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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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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gray Jays at Patrick's Point State Park


Click on the above photo to enlarge.

Yesterday we hiked the trails in Patrick's Pt. State Park on a beautiful afternoon. The highlight of the day was getting close looks at Gray Jay's that were active in the park. These are birds that we have seen at higher elevations previously and today we counted more than a dozen along the road leading to agate beach. They were extremely tame as they flew to within a few feet allowing me to take photos with my 55 mm lens.


We hiked to the top of Ceremonial Rock and enjoyed another spectacular view of Agate beach all the way to the Big Lagoon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Exploring the Redwoods

My wife and I are taking advantage of our time together before she starts her new position at Humboldt State University by exploring the coast and redwoods. We recently spent the day exploring the beach near Redwood Creek at the Redwood National Park information center and then drove to Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail.
It was a crisp clear day and the sea was moderately calm.

We walked along a beach strewn with weathered drift wood as well as some recently uprooted deciduous trees, and numerous mussel shells and crab carapice. Our short walk takes us north along the beach to the mouth of Redwood Creek where we observed a Harbor Seal foraging. The seals head rises above the surface of the water then abruptly disappears for over 2 minutes before appearing again. The water is clear and the seal is lingering where the sea meets the river. Gulls line the mouth of the river's bank where tons of tiny polished rocks glisten in the sun, remnants of years of tidal wave and sand scouring action.

Next we drive north to Lady bird Johnson Grove Nature trail in Redwood National and State Park.
Lady bird Johnson's campaign to preserve America's natural beauty led to the dedication of this 300 acre grove in 1969 in her name by the then President Nixon. It was enlarged in 1978 and included more of the Redwood creek watershed much of which had been clear cut. This area underwent much needed restoration in the coming years to preserve less than 4% of the remaining old growth forest.

As we walk through this magnificent forest of giant trees some 600 to 800 years old we are struck by the silence on a windless day when we stop and listen.
Only the faint sound of a Kinglet high in the canopy or the distant tapping of a woodpecker is heard by the discerning ear.


Today crystal blue skies peer through tiny windows in the canopy high above these majestic and ancient giants
which humble us by their incredible size and dimensions as we gaze up from their base. We both feel privileged to be here and look forward to "scratching the surface" in further explorations of these incredible forests along the northern California coast.