These days I'm grateful for any green anywhere, even if it's something that's not growing where it's supposed to. The birds are happy to see new life easing it's way through the boards in my back porch. My next improvement (and it's long overdue) is something that will serve as a birdbath. I'm losing a lot of my feathered friends to places that are even more friendly, I think.
The yard and garden were a little different somehow when I got back from vacation. Maybe it's just the natural progression of life this time of year. The gophers (or moles, I'm still not sure) have taken over the walkway. The lizards are smaller than before — the next generation, I suppose.
As for the birds, the strongest presence now is the pair of mourning doves who have taken over a spot on the fence above the berry bramble. They're always around, and we seem to forget about each other ... until I get too close to them, that is. Then there's a furious beating of wings and the liquid trill of doves in flight, as they relocate temporarily to new perches. They always come back, though.
I've gone through seasons of scrub jays, black phoebes, swallows and finches. All have come and gone, although they've never totally deserted me. The hummingbirds keep returning, as long as I keep their feeder filled. The hawks are still around, although I see less of them now than I did in the spring.
Later this month I will have lived in this house for a full year. I can hardly believe that much time has passed. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering that I ever lived anywhere else. I've learned a lot about how to take care of the place, and I hope in the second year I'll be living in even closer harmony with my fellow creatures.