all this nature
A last paracosmic hurrah from Peter/secretkings:
Oh, but mine! My paracosm was a contemporary Olympus led by a super-powerful god-man named Charlie, whose archnemesis was a small robot named "Glue". There was, in addition to all the maps and the intricate social lives of all of the characters, a primitive theology. That was probably the most extensive and longest-lived of the little worlds in my head, but there have been dozens.
A partial list of wildlife thus far identified in the immediate environs of this apartment:
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). I guess you see these everywhere, but I always associated them with the desert somehow. I thought Stanford didn't have any; I have been advised otherwise.
White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica). This species is much more confined to the southwest. Its call is shorter and deeper.
Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis). A couple of these guys will get on a tree or saguaro and start tag-teaming it. The sound of the beak hitting the wood isn't nearly as loud as you would think; it's just a light tap.
Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus).
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus).
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens). It's like a cardinal but jet black. It's the cardinal's evil twin. Created in a laboratory to destroy the brave, all-American cardinal.
Gambel's Quail (Lophortyx gambelii). They bob through the wash behind the patio in these cute little coveys. My bird book notes: "An ingenious watering device has been invented to fill the main environmental need of these quail: a slanting metal roof open to the cool night air of the desert accumulates dew, which drips down into a trough, providing water during the heat of the day."
Black-throated Sparrow aka Desert Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata).
Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria). A male and female showed up on my birthday and quite happily bopped around the branches of a mesquite for a half hour, like omens of good cheer, despite the brewing storm. I'm told they live entirely off dandelion seeds.
Desert Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes). The motherfucker got into the living room, which bothers me. I dislike even turning to its picture to look up the scientific name.
Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audobonii). Your basic bunny rabbit. They sure do like the wash.
Coyote (Canis latrans). These guys come into the parking lot at night; the clearest view I've had was of one who was rummaging around the dumpster before I showed up. I'm afraid that they have found my old discarded manuscripts and are now howling their derision.
Javelina aka Collared Peccary (Dictoyles tajuca). This jumped in front of my sister's car the other day as she was pulling into her parking spota big old fellow with tusks and the whole deal. It ran back behind the patio and we haven't seen it since. I think it's waiting for me.
No hummingbirds as yet. We need to get a feeder.