Egret on pond.
Rock Basin Guest Homes is blessed with an abundant and prolific variety of animal life. The bird populations vary with each season; spring brings robins, flycatchers and red breasted finches. The first quail are scratching about with newly hatched chicks in tow. Red tail hawks and turkey vultures soar high as the spring airs warm into rising thermals. Deer and fawns can be spotted in the oak forests along side the roads. This year we are treated to a family of migratory Mallard ducks who have wintered over in the pond and are raising their single duckling.
As spring moves into the warmer summer season, the frogs that have hatched out of the pond in spring begin to grow in size. They are quite numerous this year due to all the rain and are a blessing of nature as they consumer many times their growing body weight in insects. Doves, which love to nest in the vineyards, are beginning to raise their broods of chicks by early summer and the next generations will be ready to fly by August. Lucky visitors might spot a flock of wild turkeys with their babies hunting for food along the river steps or out in the pastures.
Evenings are a great time to watch the rosy sunsets and count the deer in the hay fields across the road. I have seen as may as two dozen does, fawns and young bucks munching away on the hay stubble on a July evening. The deer seem to instinctually know when September's hunting season is approaching and do a disappearing act until early October. Sharp eyed guests might also spot the California brown bats that circle the pond at twilight eating up bugs all night long. The warm summer nights bring out the coyotes and it's not unusual to hear their cry from across the canyon. Bears, bobcats, raccoons, mountain lions, badgers, foxes and more are all in residence in our neck of the woods. Although I have never seen the bears or the mountain lions, I have heard them in the night on the other side of the deer fence...where they belong!
The cooler weather in fall and winter brings us many migratory birds, the largest being the golden and bald eagles which winter over at nearby Santa Margarita Lake. Cranes, egrets, geese and several varieties of ducks and be seen in the Lake or in our pond. The frogs and toads begin to reappear after holing up in their mud dens through the hot summer days.
Visit us soon and you just might be lucky enough to see one of our many animal friends, too.