A fine Good Morning Barbara & to all you Nature aficionados,
The other day I was out on the river mouth point where I met up with Jay, a life long local sailor, who I have known for a long time. He delivers boats far and wide so he sees and hears particulars I would never know about if it wasn’t for our schmoozes. He is a great resource of Ocean, river information and environment policies in other places plus he has a fine sense of humor. I mentioned that fishermen have repeatedly remarked that they have seen COHO in the river and how I hoped one would show up for the Biologist seining. That’s when he told me that he had video taped some big fish swimming right below the river mouth point. So here is his video and it’s best to watch it on the full screen to admire the fish size.
Have you encountered my experience? I see a bird, don’t know who it is, walk home armed with a lousy picture, wade through my bird books and can’t locate the bird anywhere. Search on internet and none of the birds look like mine. So I reach out to the bird gurus, who can’t make definite id either, because of the inferior picture and the photo gets filed with the other mystery birds, hoping that one day their id cases will be solved. My recent ‘who is this bird?‘ was puzzling quite a few birders and was most likely a migratory visitor, who has left our area. As birders can testify: it’s really hard to get a sharp photo of a foraging bird. The feathered models refuse to cooperate for a ‘Kodak’ moment and dash through shadowy foliage, dive into branchy disarrays and then fly off to the next food source, making sure it’s out lens reach. The quest for the ‘perfect’ photo calls on the wildlife photographers to balance their goal with their respect for mindful wildlife etiquette. Here is a humorous book that addresses how to be a thoughtful wildlife photographer.
And since I am on the topic of lousy photos, here is an other one. I bet you never guess who this is. I thought I had discovered some exotic bird, which unveiled itself as one of our regular PIED-billed GREBES when it slid into the water. Have any of you ever seen this species stand up straight on land and be baffled how differently it looks in that posture? It sure threw me for a loop!
The last time I wrote about fellow levee walker Robin and how we share the same river stretch in the morning at different times. I got intrigued by his observations and asked him if he would be open to write about his Nature perspective so it could be shared it with all of you. He graciously agreed and here is what Robin penned for us:
“I am constantly inspired by the resilience of nature. When I was younger I felt dread at the looming decline of what I thought was pure and beautiful and priceless, the natural world. I’m less young now, and there certainly are less elephants than when I was a kid. But not less peregrines, or whooping cranes, or blue whales. And lots more science, of the sort that studies and identifies critical habitat, timing, migration patterns, and how plants and animals respond to 7 billion of us large clever human mammals in hot pursuit of more. We’re less clever than we think. Animals and even plants are more clever than we give them credit for. Apples trees once grew only in the mountains of Kazakhstan. Now they’re all over the world. Yumm say we. And horses. And birds getting drunk and crashing into windows. There’s a cork elm forest naturalized and growing happily in the Santa Cruz mountains, thousands of young and middle aged elms. Overharvested around the Great Lakes a century ago, afflicted by Dutch elm disease, here they are, staking a new claim in a suitable habitat. Alien invaders!?! And what are we? My enthusiasm for watching birds has grown in proportion with my awareness of how smart they are. They don’t just stumble around inadvertently finding a living. They work at it. They teach their kids, they develop strategies, they bond with each other and pay constant attention to what’s going on. If we leave critical habitat unmolested, or even just not too molested, birds will thrive, plants will thrive, bugs will thrive, so will we.”
Wishing you all a sharing & caring Holiday Season, jane