Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Walk to the River

Okay, I know this is not a good photograph, but it is important.

This bird is the very first Blue Grosbeak Bernie and I have ever seen in our lives. We're in our fifties. That's a lot of time knowing that such beautiful birds existed, and never really expecting to ever catch a glimpse of one. Today, we did.

Bernie suggested a slow amble (sans puffing, pissing dogs) down to see what the river was doing to the golf course, but we went to the far side of the course, where a National Wildlife Preserve has been formed from what was once farm land. For once we remembered to take along both binoculars and the camera. The Blue Grosbeak would have been worth paying out a weekend at a resort to see, and here he was, only a couple blocks away!

The lizard was more mundane, but it was fun to see this one and dozens others climbing around on the rocks on the side of the hill that led down to the water's edge.

The water is standing in not only the Jack Tone Golf Course, but also in the "Riparian Habitat" off of River View Drive. (Heh. Residents of that neighborhood didn't really think they were going to have a river view until the water came up this spring.) Until a couple years ago, the land was farmed. I don't know what kind of transaction took place, but we walked by and saw rows and rows of tiny trees and shrubs planted in place of beans one spring. And then we heard it was a "riparian habitat" being planted. But it wasn't wet until this spring.

I think they may have breached the levee to allow more of a floodplain. We haven't been able to find a way down there to see. Signs say "National Wildlife Preserve" and there are fences to keep people out.

With the snowpack melting, it's likely that this area will stay under water for a while. This is a good thing for us, as it will provide us with endless entertainment watching the lizards, birds, and frogs frolicking in the watery wetland.

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