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Please begin with an informative title:

We have a lot of Texas doves here, whitewings some call them. Very common species. In the 13 years I've lived in Carlsbad, they appear to have heavily outcompeted the mourning doves (I'm guessing from the calls, and because I've read some work by a local well-known birder who has written about these doves being so synanthropic).

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Anyway, much of my mornings are spent at home, and much of home gets to be serenaded by whatever doves are handy. I listen to them and try to sort out their cries, work out which ones belong to whom. Some I think are more complicated than I originally thought.

This afternoon, I went into my yard from the sleeping/ computer house, as I do many times during an average day, and saw a dove sitting on the mid-height chain link fence. She looked a bit disheveled. I stopped and just stood there for awhile, about six feet away from her, watching.

I got into it after awhile. She'd look straight ahead, and then look pointedly back at me. Look straight ahead, back at me. No hurry to any of this. Sometimes she'd look down, or to the side. I tried to let myself into her, her expressions.

I tried to empty my head of thoughts and just absorb her; the curve of her beak, the greys and whites of her plumage.

I tried not to move too much, but she didn't seem to mind when I scratched my nose.

Eventually my border collie Casey meandered around to see what I was doing. He sat behind me watching too, for awhile. Then, very casually, he wandered around in front of me, off to the side, not looking at the dove...and then she flew away.

Casey isn't very good at catching birds. But I liked the whole experience; just being there in the middle of my (tiny) landbase, being with these two other animals, all of us quite alien to each other, but at the same time, comfortable with what was going on.

My wasp nest over my door has grown a bit. I was reading a blog post by a good friend on Kos about how people aren't seeing any honey bees. I do still see them here; they go after my squash. I like to think that the hive that was in the abandoned house across the street managed to swarm and get into some half-dead tree, of which we have plenty in the neighborhood.

I wonder about what I would do if bees managed to hive in my attic or in a tree. It's not really a given that one has to do anything about it, I think.

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