What does Santa Barbara’s wildlife think of all this rain?
Mr. Squirrelly: I am mad at you because you promised me a wooden box in the tree this year. I like the rain, but yesterday one of the young squirrels fell to her death because the bark of the tree was slippery. We lose a few squirrels like that each year and it always makes me sad. Though I love the smell of the earth when it rains, and I love to be the first one to see a flower bud.
Mourning Dove: I am always so thankful for the rain because it cleans our feathers. They get so gritty with the dry dirt and wind. The worms are better in the rain too. There are a lot more insects to eat.
Raccoon: This year I moved to the drainage underneath the street. That was a mistake because we got flooded out. I had to travel with my family a few blocks to find a palm tree that is not occupied and suitable for six of us. The little ones had not been across the busy road and had a hard time being brave walking through some of the puddles. We made it here safely. The young ones are scared of the thunder, but we are safe and that is all that matters.
Deer: We are so thankful for the rain. When it stops in the middle of the day we head out from our shelter and play. We always rejoice when rain comes because it gives us more food to eat. The plants bloom and grow overnight and in a matter of days we go from eating dry bristling food to lush grass and sweet berries.
Skunk: I hate the rain, but I don’t think all skunks would say that. The only thing I like about it is that it gives me a good bath. I get so dirty. I hate the smell of the damn rain. It makes it harder for me to smell predators and it slows me down. I cannot walk as fast and I cannot see as far. It is more dangerous and harder for me to stay alive.
Bobcat: I eat so much better in the rain. Those ground squirrels get flooded out of their holes. Yesterday I caught four by mid-day. It is good for my stomach.
Mountain Lion: I love to hunt in the rain. It is a bit of a challenge but I drink well because the creeks start to flow. Yesterday, one of my cubs was running and slipped down a wet grassy hill and scraped his face on the ground. He is all scratched up. So he has to stay in the den while I take the other one out. First time he has been left behind without the other, poor little guy.
Bear: We don’t mind. We just stay in our cave until it stops. Then we go eat and go back to the cave.
Hawk: The rain makes the owls start hunting earlier in the evening. It always causes a bit of a problem. But I love how rain makes the scenery change.