Saturday, February 26, 2011

Santa Cruz Island

Recently I have been making day excursions out to the local channel islands with a painting buddy {she joined me in January for the outdoor painting workshop}. Holli and I have been masquerading as plein air painters but more so, island loving day trippers. The last trip we were left off at Scorpion Bay where we hiked up the eastern slope to this look out and parked ourselves for most of our stay.

We were warned by the naturalists that the island crows have become extremely crafty and are most curious creatures. They have taught themselves how to unzip backpacks where they know most certainly the hikers will have carried their days rations. We were not expecting to be joined at lunch time by the wee island foxy.

He must have sniffed us out the moment we cracked our lunch pails. He crept up from the side of the cliff where we were seated and proceeded to nose the air for what might be on the menu. He then strolled a few feet down the trail and parked himself in the grass where he could keep a close eye out for falling crumbs.

He sat sunning himself while we ate but crept away into the tall grass when he realized his cuteness was getting him nowhere. It wasn't until we packed to go that he popped back up from his hiding place to circle back around us and check for anything left at our site. Sneaky, crafty little guy.

To know more about these darling little critters {about the size of a large cat} the Nature Conservancy Magazine has just published a wonderful article about the gal who is responsible for helping these wonderful animals return from near extinction, right here in our own backyard. Bravo.

Santa Cruz Island Fox at the Nature Conservancy

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