Wildlife report and a view to the Alps

The twigs began to appear in the rafters a few weeks ago, and when we started hearing chirping a week ago, we knew the Momma Wren had an active nest going on our porch.  Thanks to the ramp for the loading dock that runs alongside the porch, we had an easy way to check in on the babies’ progress that brought the nest to eye level.  But, no matter how hard we tried, no one could catch a glimpse of the little buggers.  They were so far ensconced in the recesses of the structure that we couldn’t make out a thing.

Yesterday morning, all six of the little ones were outside the nest, lined up on a narrow beam of wood, and starting to stretch their wings.  They were cute as heck, but in a very precarious location, just over the walkway that leads to the customer bathroom.  After a couple of them fell down, (and were quickly scooped back up by attentive staff), we knew we needed a plan.  We called the local wildlife rescue organization and got some advice.  We learned that by some miracle, those little puffballs ought to be flying within the same day, and just needed a safe place to stretch their wings and practice fluttering to the ground. So, we tucked the resident cat into the garage for the day, and created a 2-tiered flight training area.  We tied a shallow cardboard box just under their rafter, and they all hopped down into it immediately.  Then, we put a shopping cart lined with a blanket under that, for a soft crash pad.  Even with all that activity, Momma spent the whole day coming by with food for them, and offering encouragement.  By late afternoon, her brood was with her in the nearby trees, still ungainly, but adequately competent with their new skills.

Birdie playpen

Sue the Pie Lady checks out the complete setup

True to my promise to do something fun but none too strenuous last weekend, we took a lovely daytrip to the June Lake Loop.  Frequently called the Alps of the Sierras, the area combines clear blue lakes with swimming beaches, craggy mountain peaks, waterfalls, and just enough development to offer some good food and drink.  We had to check out a food truck/brewery combo I had heard about: June Lake Brewing Company and Ohanas 395 Hawaiian Food Truck. Wowza!  The brewery was featuring a gluten-free ginger beer (10% alcohol!) that was unique and delicious.  And the food truck was wonderful!  We had Hawaiian nachos–kettle chips piled high with pulled pork, coleslaw, cheese and BBQ sauce, and chicken tacos.  I was most impressed with the succulent meat; both dishes just melt in your mouth.

We took the long way around to get to the trailhead for Parker Lake, enjoying the views on the way.  The hike was just right for our tired state, scenic but fairly flat, and only a few miles to the lake with a high, distant waterfall flowing into it.  Over and over that day, I said that I felt like I was on vacation, which was just the ticket for the mid-summer blahs.

Parker Lake

Our return trip gave us an overlook of Mono Lake

It’s true…we are awfully tired.  Three crew members left this week to return to college, and more are headed out soon.  However, the throngs of customers has only slowed slightly, so our days are much more hectic.  Everything should be much calmer by the end of the month, as kids head back to school, and family vacations end for the season.
We are, though, terribly excited to be getting our first visitors of the season.  Ann and Nathan from Chicago are coming out for a week, and arriving next Wednesday.  They found an adorable rental cottage in the next community north of our canyon, just 20 minutes drive away.  We’re looking forward to showing our gorgeous world off to our friends, and enjoying this area through their eyes.


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