Wild.Life.

The recent story in the Times-Standard about the possible return of the Shasta wolf pack made me think of the wildlife we have around my house in Cutten. Here’s an inventory:

Wolves-  no wolves in Cutten. If I ever saw one I’d probably faint. I wish them well.  Of course I don’t own livestock. 

Foxes-  my neighbor claims we have foxes in Cutten.  I’ve never seen one.  Foxes, like wolves, are pretty reclusive. 

Bears- I’ve had bears in my backyard on two occasions that I know of.  About five years ago, in the predawn hours, my dog was going crazy in the backyard, barking and barking.  I couldn’t see what she was barking at. After awhile I had a Sheriff’s deputy at the door. Some folks clear over in Quail Ridge had called about the noise. he deputy- a very nice female- and I went out into the back yard just as it was starting to be light.  We both  saw the bear jump over my six-foot fence.  I was glad I had a witness. It’s happened at least one other time, without a deputy. 

Deer- the last time was a couple of weeks ago. They come up a trail from the greenbelt to the house across the street and walk up T Street.  I see them over by the Cutten Post Office too. They must be getting their mail. 

Raccoons- all over the place.  Sometimes they congregate on Fern Street.  When they have something they’re eating, they hold their ground and won’t move for cars or anything else. At night they’re  positively scary with their glowing eyes. Look like little demons. 

Skunks-a baby skunk came into the yard and the dog went nuts.  The baby was under a little table and the dog just kept barking  and barking.  It was so cute that momentarily I would have traded the dog for it.  I learned on North Woods Law last night that skunks deplete their scent glands when they spray and then you have a few hours when you can approach without fear.  I love my junk TV.

That’s about it for wildlife out here.  You have to go over to Sequoia  Park for squirrels.  What critters do you host? This is one of the things I love most about living in Eureka.

END

The Birds, Part Deux

A few days ago I mentioned my plan to dispose of old stale cereal by feeding it to the neighborhood birds.

So I dumped a box of old Special K out in my driveway and waited for the results.

The first morning,  nothing.   It was untouched.

The second morning, same .

The third morning,  the cereal was gone. Not a flake was left. It looked like someone had vacuumed the driveway. The only animal I know that can clean up like that is a dog.

So one of my neighbors’ dogs is running around stuffed full of Special K.   I’m sure it won’t hurt them but none of this is getting the birds fed. Tonight I’m putting out the cornflakes.   

END

It’s mating season!!

No, not for you- for our ungulate friends at Prairie Creek and elsewhere on the North Coast. For the next couple of weeks, the elk will be sorting out their family matters and in some instances providing a loud and graphic demonstration of the mating process and its accompanying battles. A link to the appropriate Visitors’ Centers is HERE and the folks at Prairie Creek, 488-2039, are very helpful.  Check in with them for tips on safe viewing and give your kids a seasonal treat.

END

Aldaron Laird at the Harbor Working Group

Environmental Planner Aldaron Laird presented the Harbor Commission’s study on sea  level rise and climate change at their lunch today.  For those of you who enjoy getting bad news, it was a delightful occasion.

Mr Laird’s presentation was gripping, if you care about the Bay. We are looking at a 3-foot sea level rise by 2070 and if I were you I wouldn’t be buying any property in King Salmon. (Someone better tell the HGTV folks who were pimping King Salmon as a place for a Beachfront Bargain Hunt.)  King Salmon and Jacobs Avenue are the areas most at risk for inundation;  Fields Landing is somewhat more protected. Take a look at the maps in the study that show the inundation zones.  Hwy 101 will be covered by water and the Bay will eventually merge with the Mad River. 

Global warming isn’t the problem here.  We would experience at least a foot sea level rise from ground-levels sinking, a natural phenomenon.

It’s not just the inundated buildings that will be a problem; all our local utilities are underground and our wastewater treatment facilities are at sea level. Fixing all this will be enormously expensive and competition for funds will be intense.

BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS!  Thanks to Mr Laird , our local Adaptation activists and the many agencies who collaborated on the study, we are ‘way ahead of the rest of the State in our planning and are serving as a resource for others as they catch up. 

We do, indeed, live in interesting times.

END

Humboldt Saltwater Anglers’ Update

We are always proud to share the Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers’ newsletter because a) it’s informative and b) it LOOKS so good.  Here is the latest from this stellar organization. It takes a while to load.  Good things are worth waiting for.