While to the best of our knowledge there are no Venus flytraps present at Pt. Isabel, another voracious bug eater has returned and is munching its way happily through the flying insect population. The black phoebe perches on the native shrubs along the Bay Trail and watches. And then it flits toward its practically invisible prey and snap! Lunch!
Fortunately the phoebe is small so we don’t have to worry about losing any volunteers. In fact, we had a sweet group of Japanese exchange students come out on drizzly January 9 to work with Steward Nina in removing masses of radish sprouts from around the beautiful purple needlegrass (Stipa pulchra) on the small hill on Nina’s site. These UC Berkeley Language Institute students from Kyoto and their chaperone, Joe, were not in the least deterred by the intermittent light rain but continued freeing up the grasses as well as the seedlings of California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and tansy-leafed phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) that were being overshadowed by the weeds. We were impressed with their hard work.
Earlier in January we worked on Steward Margot’s City of Richmond Adopt-a-Spot at the corner of Central Avenue and Rydin Road. Over the past two months we have removed thousands of invasive mallow sprouts and with a great deal of help from core volunteers Gudrun and Margot we planted two coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) that we had purchased from Native Here. They replace some non-native oak saplings that were planted before we adopted the site and that did not survive.
The volunteer crew is delighted with our rainy weather. No matter rain sprinkles or chilly temperatures, core volunteers John, Rob, Myriam, Lewis and Nancy take every chance to remove the weeds from the softened soil, to spread mulch, and to pick up every nanoparticle of trash.
Many thanks to our fantastic EBRPD ranger Bruce Adams! We are honored to have his support and could not do our work without him.
Jane and Tom Kelly