river hope is eternal…

Good Morning to you Nature Solace Seekers,

                                                                      GREEN LACEWING

A reader’s comment reminded me what a great adventure it is to walk through the door of discovery. I remember how I fell in love with water bodies and how I slowly unwrapped their treasures. Looking back I am grateful for stumbling through that door, which resulted in decades of opening San Lorenzo River gifts that I didn’t know wanted to learn about~ Hydrology?~ really?! Sediment build-up? isn’t that for engineers?!. The amazing part is that these topics actually turned out to be fascinating. The plants and critters have always charmed me and then I discovered that each had their own, big universe story to tell such as the GREEN LACEWING. Who would suspect that this insect with its incredible textured, delicate wings and oversized eyes starts out as a larva that is nick-named ‘the Aphid Lion’. This little beast is able to satisfy that ferocious aphid appetite with its strong jaws and a handy paralyzing venom supply. Once I discovered that fact it made sense that the GREEN LACEWING was hanging out next to the aphid invested Evening Primroses.


Of course I first checked to see if the PEREGRINE was on its Trestle perch throne before attending to the Buckeye trees. Satisfied that it was present, I turned my mother-hen scrutiny on the recently planted Buckeyes. Right now these trees are in the limbo phase, testing their new home if it is worthwhile to put down roots. I happened to look up at the Peregrine and was surprised to see its previously relaxed body tensed in high alert, starring upstream. Scoping the sky and the river I didn’t find anything to explain the PEREGRINE’s body language, so I turned back to my task. A few minutes later I saw a big bird moving towards the Trestle. Behind me the PEREGRINE let loose a penetrating shriek. As the shape came closer these alarm calls increased in frequency and volume. The new arrival was the OSPREY, who was planning to land on one of her favorite bare branches. That attempt was greeting with the PEREGRINE’s high speed plunge, aiming straight at the OSPREY, who managed to land anyway, dodging the unfriendly welcome. The obviously ticked off PEREGRINE kept trying to dislodge the fish eater from every possible direction while the pestered OSPREY flattened her body, swiveling her head, avoiding the fury loaded attacks. Obviously the usual peaceful tree sharing had come to a screeching halt. Maybe the PEREGRINE is already feeling its mating itch~ after all a safe, raptor free territory could prove to be very appealing to the bride-to-be. Maybe the OSPREY and the PEREGRINE actually share the same tingling, because the OSPREY has been calling from her perch and far off ‘somebody’ is answering her lure. Raptors and Falcon are early nesters, which requires laying timely claim on enticing ‘homes’ and a smart mate plans ahead…

DST Members & Tommy restoring river habitat…

Finally we managed to arrange an Estuary Project work day again! After an extended break the DST Members have joined the restoration efforts twice now. It was good to work together again and pick up a familiar ‘normal’, because as a houseless community they have faced an extra hard COVID road. As you know we have restored native habitat together for the last 2 years, which has been a rewarding experience. It was so astounding to see all of us fall right back into our work rhythm and watch the various restoration skills flow right out of their fingertips. We managed to click off all our section goals: pruning bushes, planting native Black Sage, dead heading natives plants and spreading their seeds plus some weeding. And here is my confession list: I admit I am enamored with our camaraderie that creates an open atmosphere of learning, teaching, talking, laughing with each other. I confess I delight in hearing people compliment their work. I wish that my hope bears results. My hope is that City/County/State agencies hire ‘my’ DST Members for the needed restoration work in the fire locations. It would be such a win-win solution, because they already have the skills, the focus, the know-how for this type of work and the agencies create jobs for  the DST Members. So I invite you to join my Happy New Year wish for all of us~ MAY HOPE BECOME REALITY~jane

14 thoughts on “river hope is eternal…

  1. Thanks for another great blog post. I feel so happy reading that the Downtown Streets Team is employing homeless people to do river restoration! Thanks for all you do. Happy 2021!

    1. Hi Karsten, I want you to know that your encouraging comments matter a lot to me! I so appreciate that you have been taking the time to give me several inputs/feedbacks. I think you’ll enjoy knowing this: when the DST Members sign up for the restoration participation it counts as additional work to their weekly required hrs. This extra credit brings them closer to their goals such as housing etc.
      Happy, glorious New Year & Tschüss~ jane

    1. That’s really special to read your kind feedback. When I sit down to write about the river so many observations request attention so it’s nice to know that the choices resonated with you.
      Happy New Year & thanks~ jane

  2. Oh, such a wonderful post! It brought tears to my eyes at the end with your hope for and gift to the homeless – and the river! It also brought wonderment at your amazing ability to read the birds, sensing in the tensed body of the peregrine something about to happen and understanding what might be at work, i.e. plans for future mating! And the lacewing story was also compelling. All so new to me! Your extraordinary reporting is such a gift to the wildlife of the river and to all of us !

    1. Hi Barbara, you have the best comment way to spruce up my writer heart, because you are such an excellent writer yourself. It’s a fact that I enjoy describing my nature observation & what info I discovered. I guess it’s an open secret that ‘my’ houseless DST Members matter a lot to me. Working side by side I have come to gain insights that I never had before. Which makes me wonder why we are not asking them to the table when houseless issues are addressed~ they are an important, valuable resource on that topic.
      I also want to thank you for that kind, wonderful FB mention- it made me all warm & fluffy:)
      Here is to a fabulous New Year- maybe 2021 bring positive change to all of us.
      Big cheer to you~ jane

  3. I always delight in reading your words, Jane… I hear your voice telling me the story. I had NO idea that the lacewing was a grow-up aphid! Ha! What an amazing discovery you have given me. And to see those folks whose lives are a struggle finding satisfaction and skills working with you. Hoping they get jobs out of this too.

    THANK you, as always,

    1. That’s so inspiring to know that I get to visit w/you when you read the posts. It’s exciting to discover new river info. & so I just had to share that the larva of the dainty Lacewing loves to devour the pest-y aphids. You are right “my’ DST Members have to overcome so many struggles & yet they keep working hard to improve their situation. Sharing time together allowed me to learn about their lives & understand how overcoming each seemingly little struggle is a huge victory. I want their restoration achievements acknowledge w/a job that I can taste, believing that the impossible is possible. Cheers & Happy New Year to all of us~ jane

    1. Thanks so much for seconding Barbara’s very kind comment, which is cherished fuel for the writer’s fingers.
      When you see me dancing on the river banks you’ll know my wish DST came true:)
      Happy New Year~ jane

    1. Hi Tony, the DST Members have had a hard work road, because of the COVID situation. They had to endure one work interruption after an other, which restricts their chances to acquire the necessary work hrs for accessing various services. Thank heaven some aide kicked in to bridge that gap.
      Yes, I read about that poor tree & felt bad about that situation. Thanks for your comments & your posts!
      Wishing you a happy New Year & that you get to spend more time in SLV~ jane

      1. I should have mentioned that the tree is doing surprisingly well. I just posted pictures of it earlier today. I will find the post to the older update.

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