A Ducky Good Morning Barbara,
Walking along the levee, observing the birds, I almost missed the shy, beautiful, slender GARTER SNAKE, who, just like you, was enjoying the long missed sun. Watching it slither quickly into the protective grass was a good reminder to allow my eyes to roam everywhere.
Thanks to that ‘head-up’ I noticed the many MONARCH butterflies gliding gracefully, serenely along the banks, sifting through the exploding blossoms of the Bur Clover, which is considered a rude invasive plant. Its spiky burs are the nemesis of any fury dog and enemy of bare feet. Yet many species value it as a good food source. Watching the butterflies slurping on the yellow flower I entangled myself in the ongoing dilemma: how to deal with invasive plants that benefit the wildlife?
I saw our wing injured female COMMON GOLDENEYE the other day by the Laurel bridge. She was swimming close to a flock of relatives, obviously keeping some distance. This is an improvement to a while back, when she would swim in the other direction as her clan approached. Her wing has greatly improved. This little damsel has my respect and she is my sassy inspiration: there can be a devastating life changing injury, which has a healing process, which never ever will bring back the past abilities, but opens up a new life, wanting to be lived. I always keep an eye out for her and love seeing her casually foraging and doing well.
When we were working on our Estuary Re-Vegetation Project, I kept hearing the KILLDEER call. This is the plover species, who sets your heart strings vibrating with their broken wing act as they try to distract you from their ground nest. Finally I spotted it racing back & forth on top of the Motel roof. Personally I tend to question some of the KILLDEER nest ing decisions: top of roofs, where the fledglings face life threatening descents, right next to busy traffic paths and then there is the KILLDEER couple, who got a 50’ area roped off after they decided to nest in the midst of an active UCSC Seymour construction site. So I was relieved when it flew into the Fruit Orchard, which is close to our work area. Then I heard an other KILLDEER call. After some further communication the female flew in to check out the male, who had picked out a shallow nest place under the newly planted citrus tree. She took a look, walked around some more, came over again, he moved to the side, she huddled into the spot, he came closer, she got up and then they flew off together for further spring frolicking. I wonder if they are same couple, who nested last year on the river bank side.
YES! Spring is here, because on Thursday I saw my first 7 CLIFF SWALLOWS, who were joined by 2 NORTHERN ROUGH-winged SWALLOWS. There will be more SWALLOWS arriving daily and I’ll be busy again: leaning way back while they hypnotize me with their zippy flights.
Craning downstream greetings, jane