Saturday, May 5, 2018

California Thrashers make me cry!

When my kids were growing up, one of their favorite TV shows was reruns of Little House On The Prairie (1974-1983) starring Michael Landon and little Melissa Gilbert. I hated that show--it was so sappy, so predictable, so sad--it inevitably brought me to tears! And, if it was playing on TV, I just couldn't turn away--I was sucked in and hooked. How aggravating!

The original autobiographical story by Laura Ingalls Wilder took place in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. But the outdoor shots of the TV show were filmed in Simi Valley's Big Sky Ranch, north of Los Angeles, surrounded by mountains in eastern Ventura County. Seeing mountains in Minnesota's pancake-flat prairies (where I grew up as a child) was not the only odd thing. The outdoor filming in southern California brought many native California birdsongs into the sound track. Having the wrong birds singing on a movie or TV sound track is one of my pet peeves!

One of the loud singing birds obvious on the sound track during the show was the chaparral-loving California Thrasher. Whenever I hear California Thrashers singing I am reminded of little Laura and the troubles in her Little House 1,788 miles and 115 years away from the TV show in Simi Valley.

Recently I photographed a singing California Thrasher at Lake Hodges, south of Escondido, California. As you look at the photos below... try not to cry.

California Thrasher

California Thrasher

California Thrasher
California Thrasher on Laurel Sumac. January 21, 2018. Lake Hodges, California.

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