Really amazing variety of birds in the back yard this morning. Finches, sparrows both house and black-capped, robins, starlings, chickadees - the last two are the usual regulars. This is the first time I've noticed a finch, but they blend well, and often hang around with the house sparrows, who are larger and somewhat easier to spot, so they could have well been here before. I'm sure the crows will stop by later, too.
There has been a convocation of gastropods on the front steps the last couple of days around dawn, as well. I'm well used to slugs, although these are smaller and more slender than the slugs of my childhood, but yesterday I was delighted to see a snail. In spite of hating the holes they chew in the garden plants, I have a fairy-tale fondness for snails, and have only once before spotted any locally in the wild. That was in Snohomish, and there was a veritable slew of them (think A Zed & Two Noughts) at the time, so it all seemed rather unreal. Yesterday's sighting was a sole voyager crossing the upper stoop while a group of some eight or nine of its cousins held some sort of Slug Court on the broad step below. They were all in a roughly circular group in the center of the area; it really did look like some kind of meeting. (My invertebrate biology knowledge is limited, so all my speculation bleeds over into the realm of the anthropomorphic.)