Spring at the River…

Good Morning Barbara and Nature Explorers,

DOUBLE-crested CORMORANT fishing in the river…

It’s so good to read you post again, Barbara! What a month you had~ that pain sounds intense. I gather your backyard became your Nature paradise, which helped your recuperation nicely. Aren’t you glad that Nature enjoyment is high on your list? Just looking out the window offers you spring blossom greeting and stepping outside you hear the birds serenading the season in excelsis. I am sure your stay safe walks are filled with happy gratitude to see that Nature is continuing her ancient cycles while our lives are upside down. As we are wading through our creative resources of how to entertain ourselves and stay well, Nature is busy hosting a grand coming out party for her leafy, furry, feathered, scaly debutantes. Now isn’t that a splendid omen for our new future?

bee harvesting Calif Lilac, planted last year…

I guess you could say that spring is pulsing through my veins, because I have been busy with pulling weeds in the Laurel St bridge island, so that the newly planted native species have room to grow and spread unhindered. As I mentioned our Estuary volunteer Project got cancelled, which not only left over a 150 native plants begging for soil housing, but also an impressive wood pile, aching to be spread. So I turned my daily stay safe virus walks into habitat improvement activity. This entailed staying put in one area and getting to know the daily walkers, their dogs and kids, drug dealers and their clientele, the lovers and their happiness. Since this site is right by a light signal intersection, I was treated to a wide range of loud music. Over the last 2 weeks I learned that young men mostly listen to angry, hard core or whining music. Young women listen mainly to love yearning tunes. Many truck driving men like country tunes. It seems that once people reach their forties, they no longer turn up their radio dials, so I have no idea what they are listening to. I have been on a mission to get all this work done, because I observe the benefits of the native plants for the river critters: the bees feeding on the blossoms of now established Calif. Lilac and the moth resting under the Gum-plant.

intimidating large wood chip pile…

I think you would be proud of me, Barbara, if you saw how seriously I take our ‘Protect Wildlife’ motto. I am absolutely without prejudice when it comes to pointing out that certain conducts are harmful to the river habitat. This includes insisting that the camps get removed from the waterline in order to protect the waterfowl’s breeding grounds or preventing anybody walking up or down slopes so erosion and ground nester disturbances are avoided. Who knew that protecting wildlife was an exercise of daily civil courage and education. You be happy to know that we have planted more Toyon bushes in order to increase the CEDAR WAXWING food sources in the Estuary section. This species adores the red Toyon berries~ a flock of these little beauties can strip a bush bare within 20 minutes. We have 5 more big Toyon bushes ready to be planted, which hopefully carry fruit by coming winter. I think our efforts are having the wished for results, because people have mentioned that the CEDAR WAXWING presence has increased along the river.

early morning empty beach…

Slipping a “R” into the COVID-19 could very well be a Freudian slip since I feel the same about the virus and the CROWS. I am just not fond of overwhelming, invasive traits, although the sound of COVID-19 is surprisingly beautiful. The interesting thing is that CROW population is way down on the beach and along the river. Then again less people, less tourists means less food litter thus putting a dent in the CROWS food supply. The RED-tailed HAWKS are benefitting from not being mobbed by up to a dozen CROWS. The harassment of one or two CROWS doesn’t interfere with their courtship flights right above me. A few CLIFF SWALLOWS have returned and they are examining last year’s nests, determining what remodeling is required for successful breeding. My wish for you is that you stay safe and well while you enjoy the Spring cycle~jane~

3 thoughts on “Spring at the River…

  1. Is gum plant the gumweed, Grindelia hirsutula? Isn’t that rare? If I had seen it, I would have not recognized it, or dismissed it as a common gazania.


      1. If I remember correctly, it was something that some of my colleagues expressed an appreciation for. California natives were starting to become trendy back then in the late 1980s.


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