What Do You See Around the Block?

I See Magical Places and Mystical Creatures

– by Laura Mauney

At dawn, as a storm blows in from the Pacific, calico cat, a feral, glares from the trash bin enclosure as we exit the courtyard.

Father Raven

Raven flies to the high wires.

Father raven adopted us at first sight, acting as shepherd.

Raven, who belongs to a vast clan of hundreds, hops away from the sprinkler runoff in the street gutter, then follows as we wend around the corner.

He suddenly appears above us with a squawk, perched on the high wire like an over-protective father.

Wind Chimes

On the windward side, wind chimes in the California cedar at the curve in the road ring boisterously.

pink wild flower.

The four hearted wild flower flutters on the windward side, embracing the approaching storm.

Juncos cheep and feed from the feeder hung with the chimes.

Neighbor man in a robe waters his lawn. I nod hello.

His long haired cat, a domestic, watches the dog from a secret place of prey atop a painted, very old and neatly laid brick wall.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library - take one and leave one.

Little Free Library – take one and leave one.

On the leeward side, we pass the Little Free Library that a civic minded couple set up in the ivy garden in front of their home, nestled near a Mardi Gras beaded Buddha. Books are stacked in the box.

The deal is: you take a book and leave a book.

Abuelo

Abuelo's curbside garden, every morning he sweeps.

Abuelo’s curbside garden, every morning he sweeps.

Old Abuelo, who lives with his daughter, spends hours each day sweeping the sidewalk and street around his place, or tending his flower garden of chrysanthemum and poppies.

He flirts when I pass, thanking me for brightening his day.

Very “his” generation is old Abuelo.

Lost and Found

Replacement rabbit at the sidewalk zoo was wary of my camera.

Replacement rabbit at the sidewalk zoo was wary of my camera.

The family who built a rabbit hutch right at the edge of their yard lost a white bunny a few months back, so replaced it with a black and white.

Now the gray has a new companion.

Everyone who passes must have stopped at least once, perhaps with dogs or children or both, to admire the little rabbits.

Possum sleeps by day and forages by night.

Possum sleeps by day and forages by night.

Our block is filled with wild creatures, too, both secret and show-offy: squirrels, possums, raccoons (don’t tell the coyotes, please).

In the trees and sky a family of at least three dozen parrots settles, swoops and soars repeatedly, calling out in their parroting voices.

Bird Drama

I spot the loner hawk, and won’t speculate much about what he does (don’t tell the coyotes, please) except to say that on one particular day a pigeon was involved, and the ravens got so mad they dove and snipped at the hawk mercilessly.

Flowers Amok

Rose floats through the iron fence enlaced with monofilament to keep in the tiny dog.

Rose floats through the iron fence enlaced with monofilament to keep in the tiny dog.

Gardens along the way border the walk. Roses, hollyhocks, and daisies lean out or reach high.

Flowers grow wild and prolifically, too, wherever rooting is possible, even in the dry times: dandelions, morning glory, lantana, bougainvillea, jasmine, wild poppies,and oleander.

Sacred Trees

Every year around my block, clouds of jacaranda flowers fill the sky, and fall to carpet the sidewalks, cars and streets until everything is covered in jacaranda blooms, like purple flower snow.

Jacaranda clouds the sky.

As for the trees and bushes, along with that famous ficus with a street-wide canopy, cedars intermingle with magnolias, Japanese and American, palms, plumeria, and hibiscus.

Clouds of jacaranda flowers fill the sky in the spring, and fall to carpet the sidewalks, cars and streets until everything is covered in jacaranda blooms, like purple flower snow.

Towering, runaway hedges woven through with morning glory fling berries and leaves all over us whenever the wind blows hard.

Home

Poppies reach out to greet the joggers and dog walkers at dawn.

Poppies reach out to greet the joggers and dog walkers at dawn.

As we arrive home, raven flies over us and squawks his welcome.

Mockingbird, who wakes me at sunrise each and every day, delivers her latest symphony from the top of the palm behind the patio.

The storm took all day and into the night to finally drop the rain we needed.

Photos processed via Instagram.

About Laura Mauney

Laura Mauney is a writer who thinks she is a photographer. Professionally, she specializes in online marketing, and creating, organizing and managing creative assets and user-friendly information for websites. She is also a mother. Her photo blogs include Flowers in Urbia and Trees in Urbia.

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