At our work party on May 21 we were pleasantly surprised by the screeching of a scrub jay who was annoyed at us for working too close to a plum tree in which she was interested. We have never before seen a scrub jay at Pt. Isabel which is all the more curious because scrub jays don’t like to stray from their place of birth. She’s certainly a welcome addition to the landscape.
Speaking of welcoming new-comers, we’re very pleased to report that we have two new stewards. Lewis is taking on a section of the project next to the Eagle Scouts’ area and has already planted 15 purple needlegrass (Stipa pulchra) grown by the Watershed Nursery in Richmond and donated to the project by biologist, Laura Moran, as a goodbye gift when Jane retired. Ivy (and her 4-legged companion Scout who specializes in digging planting holes) will steward a site that was under the care of a former steward and that has some native grasses and a rush (Juncus patens) that were discovered there as well as plants that were added. Ivy’s section includes Phyla nodiflora (now in full bloom and covered in insects), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), bee plant (Scrophularia californica), and lizard tail (Eriophyllum staechadifolium).
Morning glory (Calystegia occidentalis) is in full bloom and climbing up a dead island ironwood that we found some years ago across from the end of Rydin Road. Janet Gawthrop suggested growing some attractive plant/s in that small area to discourage anyone from cutting down the tree, which is often used as a perch by hummingbirds. The morning glory has done the trick.
The bumblebees are back! And with many thanks to our steadfast stewards and volunteers, their pollen sources are kept clear of invasive plants. This year, the California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are blooming in orange, red, yellow, and white and sometimes appear in different colors all in one patch.
Thanks also go to our EBRPD Ranger, Bruce Adams, who supports us with this project. We greatly value his help and encouragement.
Jane and Tom Kelly