Either stupid or young and inexperienced. They put their nest right under our front porch; hidden well, I must say, except for our fat cat sitting perched over it staring down at the eggs while the quail parents twitter in alarm 10 feet away.
Happened a week ago, heard a commotion, saw my cat sitting staring at the ground, but didn't figure it out until yesterday when I saw the eggs.
We're letting the cat out the back door and taking the chance that she's too fat and lazy to make her way to the front of the house and hoping for the best. Hope they hatch and start running soon.
For being fat and lazy, Panga is a hell of a hunter. She can kill dinosaurs (what I call birds) given half a chance. We don't have a bird feeder, because if we did, we'd have to rename it a 'cat feeder.'
Meanwhile, my rock chuck gourmet buffet -- err, I mean my garden -- isn't doing so hot. Normally, I'd expect established plants to get bigger and healthier over time. I water them, I fertilize them, but they're struggling.
I'm pretty sure it's the soil. My mom used to get truck loads of manure and top soil, and tons of beat moss and all the fixings. Her soil and garden become so lush she created a little humid fragrant micro-climate.
I thought I'd try a more natural route, even thinking I would go native plants. But I was still intending to keep the plants I transplanted. They originally came from my Mom's garden, after all. (Libby was a legendary gardener, around here. They named the garden at the Mirror Pond Gallery after her.)
The plants also started really, really late. Even later than most of the gardens in my own neighborhood.
It's hard to comment about local tragedies. I had a feeling something was wrong when I saw the KTVZ news report and it showed the Dr. McDonald's house for sale; it just didn't make sense that an established doctor would be selling his house into this market without either marital or financial problems.
Having suffered from clinical depression many years ago, I tend to believe that that is almost always the culprit. Financial and personal difficulties may create or aggravate the problem, but it's too easy to point the finger at the Shire.
"This too shall pass."
1 week ago