Good Morning dear Nature Enthusiasts,
I took my sorrow over the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a river walk. I needed open space to free up the meandering feelings, because for decades she was my chutzpa fairy. She inspired me with her determination to be at the decision table during a time when claiming your womanhood was a severe handicap. It gave me strength to read that she used her intelligence and education as a drill to bust the glass ceiling while being a mother. And let’s not forget she knew how to dress with flair.
And yes, it did help to be charmed by the zillion Dragonflies, euphorically swoosh by, wings glittering in the sun. Is it because the river has been lagoon-ed for so long? Do the dragonflies perceive the lagoon as a welcomed lake? The Butterflies added their beauty to the enchantment. It’s exciting to observe their presence increase since our restoration plants have expanded. Now learning to id all the new species is an other story…Thank heaven for the attentive reader, who pointed out that I had turned a Gulf Fritillary into a Monarch Butterfly…
Friday I came to the Mike Fox site to water the plants and it was a kick to see the Biologists’ cars on the levee. It was the sign that they were seining and a chance to ease drop on their steelhead find. Right now the water surface has a lot of algae plus the water level is high. It’s hard work to pull the algae filled net through a high water mass. My timing was perfect: they were bringing their buckets up to weigh and measure the steelhead. One bucket was teaming with them and the other one housed only a few. Before they got busy I found out that the seining success had been so la-la. I commented that the fish looked really healthy, which a Biologist confirmed.
Well, the the Planning Dept. Commission cast their dice. At their last meeting they gave their approval to the Riverfront 7 story high development without any worthwhile recommendations. It was really stunning that this agenda item received hardly any opposition comments. Is it because people can’t imagine what this huge development will look like? Or is it because the location doesn’t have a residential neighborhood? It will be interesting to see how people will react to the 3 years development construction of the monster by the river.
A fellow Park & Rec. Commissioner & I took a walk on the levee to check on the camping situation close to the waterline. Alas, I got instantly sidetracked by the chainsaw and bulldozer sound, which meant that the Flood Control Work had started. And sure enough the trucks, chipper were parked on the other side. I admit it’s easier to face the vegetation removal this year. The reason is that the Streambed Alteration Agreement was amended by the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to improve the bird breeding and native plant conditions. Now the work has to be conducted after the bird breeding season has ended and the native plants on the banks can’t be removed. My blog partner, Barbara Riverwoman, and I have worked in that direction for years. While I served on the Sierra Club ExCom Board, the members support my lead on that successful amendment effort. And now back to our camp exploration tour. There were sections with clusters of tents right by the water. Lines for tarps were strung up from tree trunks and branches. The bushes & vegetation were either trampled down or cut back. Some tents had no litter and other sites begged for room service. I was not excited to see an open fire under a tree and asked the cook to extinguish it although he denied having a fire. After mutual smoke observation he poured water on it…
The County supervised Benchland camp area looked well managed and litter free. It was touching to see a small veggie garden and the renegade camper sign showed artistic promise. On the other hand we both had a hard time seeing the vegetation destruction of the renegade campers. This impacts the environment and its wildlife, which is on public property. Our tour revived my idea of creating a format to talk to the houseless population about environmental friendly camping.
I suspected that the white swirling spot by the Riverside bridge was a RED-necked PHALAROPE, who was stirring up the water for dinner morsels. The black and white river guest devoured the food rapidly, which seemed to cause a food coma: it didn’t move an inch for the longest time. Meanwhile a PIED-billed GREBE was trying to deal with its evening meal that kept resisting going down the dark bill tunnel. Nature bathing greetings~ jane