As I walked across the Trestle bridge an OSPREY was gliding over the shore. The beauty landed in the shallow water, scanned the scenery, deemed it safe to dip its head in the water and take a bath. Suddenly its attention got caught by an approaching woman, who was still quite a distance away. She never looked up, never saw the OSPREY watching her and missed the spectacular lift off as she got too close for the bird’s comfort.
Observing this scene of missing out on the rich river wildlife, reminded me of your powerful, excellent City Council Candidates report. I went to several of the Candidates forums, listened and left with the sense that the Candidates fleshed out quite well why they are dedicated to their laudable causes. Alas, I didn’t hear Santa Cruz Natural Resources rank high on the Candidates’ lists except for Chris Krohn. I agree with you that it’s hard to hear the San Lorenzo River wildlife habitat being addressed as a commodity for human use or as a political catch-phrase while its inhabitants and vegetation are fighting to survive. The thought crossed my mind that many people and the wildlife are facing the same situation: Trying to find a safe home to live and raise a family without the constant threat of getting chased out.
The bird’s speed zipping upstream caught my eyes. The impressive tempo made it difficult to keep the dasher in focus. When it reached the AMERICAN COOT flock and slowed down, I was able to determine that it was a GREATER SCAUP. Remember the GREATER SCAUP befriending the PIED-billed GREBES? Did this zippy GREATER SCAUP intend to make friends with the AMERICAN COOTS? Turned out the fast approach required an etiquette lesson from one of the A. Coot, who charged at the intruder and chased it over to the tule. The rest of the flock swam around in frazzled confusion. The GREATER SCAUP foraged casually in the tule, then nonchalantly swam back to the flock. Obviously that slow method met group approval, because they swam calmly as a united group upstream.
There will be a wonderful opportunity coming up to get your hands dirty and make a highly visible change to the river image. I am talking about the stark, vegetation neglected levee gabion wall at the T-intersection of Ocean St. and San Lorenzo Blvd. It’s the one you stare at as you are waiting for the light to change. The Park & Rec. Dept. responded positive to my re-vegetation suggestion and work for weed removal starts beginning of Nov. I know you want to be part of making the river levee inviting for all and that’s why I invite you to keep an eye open for the work day on my Facebook timeline and/or contact me. Here is to working together for our river.enjoying the river mouth
Okay, I am back to the mysterious breach topic that defiantly has my attention. Let’s face it: 15 breaches in one Lagoon season are a lot by anybody’s standards. My concern has been that the river mouth re-location over to the Main Beach could suck beach goers out to the ocean. After some research it turns out there had been an ocean rescue due to a breach. Did you hear about that scary incident in the news? Because I didn’t.
I retrieved my answer about the previously mentioned river algae: there are two types present, both none toxic. One is Spirogyra, which also goes by the poetic names of Water Silk and Mermaid’s Tresses. It spreads its slimy filamentous green masses on the surface when sunlight and temperature allow it to produce large amount of oxygen, which attaches itself as bubbles between the filaments. The other algae is the aquatic Water Fern, which spreads quickly, is valued by rice growers and farmers for its nitrogen-fixing quality.
You won’t believe this: the Pussy Willows are blooming on the levee. And some MALLARDS were displaying mating behavior. Yikes… Spring in Autumn?
Oh, BTW you can still sign up for the Fri. 28th Bird Walk
Be well upstream, jane