I've been hearing all about the funny quail that live in the area around my sister's house. They have silly plumes that hangs over their head, and they're dumb as stumps. Apparently, run everywhere and rarely fly - even when the dogs chase them. After I'd been there a few days without seeing them, I started to tease my nephews that they'd made them up. So, we went outside to look for them. We went out the front to the end of the road, down the hill, around the nearby lake, back up the hill through the bushes to their back yard. No quail. We had just given up the search and gone back inside the house when my brother in law came home from work. He called out as he walked in the door: "Janice - there are a bunch of quail in the front yard." Doh.
The other thing that I kept hearing about are the turtles that live in the lake down the hill, and that sometimes crawl up the hill to lay eggs in their yard. My brother in law and I headed down the hill one night to see if we could find any. As we were walking along the path, I suddenly noticed that the twig I was about to step on was not, in fact, a twig. It was a 3' long snake with diamonds along the centre of its back. We had a few moments of panic, but eventually determined that it was a gopher snake, and not a rattle snake. Thankfully, it didn't seem to have been hurt when I stepped on it. It lay there for a while longer, basking in the sun until eventually it got sick of the dog tiptoeing around it, and it slithered off into the grasses. My nephews thought the snake was a lot more exciting than the turtles we eventually came upon, but I preferred the turtles.
This is the time of year that the salmon start to spawn. They swim upstream from the ocean to lay their eggs and eventually die. Personally, as much as it's an amazing feat on their behalf (they even go up small-ish waterfalls), I didn't have any desire to see dying and dead fish. I was kind of relieved when we went out to see them, only to see that there weren't any around. However, my dad and my brother in law went to some other falls to see Kokanee Salmon (fresh water salmon that do a similar trek) and there were some there. My nephews wanted to see them, so the whole family went back after my dad and I had left, only to encounter a black bear on the way. As exciting as the boys found that, I'm told that the trips out to see salmon are over for the foreseeable future.