today i left early for my Naturing so i could be done in time to watch the friday bandshell concert (bluegrass, this time!) and have happy hour in the park with Brian. my gawd, was it hot out. this heat wave of high 70s and relentless sunshine is NUTSO. i first visited the owl nursery to see if anybody was home or in a new spot or if there was any carnage from last night. no, on all accounts. while there, i got to watch a blindingly yellow Townsend’s Warbler and a Warbling Vireo (gah, i love their white eye shadow) nibbling away at a Coast Live Oak. i even saw a CAT. a gray cat with no collar, just sitting on the trail between the owl nest tree and the Secret Garden. like, no big deal. a flippin’ CAT, folks!! that was a first. plus, i spotted a West Coast Lady butterfly there! i so rarely see butterflies. i’m not often out in the middle of the day to do so. what a treat! i decided to take the back way to the Lily Pond. JUST in case i might see one of the Great Horned Owls along the way, as i suspect that must be where they are. halfway there, i thought about taking an old side trail that had been blocked off from a fallen tree this past winter. hadn’t been over there in some time. i took two steps onto it, and a COYOTE jumped out of the Protective Pacific Poison Oak bushes and scampered away from me. scared me half to death! it stopped about 50 feet away from me, turned to look at me, and just stared at me. i watched it for a second, quickly took a photo, apologized for scaring it, and went away. after saying “Hi” to the Great Blue Heron of the Lily Pond, i made my way through the Secret Garden toward the bandshell. it’s been a while since i’ve had Naturing time every single weekday of the week, as i always want to do. felt like my early pandemic self again.