Sooty shearwaters feeding in the surf (everything eats)

Sooty shearwaters feeding in the surf (everything eats)

Each summer flocks of sooty shearwaters fly low over the Monterey Bay, diving and squawking as they feed on masses of bait fish – anchovies, sardines, squid, and krill – that school just below the water’s glistening surface. You see them coming in the distance, an impressive mass a mile or more in length; thousands of birds flying low over the water forming a cacophony of feathered missiles plunging headfirst for food.

Calf nursing by the lake (everything eats)

Calf nursing by the lake (everything eats)

We squeezed in one last late-summer day at Lake San Antonio this week, slowly cruising the perimeter in a rented ski boat. School is back in session and the lake was empty; better for the animals who call the lake home. In the course of an afternoon we saw the expected deer and cows come near the shoreline to graze and were also fortunate enough to witness some unexpected wildlife: a family of wild boar lumbering back into the forest after a cooling sip of water and a lone coyote skittishly running up a rocky hill to the shade of a live oak tree, away from the drone of our engine. Here’s a calf checking us out as it nurses. Udderly delicious, I’m sure he’s thinking....
Dog menu on the puppy patio (everything eats)

Dog menu on the puppy patio (everything eats)

Downtown dogs definitely don’t have any trouble finding food in Santa Cruz. If not for our pup, though, I probably never would have known; Koah has opened my eyes to an animal-lovers dog-eat-food world. Kid Two and I saw that we can take pup to Cafe Limelight for lunch, where we can not only sit outside and eat, but the dogs have their own menu.   Koah prefers fresh roasted turkey. Bully sticks take him months to devour, and he’s never tasted the other options.   Although a week or so later, I was tempted enough by this display at El Salchichero to add a smoked pig’s ear to broaden Koah’s palate. He wasn’t convinced, seeing as the treat was about as big as his head. I had to give it to a neighbor dog.   Everything eats....
A wasp’s dinner (everything eats)

A wasp’s dinner (everything eats)

This one may get the icky props. Thanks to my my friend Teresa McGrath, I got to see something out of the ordinary – in my world, at least. She writes: Survival of the fittest at its best. I was sitting by the pool and watched as this wasp grabbed (yes, with all of its legs like a bear hug) this caterpillar off of the plant next to me. The wasp chewed into it until its guts came out – the black stuff – and then ate some. This photo is of him finishing off the back end of the poor guy. Fascinating. Fascinating but kind of ewww. It reminds me of the time we’d been vacationing in the Sierras, a family trip. We were in the car driving home and LL got a pained look on his face and said he got a bite. He pulled over on the side of Highway 4, stuck his hand inside his shirt over his shoulder, and came out with a handful of green caterpillar goo. It was kind of...