treasuring river’s touching moments…

Greetings to all of you river enjoyers,


Just in case you are wondering if I have landed back on earth after my incredible river 3/22 Happiness soak: barely! ~ is the answer to that, because all day long tremendous people celebrated the Jane Mio Day with me. Blog readers cheered the day, e-mails offered wonderful ‘Yahoo’ messages, Major Brunner’s Proclamation reading triggered my happy cry, which sprinkled happy tears all over my well rehearsed dignified response and they kept flowing thanks to the heartwarming comments of City Council Member Brown, Cummings, Meyers and Mayor Brunner. My words might have failed me, but my happy tears delivered the message wet and clear: I felt immense honored!! In the afternoon family, friends/neighbors joined the Happiness Street Blitz that had been put together spontaneously by my wonderful neighborhood friends. The result was that I floated above the ground, because I was surrounded by ‘my’ people, who enjoyed having a good time meeting each other, sharing laughter and lively conversations.

They braved the rain…Peggy, Nasebee, Peter, Robin, Dan, Sue, Ivan(not shown Karsten, Russ, jane)

My recent river time had 3 volunteer events that included some special moments that I like to share with you. The 3/19 Estuary Project work day had rain forecasted, which is not very inviting to work outside in the dirt. Yet this weather didn’t deter 10 volunteers to show up at 9am in rain gear and work with vim and high spirit on our various tasks. We were thrilled to welcome Rotary Member Peggy Pollard and her UCSC International Student from Mozambique, Naseeba Sidat, who was introduced to planting Calif. Lilac by resident Peter & DST member Ivan. Our river OSPREY dazzled Naseebe by scrubbing its talons in the shallow water right across from us

river OSPREY dazzling Naseebe…

The second event entailed working with 9 members of a delightful AmeriCorps Team and a DST Member. I was smitten by the 9 members’ interest in the river, their questions about the benefits of their tasks. Robin Lopez, a DST and BEST member, was my right-hand since she is familiar with the restoration tasks. She kept an excellent eye on who needed what help.

fabulous AmeriCorps Team & DST member Robin…

Robin is also the one, who discovered the very long gopher snake. We tried to guide it to a safe place, but it wanted to return to its dangerous sun bathing spot. So I just picked it up(much to everybody’s surprise) and relocated the beauty away from the heavy foot traffic path.

Robin found this very long gopher snake…

Last not least there was the 4/3 BEST Sunday, filled with touching nature incidents. There was Mitch, being totally absorbed by the flight of a butterfly, by a bug crawling up a branch, raising his head to glimpse at a bird. It makes me happy to witness how nature awareness is unfolding for him. You would have been touched to see David tenderly attend to the newly planted vegetation, making sure they were properly berm-ed, flagged, weed free, watering them carefully.

BEST Sunday members: Mike, Katrina, Robin, Mitch, Beth, David, Cheetah, Ivan..,

And there was Cheetah, looking for me, because he wanted to show me the GREAT BLUE HERON, hiding in the bushes across the river. It melted my heart to stand next to him and share his glorious, well hidden find, which he spotted because he had tuned into the river environment. I hope these little insights highlighted some of the many touching moments that I treasure dearly ~ fortunate jane chirps

Cheetah’s find, the GREAT BLUE HERON…the BEST mascot

San Lorenzo River Happiness soak….

A Glorious Happiness Good Morning to all you Nature Passion cohorts,

MERGANSER Mama’s chick transport…

To-day I am allowing myself the luxury to enjoy soaking in San Lorenzo River Happiness. So I want to share with you the cause of my exquisite state of heart, soul and mind: to-day my river advocacy is being acknowledged, recognized by the Santa Cruz City Mayor: Sonja Brunner will read the
Mayoral Proclamation Declaring March 22, 2022 as Jane Mio Day
You all have been witness to my San Lorenzo River love! How its habitats, critters and fauna have filled my soul with unique, surprising mysteries. How many people got involved with the Valley Women’s Club Estuary Project and the City’s multi-Departments BEST Project. You know how I traveled a long, windy, river advocacy road. Let there be no doubt that your kind, insightful reader comments made that journey worthwhile.

sign made by one of the BEST members…

My Happiness honor soak is bubbling with good omens: the sun is smiling, the birds are chirping their mating intentions, March is the National Women’s History Month, to-day is the 2nd day in spring, it’s the birthday of my dear friend’s Dad, who enjoyed life whistling his own piper tune and the CLIFF SWALLOWS are starting to arrive. For me this recognition is a tribute to all women who followed their passions to engage their diverse community to build inclusive environment connections for the healthy benefit of all. I also celebrate every single person, who made this Jane Mio Day possible, because this proclamation is a testimony of everybody’s work, support & encouragement. I could fill books with describing why every single kind, dedicated, touching way mattered to me. The truth is that I am fortunate to have so many unique, marvelous people in my river life! Since I found out about the proclamation I have been floating on the long and wide river called “Advocacy Memories”. My heart and soul are filled with wonderful re-surfacing scenes like houseless DST members working together with residents to restore the Estuary habitat, laughing, helping each other out. ~ Teaching young students about birds, their excited sharing of their bird experiences/observations happily sidelined me. ~ Watching little kids take their parents’ shovels and dig determinedly the hole in the hard soil for the native plant. Their little hands hardly reached around the shovel handle, feet, hands caked with dirt, beaming with joy and pride, because they had done it all by themselves: putting ‘their plant’ safely in the ground. And their parents were beaming too, who I had discouraged from helping their child unless they were asked for assistance.

mighty little kids ready to plant…

~ The MERGANSER Mama floating by with her chicks on the back while the Estuary volunteers watch in awed delight. ~ Working for hours in the pouring rain with 60 members of the Watershed AmeriCorps Team, getting drenched down to the bones in spite of heavy rain gear. We couldn’t believe it: the rain stopped right when we finished our work and the sun came out after 5 minutes. We laughed hysterically, ate our late lunch and decided that none of us would never forget this weather joke.
So thank you for reading why I am enjoying a Happiness soak, which I am enjoying to the sun and back! Happy river greetings ~ jane

Interested in watching Mayor Brunner announce the Proclamation at approx. 12:15pm at the 3/22/22 City Council Meeting?
Then use this Zoom link: