DEAR JOAN: I live high up on Mount Diablo and have an infinity edge pool, which has turned out to be an exceptional place for bird and animal watching.
Because the water in the pool rises up to the level of the infinity edge, it serves as an excellent landing place for a drink of water and, for some, a shower. It gets used by squirrels, owls, scrub jays, woodpeckers, towhees, sparrows, finches and even a western tanager this summer.
Many of the birds show up in groups, but we've noticed a particular pattern among the mourning doves. While they come individually or in pairs at various times during the day, they're now showing up by the dozen just after the sun sets and just before the sun rises. It's an interesting pattern that we don't observe with the other birds. I wonder why?
By the way, I have to say that the most visually enjoyable visits are when the redheaded acorn woodpeckers come in a group and line up on the infinity edge with their heads bobbing in turns.
We had no idea that the infinity edge would become such a source of continuous delight for us.
DEAR REID: You don't know how hard I'm fighting my envy of you right now. You have a show that is well worth any admission price.
Mourning doves are solitary birds, usually seen in twos or fours. However, during the winter they form flocks for mutual protection and, probably more importantly, for assistance in finding food. These ground-feeding birds, like most, roost at night, and they've apparently taken a great liking to the accommodations at Chez Linney.
DEAR JOAN: On Sunday afternoon we were treated to the view of a fox in our back garden. He -- or she -- found the persimmon skins put out for the squirrels.
We haven't seen a fox here for more than 16 years, ever since the city put up all sorts of fences in the hillside nature area behind us and radically changed the wilderness aspect of this portion of the area. We were so thrilled to see this creature.
Joanna and Roy Henrichs
DEAR JOANNA AND ROY: If I'd known you had persimmons, I might have scaled a few fences to get there myself.
I'm particularly fond of saying that nature finds a way. Despite most obstacles we create, it adapts and adjusts. Hopefully, your foxy friend is just the first of many animals reclaiming the wilderness.
Beacon shines again
The light atop Mount Diablo has been restored and will once again shine through the night each Dec. 7 in honor and memory of those who died during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The light, placed on the mountain in 1928 as an aid in transcontinental aviation, was taken down earlier this year to be repaired and restored.
In a ceremony Tuesday, Ron Brown with Save Mount Diablo, the group that spearheaded the restoration, said this column's readers were an integral part in getting the beacon restored. You folks contributed more than $50,000 which was matched by the Lesher Foundation to reach the $100,000 goal.
I just want to add my thanks too. Because of you, the light will burn for years to come, a fine salute to those who served and who continue to do so.
Contact Joan Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1700 Cavallo Road, Antioch, CA 94509.