The Quail Diaries Cuarto–two

This little volume is most respectfully dedicated; from a conviction that the warm interest manifested by you on every occasion, in behalf of the inhabitatnts of the new territories of the southwest, will not be abated by a perusal of this feeble attempt to guide the feet of the hardy sons of the west, to the fertile vales, and gold hills, of our recently acquired possessions on the great Pacific.

boyquail

This is the boy I trapped yesterday.  He is a young male–hatched sometimes this summer.  Do you see the beginnings of white and black markings on his sweet face?

quailI caught this female today.  And yes, there is something odd–she too has beginnings of white and black on her face.  I have a better camera but I do not have the cable with me so you get my iphone photos–but you should still be able to see the markings.  Sometimes females develop male-like plumage–this is because female plumage occurs through estrogen suppression of male plumage.  Therefore, if the estrogen levels are low at some point a female might develop male plumage.  She is very cute I think–I first banded her as a juvenile last summer.

At this point a great many will undoubtedly direct their course to the Gold mines

In total, I have trapped four quail–three newly banded juveniles and one previously trapped female.  I’ve also observed at least 20 more birds wandering around up near the traps–both banded and unbanded adults as well as new juveniles with whom it is a pleasure to become acquainted.

whilst other having agricultural objects in view, will seek themselves out a suitable piece of land on which to build their future happy home

I might perhaps have more luck at catching these unbanded adults and juveniles were it not for the ravages of the naughty ground squirrels who–as I have mentioned previously–know how to get in and out of the traps.  No one else wants to go in a trap with a ground squirrel.

May every just hope be satisfied.

This one has very full cheeks:

fullcheeksquirrel

I would like my hopes to be satisfied.  In some ways, however, I am trying to live outside of hope.  (Does that make any sense–clarity seems not to be in full force this evening).

I just want to get up and see the quail in the morning.  (and for my children to live through the night and be safe and for my husband, way up there in Seattle to also survive the night and for and for and for and for and for….)  So not really.   There are other things I wish for–hope for.

And what about all those creatures?

Quotes are from Ware’s Emigrants’ Guide to California



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