Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Wednesday Vignette: Visitors

It's been awhile since I've had visitors come by to share a meal.  In the "before times," a group of local friends and I used to meet at least weekly for lunch.  That came to an abrupt end in March of last year when Los Angeles issued its "safer-at-home" guidelines and our usual lunch haunts closed.  We met twice last year in my back garden for a socially-distanced meal but the last of those get-togethers was in November.  Now that we're all vaccinated, we're assembling again today.  Like the excursion two weeks ago, it feels like another milestone on the road to a semblance of normalcy.

I scrubbed all the furniture and cushions late Sunday afternoon to give them time to dry.  My husband hauled out our large sun umbrella after I took this photo.  All I still need to do is add the tablecloth and bring out plates, glasses and cutlery.  We've ordered take-out food this time so (yay!) no food preparation is required on my part.

The Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold' off the patio is not a visitor but it's welcome too.  I ordered it in late February to replace the dying mimosa tree we removed in late October.  I subsequently had to size up my selection to get what I wanted.  After a difficult time getting it home in one piece and then moving it from our truck to the back garden, we're going to get some help putting it in the ground but it looks nice even in its wood box.

There are going to be six of us for lunch so, if the sun umbrella doesn't provide adequate coverage, some of my guests may elect to retire to the south side patio, which I also cleaned up.  It's expected to get up to the mid-80sF (29C) today.

Not all our recent visitors have been welcome.  Another kind of visitor has been paying nightly calls on us.  Here's the fellow in question:

I snapped this photo last Friday from inside the house as night was falling.  The following evening, while my husband was in the backyard spa tub, he and the coyote locked eyes until the coyote decided to continue his way down our back slope into the canyon beyond.

The coyote prowls the garden, presumably hunting for prey, marking our property as part of his territory by leaving scat behind with each visit.  He's diligent.  He may have a family to feed as this is mating and pupping season, when they're most active.  However, if rabbits were on his shopping list, all he found in my garden was bunny tail grass (Lagurus ovatus).

I sowed seed of this ornamental grass in an adjacent area of the garden 2 years ago and it keeps coming back, albeit in different spots  

There are actually real bunnies here.  They like to eat my Gazanias.  But there's no sign that the coyote has sent them packing yet - I still find half-eaten Gazania flowers every day.  Based on the coyote's calling cards, at present it looks as though his diet consists mainly of fruit.

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

  

26 comments:

  1. Felice per le vaccinazioni! Goditi il tuo pasto in compagnia :)

    PS: bellissimo il ginkgo in vaso!

    Un saluto :)

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Gabriel. I am glad to have been vaccinated and to have finally received the long-awaited Ginkgo tree.

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  2. How fun to actually have guests. A foreign experience these days. As of last night we are in lock down again with the fastest number of growing cases in NA. Not something great to be known by. However, thankfully there is plenty to do in the garden. Enjoy your party.

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    1. Yikes! I'm sorry to hear that, Elaine. I hope Canada can get moving on its vaccination program soon - I think that's made more difference than any other factor in diminishing the impact of the virus here. There are still a lot of people who need to overcome their fears about the vaccines by educating themselves but thankfully California seems to have less of those than any other US state.

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  3. A socializing event– how wonderful! I expect it is going to feel a bit odd the first couple gatherings, like we are cheating or something. ;)
    Nice to see the coyotes are keeping the rabbit numbers down, bet they like the peacocks, too. ;)

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    1. You're right, Eliza, but it's amazing how quickly the friends I've met with have overcome that sense of apprehension about getting together. I'm lucky that my closest friends are very smart and prudent women who've taken appropriate precautions as we've maneuvered through the ugly catastrophe than is the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  4. That must have been a disconcerting encounter for both your husband and the coyote! so glad you are having a get together and hurray for takeout and no need to cook.

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    1. My husband said he finally splashed some water in the direction of the coyote, prompting his departure. I met one at our back door one morning several months ago as I was preparing to go outside and I can say that both the coyote and I were probably equally disconcerted! I slammed the door closed and the coyote took off.

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  5. What a perfect spot you have for entertaining. A gorgeous garden, a stunning view and a beautiful clear day.
    Your ginkgo is going to look very handsome when it’s planted (it looks handsome now) and is sure to be a perfect successor to the Albizia.

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    1. Thanks Jane. I'm looking forward to getting that Ginkgo in the ground.

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  6. Lovely to share your garden with friends, what a treat forthem. I'm not sure about the coyote, are they fierce?

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    1. Coyotes are generally wary of people but they've been known to snatch small pets even when the owners are nearby - and they seem to have extended their hunting hours. That's why my poor cat doesn't get to wander the garden anymore even under close supervision.

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  7. So nice to be able to have friends round again, and enjoy the garden with you :)

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  8. I had no idea that coyotes were omnivores. I never saw Wile E. explore that option.

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    1. Wile E. was too busy getting himself blown up.

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  9. I wish my local coyotes were up for bunny patrol, they're not doing their job!

    I am so glad you got your gingko! While the extra dollars involved in "upsizing" were probably earmarked for something else I'd say they were well spent in securing the larger tree. Have a nice lunch!

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    1. There's been a bit of a bunny explosion here. Although we've never seen more than two in our garden, the neighbors (who have lawns) regularly see half a dozen at a time. Maybe our resident coyote is a dedicated vegan?

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  10. I'm surprised that the bunnies haven't been scared off by the coyote's "deposits" - you would think that it would be one of the best types of deterrents. How lovely to be able to have a gathering with friends...I'm sure it was thoroughly enjoyed by all :)

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    1. I'm not sure how smart bunnies are but I do know they're pretty good at hiding. They disappear as soon as I turn up with my camera.

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  11. Congrats on a beautiful new tree--the wait was long enough.

    Wonderful you were able to have a lunch with friends--maybe "normal" will come back after all. Good coyote picture.

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    1. I think I took about 8 shots of the coyote as he moved through the garden but, as I was just pointing and clicking and I was inside the house, the reflection through the window left me with a single decent shot. If only critters would sit still awhile to give one time to set the camera to fit the circumstances ;)

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  12. Wow, I'm surprised you still have bunnies with that coyote around. (I say that, but we've had coyotes, too, and the rabbits still persist.) I'm glad you're able to get together with friends again. We are starting to meet in small groups again here, too. Your view and your garden never cease to amaze me!

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    1. Neither the coyotes nor the hawks seem to be very effective in managing the bunnies this year, Beth. I'm not sure why.

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  13. If your coyote doesn't intimidate bunnies I don't stand a chance trying to chase off one from my garden. I swear I think he almost smiles and says ok, I'll play this game with you where I run a few feet while you yell. Then I'll get back to eating.

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    1. Yes, I think they all follow the same playbook!

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