Camillas, gophers, Lizards & Springtime

by Lorraine on March 16, 2010

Within the last few weeks springtime has arrived in Simi Valley, California.   The arrival brought a plethora of gophers that have been a big  pain in my neck.  Along with them has been an enormous amount of weeds which of course had to be expected due to all the rain we have had this winter and has kept me busy pulling them out before they get too large.

The rain was much needed, which was good unless you happened to live an the areas that burned during the brush fires.   For those unfortunate to live in those areas, they had to endure mudslides and property damage but nothing that dramatic happened here.

It’s just that the gophers have been a big problem for me for the first time and they have  made me think differently about my love for animals because of their relentless assault on my CA Poppies.  I have finally decided to get past any sensitive feelings that I may have about them and now I am putting out traps to catch them.   I would much prefer that one of the cats would take care of this matter for me, especially since all four of them are such “freeloaders”, but they aren’t interested in working for their tuna.

Least I forget (How could I?) there are many birds that have recently arrived into my garden and the neighborhood.   The only ones that seem to be missing in missing this year are the Mockingbirds who typically annoy everyone that is trying to get a good night’s sleep.  I have heard a few very early in the m0rning but unlike previous years, there aren’t mobs of them to irritate us and drive a person crazy with their relentless midnight singing and partying.

Then there are the lizards or “lizzies” as I like to call them.   I love the little reptiles and I enjoy watching them sunning on the rocks in my garden and doing their lizard pushups.  They are such an essential part of a native plant garden as they keep the bugs down and bring in a sense of nature into the garden that is priceless.  Plus I think they are very cute to look at and observe their activities in the garden.

Today has been a perfect day.   The air is pleasantly warm, the skies have been brilliantly clear and all seems good in the world.   I have spent some time in the backyard, doing some weeding and setting gopher traps, which I hate to do.   But as this point,I’mn done trying to be reasonable about it.   I just want them gone.

The garden is very green and almost every plant is blooming.  The Blue-Eyed Grass/Sisyrinchium bellum is just one of many plants that are blooming at this time.  They are considerably larger and I have noticed a number of little  stems  that are coming up next to the original plants and I am assuming that these will develop into new ones and I’m very happy about it, as it will fill in the section nicely.

Some of the Monkey Flowers have started to bloom too and they are also a favorite of the Hummingbirds.   Already these little speedsteers have been darting about the garden and chasing off anything or anyone that they precieve as competition.   And that includes me  too, except I don’t budge.

I still have some non-native plants on my property that were planted many years ago and of these there are three Camilla bushes.   I give them a good soak during the hot summer months but other than that, I don’t do much of anything.   But each spring they produce a very large abundance of lovely flowers.   I have one each of white, pink and candy stripe and the branches are covered in blossoms.

In fact, there are so many flowers that I can’t pick them quick enough before they fall to the ground.   I selected  some for my neighbor the other day and today, I picked some for me as well  and I placed them in several arrangements in the house.   Along with some  Silver Bush Lupine that I picked in the canyon behind my house, it feels like spring and it certainly smells like it too.

Silver Bush Lupine/Grape Soda

 This bush is in the canyon behind my house along with several others.   I picked a bouquet for my house and they smell wonderful!

A bucket of Lupinus albifrons

And then a lovely arrangement for my house.   What a beautiful color and fragrance.

So the perfect day has been one of Camillas, lizards. Hummingbirds, blooming wildflowers, sunny & warm skies and contentedness.   Yeah and even the gophers too…they are here for a purpose but I don’t know what it is.

All that is missing is the arrival of rattlensakes comiong out of hibernation.   And this has been a perfect day for them, too.   They are undoubtedly stirring, feeling the arrival of spring.

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