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Thursday, 8 July 2010


File:California Quail mail in Golden Gate  Park.JPG

A person I know who lives by the ocean here has a flock of quail for neighbors, and they call out to him constantly (as he hears it anyway), "Chi-ca-go, Chi-ca-go".


The universe is strange, the universe is dangerous, the universe doesn't answer the phone.

So here we go.

File:Schopfwachteln Zoo Berlin.jpg

California Quail (Callipepla californica), Male, Golden Gate Park: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2007
Callipepla californica, Berlin Zoo: photo by Aconcagua, 2007


Curtis Roberts said...

First, those are the most intelligent, sweet and charming birds I have ever seen. The perfect individual and the perfect couple. The Golden Gate Park quail looks like a handsome genius. I prefer not to answer the phone either, precisely because it seems dangerous. I don't even get to strange. Thank heaven I found my real home a long time ago. The last time I tried to visit my original home, I found that they'd changed all the roads around, which delayed my arrival and confused me. It was a good reminder that it had never been home at all.

Marcia said...

We used to love watching quail on the Presidio with their little chicks bobbing along behind. But the real jab in the heart comes from different aspects of both posts today. I thought of going back to my old childhood home this summer, but couldn't bring myself to go to the now partially destroyed structure (a tornado) that is inhabited by raccoons. Curtis' words state it well for why I couldn't go back: " had never been home at all." It was a place where one did have to whistle, whistle....

And I'm off to discover more of Vallejo.

TC said...

One would like to assume the quail are perfectly at home in and with the universe, and that it gives them a silent ring every now and then, and that their silent ring tone reply says "Chi-ca-go".

It's been something like forty years now since I last set foot in that toddlin' town and even at that it was no more than a touchdown, likewise thirty two years since the last sense (doubtless illusory) that I belonged in the town where I was, so I guess I would have to qualify as a stranger in the universe without a phone to answer.

As a lad the reading of You Can't Go Home Again, by T Wolfe, out of the town library, had a certain effect. Maybe it was just I had found out Wolfe wrote his books on the top of the refrigerator. That seemed like a hard thing to be doing anywhere but at home.

I love those discreet little headfeather combs on the male quail, and assume the females feel that way too, perhaps even moreso.

~otto~ said...

Oh the universe. It has been making itself known to me more and more recently. Actually, that's not true. I have just been paying attention more. Maybe. I should call it and see if it answers. I suspect you're right.



Ah, what a sight that quail on the fence post, thanks
for this. Johnny was out at the table on the bricks yesterday, said "look!" And there was a female with 4 or 5 or 6 just born babies walking out of the tall grass on the other side of the fence (old grapestake posts just like the one in this photo, and the male perched above them on the post (just like this one). I'd seen them (or another family?) a few days ago, it's what happens now, at this time of year every year. . . .


light coming into fog against invisible
top of ridge, quails calling from right
foreground, no sound of wave in channel

same thing take place, time
that in such a way that

part following, as measured
in form of, is absorbed

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
sunlit white tern flapping toward ridge

TC said...

Otto and Steve,

Many thanks. From darkness and light was the world composed.

Darkness and fog here here, but..

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
sunlit white tern flapping toward ridge

Okay, so now all this has been cleared up.

The universe DOES answer the phone.

But only when the quail and/or Johnny are calling.

(Why is it that we "mature adults" can't seem to figure out the area code...)



Thanks, Johnny likes that comment (A LOT), and those photos. . . .