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Welcome to Riverswind notes

I hope you will join in my adventures here in Humboldt County and elsewhere as I explore nature & people.



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Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving

Time to head em up and move em out. rolling, rolling rolling.... This is the time of year when I look forward to being with my mother, children and grandchildren and their children. All of my cousins and many of their children and grandchildren and so on.
My dear uncle Eddie will be there too and he is one month away from reaching the ripe ole age of 97.



Rose and Eddie caught in a camera trap

Eddie is a great human being who served in the Navy during World War II and was a Lt. Commander. He has many stories to tell and he loves to tell them. Not many years earlier it was my mother alone who hosted this gathering and did all of the cooking and it was delicious to say the least.
This year we are having a potluck dinner in which everyone will bring a dish or perhaps just some nuts to nibble on while we sip our wine and greet each other warmly waiting for the turkey which I will be cooking. There are at least 40 coming this year and it will be loud and crazy with a lot of warm hugs and conversation. When the main dish has been eaten the desert goes fast and before you know it people are leaving already, but it seems like we just got started.

Each year I wish that there was just a little more time to talk to everyone in more depth about life and other things. We have been gathering here at my mother's for over 40 years now and somehow deep down I hope it never ends, this magical day when everyone just relaxes and enjoys each others company. This day in particular reminds us of those loved ones that previoulsy gathered here but are gone now and will be with us in spirit always.

Gertrude and Warne Lark, Randy my beloved son, Denby Lark, my step father Jimmy Britt, Our sweet Auntie Marion, and my dear cousin Lynne's daughter, Robin.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fish in Trees


It was only last week that my friend Ben Dennis and I stood on the river shelf gazing down at large Salmon spawning upstream. This was a good sight realizing that this once plentiful species still returns at least in smaller numbers to it's ancient beginnings. Then the storms began. (See previous post).

After the river receeded I walked out our trail with rubber boots and noticed more sand filtered through the native plants. Nootka Rose, Vine Maple, Red Osier Dogwood and other vegetation bent 90 degrees facing downstream. Flotsam of trash tangled in limbs have traveled in high waters from somewhere upstream .

The odor of dead fish everywhere, some in trees left there to dry and decompose. This is where these fish began. First as eggs deposited in a gravel "redd" by their spawning parents, protected by surrounding gravel from being eaten by predators. In a couple months they rise up as small fry to feed on tiny insects that have been nurished by the decaying flesh of the adults before them. It's miraculous in a stream full of organisms that would feast on them if provided the opportunity that they made it to the ocean and returned as adults to spawn and die. I ponder their survival as I gaze at their putred smelling bodies hanging in the trees before me. I use a stick to pick them up and place them in the stream to add nutrients which will help the next generation to repeat this amazing life cycle.
I rejoice at this time each year when I catch the drift of decaying salmon and see their dead remains in the water or stranded in the vegetation.
It reminds me that the cycle continues to thrive.