Orange Poppy Daze
Chapter 1, page 4


California Quail: Callipepla california.

California Valley Quail.

Communal broods of at least 2 females, multiple males and many offspring.

Forward drooping plume of 6 feathers.

Daily activity is a group dust bath.

Diet consists of seeds, leaves, insects and berries.

A highly socialable bird that forms small coveys.

Dorothy calls the quail her "country chickens."

Cute shoes were impossible to find. She loved Mary Jane's with delicate straps, and pointy pumps with little heels, but enlarged to a size 10, those styles looked ridiculous. Tennis shoes, clogs, boots, all in dark colors, were at least comfortable, if not glamorous like Cinderella's tiny glass slippers.
    Rebecca's hair was her "crowning glory" as Dorothy often reminded her.  Their reclusive life on a tight budget meant Rebecca had not been to a beauty parlor since her teens.  Unlike other women in their mid-thirties, Rebecca's hair had never been dyed, permed, highlighted, blow-dried or wrapped in hot curlers. It was glossy and fell in thick waves that framed her face. 
   Rebecca sat on a window seat tucked into a bay window and brushed her long hair each morning. She brushed and watched the quail with their bouncing head plumes and coveys of babies scurry through the manzanita bushes. She loved the flesh-smooth branches of the red manzanita, it's pale green leaves and tiny pink and white bell-shaped blooms in the spring. And she loved the towering, white-barked sycamores, the sticky yellow flowering fremontia, the California poppies swaying in thick bunches with their feathery leaves and waxy orange petals.
   Each season around Trapper's mansion was a delight of textured color and sound; wind whispering yellow grasses in the summer, glistening black branches in the rainy winter, a cacophony of bird song from the rivers edge, and the river itself, quietly gurgling when low, roaring and tumbling crashing boulders during snow melt and heavy rains.
   Freckles were scattered across Rebecca's cheeks and nose, and a slight indent on her chin made it look strong, though her chin quivered when she wanted to cry. A white scar, no bigger than the tip of her pinkie, floated above her right eyebrow. Her eyes were brown, the lashes of good length, though thinner than she wished. Her mouth was set in a straight line that curved up to one side at the antics of the baby quail, and drooped downward in the corners by the late afternoon beer and pill. Rebecca's hands were strong, with long, agile fingers. She enjoyed typing and data entry classes, and quickly mastered the keyboard.
    Rebecca was enchanted by computers and had a knack for mastering software programs quickly. Keyboard shortcuts came easily and she took pride in digging up arcane features buried in manuals that massaged data to any request, crunched numbers until they had meaning, and delivered stunning presentations. Bugs and software glitches didn't stump her as there was always, she found, a work- around.

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