effects have causes…

Good Morning Barbara & Nature Celebrators,


I am a firm believer that talking with people is a treasure chest that is filled with informational jewels, just waiting to be discovered. The other morning my treasure trove was dressed up as my neighbor on his levee run. We always exchange bird sightings and because he is a Marine Biologist, he always reveals some interesting inside stories. When I mentioned the strong, steady presence of the CASPIAN TERNS this year, he wondered if that was due to the Columbia River situation, which raised my river  immediately. That’s because in my world view the Columbia water is a cousin to our San Lorenzo River, consequently connected. He told me that the hatchery had to supply the Columbia with salmon to counteract the river dams, which unbalanced the salmon population. The TERNS had overpopulated there, because the Army Corps of Engineers with their paper wise thoughtfulness had supplied the skilled feathered fishers with breeding ground right next to the open door to the eternal full fish larder. The situation got so bad that now attempts are underway to discourage the CASPIAN TERNS airbnd stay. The same state of affairs applies to the CORMORANTS, who also dipped into the salmon feast. My neighbor mentioned that TERN and CORMORANT sightings had increased along the coast since the displacement efforts had started. Maybe that explains those long lines of CORMORANTS close to the river mouth.

CORMORANTS visiting river cousin?

That was painful to see! As you know, I am on a mission to safe the survivors from the 2003 San Lorenzo Urban River Plan(SLURP). These native plants were part of a huge Restoration Project that cost a lot of money and took much work and time. As I told you before, I have a soft spot and admiration for the feisty plants that have persisted through repeated mowing down, vandalism and various abuses. After the last unfortunate mowing debacle, the plants had finally fought their way back and the future looked bright because I discovered open City minds for a friendly plant survivors’ approach. So I was heartbroken when I saw the Boardwalk parking path: once again the blooming Wild Roses had been shaved down to the bare ground. I know that the City levee maintenance crew didn’t do that. This left the Seaside Co. as the potential culprit, because their maintenance crew thrives on spiffing up the levee for Holidays and Memorial weekend was just 2 days away. Unfortunately their interest/knowledge in native plants and bushes is obviously pitiful low.

Wild ROSE all gone…

The bird parents are so busy feeding their fledglings that they have no time for any lengthly perching. They are climbing towards their peek parenting season and it shows: they get thinner while the brood gets fatter and grows at accelerated speed. It’s amazing to watch all the various happenings: the CROWS chasing the RED-shouldered HAWK, who is eyeing the KILLDEER nest as potential fledgling food, the TOWEES protecting their nest in the low bushes, the BLACK PHOEBE carrying bugs to the nest, the MERGANSERLINGS flitting to catch fish… There are only a few non parents, who bath in their resort mode and the RED-breasted LOON and female COMMON GOLDENEYE are 2 of them. Both are migratory birds that are spending their summer with us.

river mouth impressive sand pile…

Have you had a chance to take a look at the river mouth lately? If you did, I bet you thought you had ended up in the Sarah Dunes by accident. The sand pile by the Main Beach is just mind blowing high. It will be part of the berm along the river mouth that meanders towards the Main Beach side. The berm’s purpose is to prevent the summer lagoon from flooding the Boardwalk Beach. Every year I watch with fascination if and when the river mouth gets breached. I assure you: It beats mystery movies.  So be sure to come to the river, because it’s never dull down here, jane

6 thoughts on “effects have causes…

  1. Thank you Jane, I do have to admit that I love how beautiful those terns are! I was wondering why there was so many. I love that you actually find out the answers to questions that I have been thinking about… like what was going on at the Boardwalk with the sand piling.

    Just to give you some heart, up on our end of the river there are LOTS of native roses still standing as wel as all the willows, sycamores, and other hearty species that just don’t give up. B

    1. So neat that you share my curiosity. It’s so neat when I find answers to my ‘what’s up w/that?!’ puzzling. Glad to hear you are enjoying the flourishing natives together w/the river wildlife:)

  2. Today I saw a dozen young mergansers running on the water. First with heads held high, then they would submerge their heads and keep running, causing a wake to fly up around them. Is this a feeding behavior?

    1. Amongst the survivors are coyotebush, gumplant, mugwort, yarrow, buckwheat, toyon as well. The wildrose acts like a native weed; they overgrow other natives.

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