lies: One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also,…

Posted July 5th, 2017 by John Callender

lies:

One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also, granted, Pokémon Go player) is that it gets you out in the world, visiting interesting places. Yesterday I was walking through the marsh when another marsh enthusiast (Kim; I’m sorry I don’t know her last name) told me about a big bird that was flopping around in the bushes next to the Franklin Creek channel. I checked it out from across the creek, and could see that it was an adult osprey. It appeared to be attached by the legs to a length of fishing line that in turn was tangled in the bushes. The bird would try to fly, making loud alarm calls, then fall down into the bushes and lie there looking upset.

Kim was calling everyone she knew trying to find someone who could help; I started calling everyone I knew. Because it was a Sunday it was hard to get someone, but eventually Kim got through to someone who got through to Niels Lameijer, a Carpinterian who works with the Ojai Raptor Center as part of their rescue and rehabilitation program, and shortly thereafter he was on the scene. Here’s some video I shot of Niels rescuing the bird.

Warning: Includes a closeup toward the end showing the bird’s bleeding leg, impaled by the hooks of a fishing lure. So if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing maybe best not to watch.

In thinking about it, I think the likeliest scenario is that the bird dove onto the lure while someone was fishing with it, mistaking it for an injured fish (which, after all, is a lure’s goal). Presumably the human at the other end of the line then either cut the line or it broke, allowing the osprey to fly away.

I don’t want to think badly of the fisherperson(s) involved without knowing more about what happened. It’s possible they were fishing legally and just didn’t realize the osprey was interested in their lure. It’s also possible, though, that it was someone fishing inside the marsh, which is illegal, though I’ve sometimes seen people (usually kids) doing it along the nearby Santa Monica Creek channel. I’ve tended to turn a blind eye to that in the past, but if I see it in the future I’m going to be more vocal.

Niels sent an email today saying that the bird is doing well, and should soon be released back into the wild. I hope to see it flying over the marsh again soon.

Reblogging myself with the followup video of the bird being released in the marsh the next day (Monday). Nothing icky-looking about this one; just a beautiful raptor going back where it belongs.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2thmIts.

One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also, granted,…

Posted July 3rd, 2017 by John Callender

One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also, granted, Pokémon Go player) is that it gets you out in the world, visiting interesting places. Yesterday I was walking through the marsh when another marsh enthusiast (Kim; I’m sorry I don’t know her last name) told me about a big bird that was flopping around in the bushes next to the Franklin Creek channel. I checked it out from across the creek, and could see that it was an adult osprey. It appeared to be attached by the legs to a length of fishing line that in turn was tangled in the bushes. The bird would try to fly, making loud alarm calls, then fall down into the bushes and lie there looking upset.

Kim was calling everyone she knew trying to find someone who could help; I started calling everyone I knew. Because it was a Sunday it was hard to get someone, but eventually Kim got through to someone who got through to Niels Lameijer, a Carpinterian who works with the Ojai Raptor Center as part of their rescue and rehabilitation program, and shortly thereafter he was on the scene. Here’s some video I shot of Niels rescuing the bird.

Warning: Includes a closeup toward the end showing the bird’s bleeding leg, impaled by the hooks of a fishing lure. So if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing maybe best not to watch.

In thinking about it, I think the likeliest scenario is that the bird dove onto the lure while someone was fishing with it, mistaking it for an injured fish (which, after all, is a lure’s goal). Presumably the human at the other end of the line then either cut the line or it broke, allowing the osprey to fly away.

I don’t want to think badly of the fisherperson(s) involved without knowing more about what happened. It’s possible they were fishing legally and just didn’t realize the osprey was interested in their lure. It’s also possible, though, that it was someone fishing inside the marsh, which is illegal, though I’ve sometimes seen people (usually kids) doing it along the nearby Santa Monica Creek channel. I’ve tended to turn a blind eye to that in the past, but if I see it in the future I’m going to be more vocal.

Niels sent an email today saying that the bird is doing well, and should soon be released back into the wild. I hope to see it flying over the marsh again soon.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2tJKsYq.

I made another video about sea level rise in Carpinteria. This…

Posted May 22nd, 2017 by John Callender

I made another video about sea level rise in Carpinteria. This one looks at what we can do about it.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2rtNGOx.

My latest video on sea level rise in Carpinteria is up now. I…

Posted March 23rd, 2017 by John Callender

My latest video on sea level rise in Carpinteria is up now. I had fun making it.

If you’re a fan of Yulin/Zack/Sean/Mary Kate’s beautiful video of Auden’s “As I Walked Out One Evening”, you’ll recognize where I got my inspiration.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2ngx75I.

lies: My interest in the natural world has followed an odd…

Posted March 10th, 2017 by John Callender

lies:

My interest in the natural world has followed an odd sequence.

At first I was drawn to birds. Then it was the insects the birds were eating, then the plants depended on by the insects.

Now it’s the earth beneath the plants.

Phase II of the Franklin Trail behind Carpinteria is now open, and today Linda and I took Rory on a hike to check it out. There was lots of cool stuff to see; a higher vantage point to view the valley, trees with colorful poison oak beneath them, a big sycamore with bear claw marks leading up its trunk.

But the most interesting thing for me was the geology along the trail. The large image above shows (I think) the transition between the Sespe Formation (on the left), with reddish sandstone and conglomerate, and the Coldwater Formation’s lighter-colored sandstone on the right.

The boundary dates to about 40 million years ago. The younger rock is on the left, the older on the right. The layers were laid down in the vicinity of present-day San Diego; since then a big chunk of land has rotated clockwise, bringing the rocks to their present location in south Santa Barbara County. In the last 2.5 million years they’ve been tilted, such that what originally were horizontal layers are now angled up at a 60-degree angle.

The Coldwater sandstone was laid down at the bottom of a shallow coastal sea. Toward the end of that process, as the world’s climate transitioned from being very much warmer than today to being as cool or cooler than today, sea levels fell dramatically, and the rocks in that photo went from being underwater to being part of a low-lying coastal plain. Periodic river flooding produced the rounded pebbles embedded in the reddish Sespe conglomerate.

It’s cool to be able to read that history in the rocks. I’m just a baby at geology, but I’m looking forward to learning more.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2maZJKm.