When I began Twenty Four At Heart six months ago, I had no idea how blogs worked. I've always loved to write. I was stuck at home most days working on my post-surgery rehab. I thought I'd start a blog as an outlet. I had no idea how to attract readers and my goal wasn't to go find them. I just needed to write. I didn't know there were ways to get your blog name out into the big worldwide web to attract visitors.
I talked to myself a lot back then. I'd write, "Blah, blah, blah" and post it. Sometimes a reader would show up and I'd get so excited! A few of you found me early, and have been kind enough to stick around. A lot of you are relatively new readers because let's face it, this is a relatively new blog. Several months ago (May?) I posted a few pictures of what I look at from my backyard. Most of you have probably never seen those pictures because you weren't reading at the time.
Yesterday I got comments and emails inquiring about the wilderness behind my house where the mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, etc. live. I thought I'd give you a small visual today of my surroundings. I live about 20 minutes from the beach. The thing about California, however, is that we've got all types of geography close together.
Here's a picture of the mountain behind my house. Usually about once each winter we will see snow at the very top of that mountain. It gets us all excited, but it always melts very quickly. The sight of a little snow is a big deal to a beach girl like me.
There's not a lot of greenery on the mountain this time of year. We still have 100 degree days and no rain. Things look a lot greener in the winter time.
This next picture shows you another angle and in this one you can see my backyard fence. The same fence that the landscapers stood on the other side of while I stood naked in front of them. You can see it isn't a solid wood fence. No, it's a see through wrought iron fence. They weren't standing by the pool though. No, they had a much closer and clearer view right at me.
Behind the wrought iron fence the land slopes down into a canyon. In the picture below you will notice the bare ground. It is bare because those nice men cleared the brush for us the other day! They've been back every day since looking for random bushes brush.
By the way, one day I looked down at this very same tree (with the bare ground underneath it) and there was a mountain lion napping underneath it. I didn't stick around to see if it might wake up. The mountain lions are beautiful but they eat people. They've eaten people not very far from where I live in the last few years too. A lot of you probably heard about that on the news.
As you get closer to the lake, there is more wild brush. No one cuts the brush down by the lake. You can (maybe) see some of the cacti growing on the hill too. We are just far enough inland to get some scorching desert-like temperatures.
The water attracts a lot of animals, of course. The water level is very low right now because we've had months of heat and no rain.
I know it is all a part of the cycle of life, but I have a really hard time listening to the coyotes eating the rabbits at night. I've spent my entire life in California and I am still not used to the sound of that.
Here's a look at a second, smaller, lake which is also behind my house.
My kids used to go down to the lake(s) fishing and catching tadpoles. They always came back a muddy mess. PR still likes to go back in the canyon with friends to go "air-softing" which is similar to shooting with a BB gun, but safer. We don't let him go this time of year when the weather is still hot. There are a lot more critters near the lake when the temperatures are high and water is scarce. PR's the perfect size for a mountain lion's lunch so we need to be careful. I'd really hate to lose a kid to a mountain lion.
One reader commented on the fact that I seem more concerned over the rattlesnakes than I do over mountain lions, bobcats, or coyotes. At first I laughed, but there is truth to her comment. The thing about the rattlesnakes is, they blend in with the ground and shrubs and you don't see them usually until you are right on top of them. Sometimes you will hear one rattle before you see it, but oftentimes you won't. Rattlesnakes are mean suckers and I don't like them at all. Not one bit.
The deer are prevalent but beautiful and harmless (except to flowers and gardens). The coyotes will eat cats and small dogs, but are afraid of humans. I've been around enough coyotes in my life to have no fear of them at all. Of course if I ever came across a sick or rabid one I'd be talking a different story. The bobcats have come in our yard frequently, and they are pretty harmless to humans. They run away when they see an adult sized human. A couple of them were eying PR as a tasty treat once when he was a baby, but I shooed them away and it wasn't really a big deal.
The mountain lions are glorious to watch. From a distance. They take my breath away when I see them. They are beautiful, powerful, and scary. We've never had a mountain lion in our yard, but we have had one under the tree I showed you. That tree is only a few feet on the other side of our fence. It was a little too close for comfort. Mountain lions roam over large areas looking for prey (deer). If you see one around, chances are it will be miles away a week later.
So now you've gotten a good look at the view I have from my backyard. If I'd had a moment of clear thinking the other day I would have grabbed a camera and taken a picture of those landscapers for you too. I was in such a hurry sprinting upstairs, I forgot to photograph them. Can you imagine the looks on their faces if a naked woman started photographing them?