Symbiosis

While in South Africa, Linda and I observed oxpeckers eating ticks off the back of and also from inside the ear of a rhino. That is a form of symbiosis.

On occasions I’ve seen magpies and starlings feed off the back or heads of deer and cattle. Yesterday I came upon two starlings each standing on the head of a cow.

Here is a photo of the two cows, each with a starling on their head. It’s difficult to see the starling on the head of the all-black cow, but look close, you’ll see it. The beak stands out.

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Not sure if they were after flies or ticks, but there were plenty of flies. When a symbiotic relationship benefits both parties, it is called mutualism. Had to look that up.

 

 

Blacktail Bucks

Here are a few I found in the archives. You can see that the predominant antler characteristic is forked horn. A four-point buck is unusual.

These are all California black-tailed deer.

Top left: Cache Creek (My brother, Rob, took this one.). Top Center: Golden Gate Park. Top right: Pebble Beach.

Second row left: Sand trap at Pebble Beach.

Second row up from the bottom on the left is another Golden Gate Park buck.

I believe all the rest were photographed on or near our ranch in Alameda County.

Delta Sunrise

Last day of duck season, but there would be no hunt for us. Lola and I were pooped. Knowing that she had expended all her energy on Saturday, I couldn’t drag her out into the cold water again. Plus I had four specs to pluck and decoys to pick up.

As I sat in the front seat of my truck drinking coffee and feeling satisfied, I realized that a spectacular sunrise was happening right in front of me.

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