Good Morning Dear Fellow Nature Celebrators,
There is nothing like days away from the river to revive my passion for it. I had been laid flat for 5 days by my dental anti-anxiety med. that had taken its job obviously extremely serious. Finally strolling along the levee again I felt like I had come home and was visiting with all the dear, familiar friends: the OSPREY announced her presence with that high pitch call. The KINGFISHER counter her with its agitated alarm racket, because the OSPREY is an unwelcome fish meal competitor.
Now that the algae has strongly subsided the OSPREY is becoming once again a regular Trestle tree percher and river fish hunter. For months the algae cover was very thick and at times covered the entire water surface. That made it impossible for the OSPREY to locate fish, which is its main food source. I love looking up into the trees and see the white shape perched on its favorite branch and hear that her call is being answered by an other OSPREY in the distance.
The new plants were thriving thanks to the rain. The established Mugwort and Gumplant have their fall look now that makes any tidy landscaper’s weed-whacker fingers itch: brown, overgrown, straggly, collapsing into every direction and loaded with seeds. The plants that had escaped the weed-whacker had their seeds eagerly harvested by the LESSER GOLDFINCHES and the TOWNSEND’S WARBLERS, our winter migratory birds. Over the years the mowing and weed-whacking has become less intrusive as the levee crew and I have learned to respect each other’s tasks needs. I like to believe that it has been a mutually beneficial experience.
The migratory winter fowl flocks have grown to a remarkable size. As every year the COMMON GOLDENEYES claimed the Trestle area as their gathering place and the BUFFLEHEADS sill prefer the stretch between the Riverside Ave. and Crescent bridge. The LESSER and GREATER SCAUP agree with the RUDDY DUCKS that the area by the east side pump-station is very desirable hang-out place. The COOTS are beside themselves with the new winter guests and flock around them. The newcomers seem to feel overwhelmed by all that attention and try to escape the white beaked pursuers by diving continuously. The COOTS see no reason to stop their friendship efforts and dive after the winter guests. COOTS don’t really dive all that much, but right now they are spending a lot of time under water with their elusive ‘friends’. Knowing that COMMON GOLDENEYES and BUFFLEHEADS dive deeper than COOTS, I suspect the black residents are harvesting the plant material and invertebrates that the visitors are stirring up. So it’s no wonder that the COOTS are happily greeting their food suppliers.
A couple of weeks ago my friend and I took a river walk and we passed by the County building pedestrian bridge. We arrived at the right time: the workers were cleaning up after the dragon sculpture had been mounted on the arch. Several bystanders commented that the new San Lorenzo River dragon looked just how they pictured ‘Puff, the Magic Dragon’ as a kid. We all agree that the sculpture had magical quality as the sun was glittering across its surface. Somebody started singing the song and we all enthusiastically chimed in. At the end of the tune we laughed together for breaking out singing and waved good-bye to each other. I celebrate that ‘our’ river dragon magically united us with joyfully singing a childhood memory melody.
Come to the river where magic is waiting for you~ jane