around.

An especially pleasant place to visit on Christmas Day is Venice to take a stroll along the canals


with only these guys around:


Yes, that’s something you’ll experience only at Christmas.

Of course one has to go down to the beach too, to enjoy the sun, the wind, the waves. At a pleasant 73 degree F not a bad way to spend Christmas.


Bah humbug.

Demon Teeth

Squirrels – lovely and innocent, cute and cuddly, right? Delightful to watch, always making one smile? Sure. But there’s a dark side to the furry critters too – they are greedy and destructive when it comes to getting at food. This is what a bird feeder looks like after a squirrel had a go at it:

IMG_0887_bird feeder resize.jpg

The wood is chomped away, even the plastic has been gnawed at in a desperate attempt to get at the bird food.

Well, there is help available. By now the birds here get fed from the Yankee Whipper, 100 % squirrel proof. Don’t forget to watch the video. Big fun!

By the way, the squirrels get fed, too. Their favourite tree is now decorated with dried ears of corn for them to chomp at.