Life's Affirming Cycle
Right on the other side of the bridge, a well-lighted motel 6 sign beckons tired visitors "We'll leave the light on for you!" We are in barn country. Owl boxes are at full occupancy this time of the year The are as many visitors as there are different types of raptors around here: snowy barn, screech, great horned, great gray owls In this part of the great California country, the rhythm of life continues uninterrupted. Planting seasons are followed by harvesting ones. The Summer heat that makes raisins out of grapes is a constant long after the Spring breeze is snuffed out.
Pellets around owl boxes
The breeze from the nearby river is infectious today It invites us to enjoy the newly-built backyard porch The kids are playing in the grass and sand box by the barbecue pit. No bees come to the flower bed Not far from the main house lie the vineyards and orchards The gorge of the two mountains lying in the background looks like the cleavage of a tall, vain and self-conscious tourist met on this tour We'll eat breakfast before we head out to commune with Mother Nature First we'll stop to visit the orphaned barn owls that are being cared for then we'll be guided to a few strategic owl boxes along the trail This is the rumble to the Summit, the hike to hell! Long live the burgeoning agribusiness of the Valley!
Farmers get unlikely help Lavoisier's Rule: "Nothing is lost." Farm Recycling The pellets prove that the resident owls have been working hard From the top of their boxes, they hiss and speed-dive in at the sight of their prey. They swallow them whole but can't digest their fur and bones. The compact pellets are produced by the owls' gizzards, a sophisticated and refined chemical plant We come face to face with the destructive works of gophers "Watch out for holes," yelled the tour guide. "This is gopher zone here!" These farmers have not used the cheapest gopher control method Barn owls work 365 nights a year. They are low maintenance too. Growers will soon be tired of baiting, trapping, fumigating and flooding Their fields are being torn up. Their crops are eaten right from the trees Owls use is at the basis of certified farming. No more polluting and use of expensive chemicals whose drift may sicken residents! No more infected carcasses for coyotes and birds of prey to feast on! Piles of dead gophers around the boxes will be convincing and show the new management tactics and ecological awareness.
The continuum of life and death takes its toll Great horned owls prey on barn owls too Like Spring flowers, these precious farming aides may disappear.