The other day, I looked out a window and saw first one, then two quail. Eventually, a large bevy skittered, strolled and pecked their way by in the the underbrush at the edge of my yard. My property is at the top of a ridge with only brush and trees on a steep bank on two sides, one neighbouring house and no foot traffic. Sometimes dogs walk by with their owners, but there are few large predators to threaten game here, and it seems many species amble through at different times, maybe come by to check up, and most of them perceive it as a safe place.
I've had deer relaxing in my yard, resting on bare patches in the sun on a day when fairly deep snow had fallen the day before. Apparently, mule deer don't navigate well in snow more than a foot deep, so my yard was probably a nice protected spot to relax for a few hours.
Another day I went to clear my driveway and there were rabbit tracks in the snow. Not many people living in town see wild rabbits.
Quail are frequent visitors, and they typically make their regular rounds twice a day in my area, so I see their footprints but haven't seen them much since the summer. I laughed at their antics today. Quail are funny when they run, skittering and twittering, with little dealy-bobbers on their heads to remove any shred of seriousness from their demeanour (technically, those are called "lanterns," but dealy-bobbers seems like a better term).
Suddenly I saw movement in the tree above them and realized it was one of my resident squirrels making his (or her) rounds from one tree to the next. I wondered what would happen when their paths intersected. To my surprise, the squirrel stopped partway down the tree trunk. More quail passed, then another and another. The squirrel stayed there, a few feet above the ground. More quail went by. I thought, is that squirrel waiting for the quail? I would have assumed that a squirrel would always have the right of way over quail, even a large contingent such as this.
Eventually, the squirrel moved to another branch, and only then did it descend, but as as soon as it did, one of the quail, a male, ran into the brush towards the squirrel! Then more quail turned and went INTO the same bush!
Fur and feathers did not fly, there was no thrashing of leaves and branches, no obvious signs of a conflict. But I also did not see the squirrel emerge right away, so his normal progress had been altered. Perhaps he merely got a good talking-to by a quail delegation.
I have no idea what transpired. It just seemed that in the world of squirrels and quail, it's not immediately obvious who goes first.
I'm easily amused. I try to be positive about things, yet I am also driven to distraction by irrationality. Especially if the purpose is valid, but could be achieved with less drama. You'll see all of this in my writing!