Dear Barbara,

I have to tell you that Nature just has a way to make me stop in my tracks, take my breath away & send me into deep appreciative reverie of its exquisite beauty. How does Nature come up w/these unbelievable, integrate colors, shapes, designs? As far as I am concerned Nature demonstrates a breath-taking flair for her dynamite taste show cased in her creations. Out of a zillion possibilities Nature chooses the design combinations that are universally acknowledged as beautiful. The reason I am carrying on about Nature’ s fine taste: Last week I observed a COMMON LOON in full breeding plumage on the river. Needlessly to say, I tried unsuccessfully to photograph this diving, elusive beauty, finally gave up & simply enjoyed staring @ its gorgeous wedding outfit. Look @ this borrowed pic.! Isn’t the design stunning? I want a dress that chic!

COMMON LOON's wedding gown
COMMON LOON’s wedding gown

The COMMON LOON observers from the great lakes knew right away who they were looking @. They remembered the night calls echoing across the water. Interestingly the COMMON LOON doesn’t leave any diving rings due to its quick descent, attributed to its unusual bird solid bone structure. The COMMON LOON can fly 70 mph., can dive 200ft down, executes impressive sharp turns w/in sec. under water  & get this: doesn’t mate until its 6 yrs. old, is monogamous for approx. 5 yrs. & lives up to 30 yrs.

As you know every San Lorenzo River stretch tells a different tale. So let me tell you about my current downstream tale: As I was watching the wind whipped crazed beach ball dance on the water surface by the Trestle, I knew the Boardwalk had opened for Summer business. Memorial week-end was celebrated by decorating the river w/floating plastic bags, cups, chip bags, abandoned beach balls, floating bottles, beer cans, etc.

A MALLARD couple was foraging along the shore & 2 wind blown beach balls were skipping playfully towards the foragers. The male Mallard noticed the frenzied balls 1st & alerted the female w/a “quack”, which caused them to swim out of the erratic balls way.

should I stay or should I go?
should I stay or should I go?

From a safe distance they observed thoughtfully the balls dance, which seemed to be directed by a fickle, undecided wind choreographer. Finally the balls moved towards the Ocean & the Mallard couple return to feast on the shore delicacies just to be interrupted by a leisurely floating plastic bag.

Plastic intruder
Plastic intruder

The MALLARD couple decided that eating trumped plastic bag & tried to ignore the bag, which positioned itself right on their food plate. The male was determined to move the plastic intruder off their plate by putting his head in the water & pushing the bag to the side. The effort turned into a high drama scenario, because the wind strongly disagreed w/ the MALLARD’s attempt & kept pushing the bag back on their plate. The MALLARD, being no wimp, was convinced that he could succeed in dominating the annoying plastic bag. Back & forth the battle went & @ one point I held a suspense-filled breath, because the bag handle was starting to slide over the MALLARD’s head. I was contemplating my rescue mission, when the MALLARD shook himself free of the potential choke. I am happy to report to you= the MALLARD won. & then the wind picked up, pushed the battle fatigued plastic intruder down river towards the Ocean, which made me wonder what kind of further havoc the plastic bag was up to.

Are you coming to the EBB & FLOW RIVER ARTS PROJECT on Sat 6.6 ? I can’t wait to talk about the San Lorenzo River birds on a short walk @ 3:30.

feathered greetings from jane

Leave a Reply