It's taken close to three years but California quail are returning to Solstice Canyon. Ground-dwelling birds, they were all but wiped out in the fires of 2018. We first started hearing them a few months ago, an occasional call so high up in the hills you could easily believe you'd imagined it. And then last week, a covey down in the flats.
It's not much of a photo, shot from afar while wrangling two dogs. But oh the sight of their sweetly goofy bodies, topknots bobbing, was maybe the best thing that happened all week.