Over the weekend we saw 10 hawks. We stood in the garden and looked down the line of trees along the irrigation main. It was incredible -- there were ten birds all in the sky at the same time. We even saw one drop something and its very close neighbor dive after it. I guess it is part of their training.
I stopped to watch a soaring hawk this morning. He was making a wide circle. I watched him come around for a second lap and then he kinda, sorta swooped at me. It was like he was coming in to land on my arm if I held it up. He did this twice as I was exiting the garden and then again as I was on the sidewalk near the house. Weird. After a bit, more of them showed up; they're still screeching at each other.
Maybe they know we caught a gopher and they aren't too happy about that. I guess I didn't realize how things work in this neighborhood. I hope they don't want to make me an offer I can't refuse.
Update: After some reflection, some research, and a couple more encounters, I think this group of 5 is two adults and three chicks. So the good news is that they aren't hawk fellas and they're not mad that I trapped a gopher, and they are just protective parents. The bad news, from what I've read is that they can keep this up for 10 to 17 weeks. So we've had 2 weeks of it which I have been acutely aware, that means only 8 to 15 more weeks.
So I was thinking yesterday, maybe the garden isn't a total loss. I was looking at it from this point and I thought it might make a nice shot, but now I'm thinking the lighting was significantly better yesterday! Oh well, this is the shot I can get today; I need to get this recorded so I can remember better what worked and what did not. Asparagus, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, zucchini, melons are on the left. The broccoli, beets, brussel sprouts, cauliflower are toward the right.
This other photo is the cucumber arch. The cukes just didn't grow very well this year. I'm not sure if it was the soil or what, so the plan is to do a soil test and make any needed adjustments. Like a big part of the country, our summer has been cooler than normal and we have had more precipitation than typical. I also probably need to do more that just add a lot of compost to the soil. I should feed each plant the fertilizer it prefers.
This is our second year for this garden. I think there have been some improvements, but we still have a long way to go. There's been an ongoing war with the varmints (rabbits, voles, rock chuck(s), and pocket gophers.) The Blakemore strawberries I planted did not survive; some stuff was planted to closely together. I'm hoping I've learned enough to have more success next year.
In a week or so we'll be putting in the cool weather stuff -- peas, etc. I'm hoping that I can find some local garlic too -- that's been hard of late and I can't mail order it because it can't be shipped in from out of state.