Wishing all you Nature Schmoozers a pleasant Good Morning,
Have you all staked out your favorite Nature spots, which allow you to rejuvenate and find calmness in these unsettling times? My peace oasis are my garden and – you guessed right- the San Lorenzo River. I have been working a lot in the Estuary Project section since the virus shredded my social life. This new schedule makes the weed shake in their roots and tickles the the native plants green. It’s really fascinating how this new momentum is changing my river relationship, which was based on birdwatching. Now I am low to the ground, head down, stuck in one spot for some time. This eye position eliminates a lot of the surrounding visual cues of wildlife movement. Sound has become my new, helpful tool to what is going on around me. It’s really an amazing ear opener to discover all the different nuances of the CLIFF SWALLOW chirps. The sound and frequency level vary according to the time of day. Early in the morning their voices are low and only occasional. Towards the late afternoon the CLIFF SWALLOWS turn into highly vocal chatterboxes. Listening to them I can’t help but wonder if they are Kaffeeklatsch-ing about their day.
Keeping my head down treated me to 2 delight full sights. I was pulling weeds at the Trestle site, when I stumbled on these fairy tale blossoms lined up on long sprigs along a low growth spreading plant with silvery leaves. The flowers are tiny, fragile violet and yellow snapdragons, smaller than a thumbtack. I have never seen this plant before and every time I look at them they enchant me with their whimsical daintiness.
The other treat was watching 2 small butterflies getting acquainted. They crashed out of the air onto the levee path, landing facing each other motionless. After a little while they moved closer together and quickly opened and closed their wings simultaneously. Then one of them crawled to the head of the hopefully new friend and slowly, gently opened its wing slightly, hovering over the other’s head and wing. There was no reaction from the recipient, which was taken as encouragement for more winged tenderness. This required walking backwards until their bodies lined up perfectly parallel. They sat stock-still and all of the sudden the wing facing the other, quickly opened and closed. It looked like they were wing caressing each other. This wing duet came to a screeching halt when one of them backed up slowly and started aiming for new friend’s derrière, which pronto was removed by the owner taking flight.
A friend and I took ourselves on a strolling walk along the levee, enjoying our talk and our encounters. We watched the City biologists seine fish and of course I had to ask about the steelhead count. So far the amount looked good and they would know more after they finished their last seine of the day. Unfortunately the high water temperature was stressing the fish. The biologists had to work fast to avoid straining them further by keeping them out of the river for too long. The September count will tell us if this year’s count will be as great as last year. Well, our river RED-throated LOON is no longer loon-ing alone on the river. The other migration avoider appears to meet the river’s vacationer’s approval, because they preen and dive close to each other. Their migration sabbatical seems to be turning into a perfect RED-throated LOON vacation.
Being a woman birder, I really appreciated the Audubon article about black women birders. I think you will like it too.
And remember to send in your Environment Impact Report(EIR) comments for the Front St. development by 6/24 @ 5pm.
Sending you river oasis greetings~ jane