Craig Tooley was out photographing dragonflies when he came across a tiny toad, only the size of a quarter. It's a Western Toad.
Peggy Berryhill was alongside the Gualala River one summer day when she spotted hundreds of juvenile Western Toads. You can see how tiny they were by the one in her hand.
The second photo shows four tiny toads, looking like pebbles in the river. I show this photo to children as one of many reasons why people should never drive in a river or along its banks. You'd never spot these little guys.
Thanks to Craig and Peggy for allowing me to share their photos with you here.
Will Ericson has been exploring the Wheatfield fork of the Gualala River and some of its tributaries. He found these rare beauties, a colony of California Fawn Lilies, Erythronium californicum.
Will also found a stand of old-growth Redwood trees in his wanderings.
And while he was there, he startled a Spotted Owl from its roosting place, a thrilling sighting of this endangered little owl.
Thanks to Will for allowing me to shared his photos with you here!
Bill Oxford used his drone to photograph the estuary of the Gualala River. This is what he found - several wooden structures in the riverbed.
Bill wondered if these structures were part of the old mill at the site we call Mill Bend. Here is a photo of the old mill.
Harry Lindstrom knew what they were. He wrote, "These are remnants of old log cribs. If you are kayaking, you might mistake these old remnants for trees, or you may not even pay attention to them if the water is deep enough. Most of them are stuck in the mud, pointing out at an angle. The lumber mill at Mill Bend was not pushed into the river; it burned in 1906." Harry sent along these photos showing the remnants:
Wayne Harris, owner of Adventures Rents, the kayaking company on the Gualala River, also knew what they were. He wrote, "Bill's photo shows some of the cribs that were built to contain the floating logs. There are four or five areas in the estuary where one can still see them. They were logs pinned together with stakes to create a dock-like structure to hold back the floating timber."
So there you go - a little bit of history still evident in the Gualala River.
Thanks to Bill and Harry for allowing me to share their photos with you here. To learn more about kayaking on the Gualala River, here is the link to Adventure Rents: http://www.adventurerents.com/
One of the mature Bald Eagles flew towards the Gualala River yesterday, and I had a nice sighting of my own. The big eagle landed on the sandbar of the river and stared out to the ocean. After about twenty minutes, the bald eagle flew over the ocean, dipping down several time, attempting to find a fishy meal.
Ken Bailey photographed the two bald eagles with the backdrop of a large wave several weeks ago.
We wondered if this might be mating behavior, but it is very late for that activity. Playing? Fighting? Practice mating? No one knows for sure.
What we do know is we have two mature bald eagles here for several months now. In the late afternoon they fly north.
Thanks to Ken for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Ken's nature photography, here is his website: http://www.seadreams.org/
Paul Brewer's wife, Jacquie, called out for him to get his camera quick! There in a tree by their Gualala home was an immature Bald Eagle.
Robert Keiffer and Ron LeValley took a look at Paul's photo and determined this is a one-year old Bald Eagle, an immature. They can fly great distances, so we have no idea if this eagle was born near here, or somewhere much further away.
Here is a photo Chris Beach took of the two mature Bald Eagles, presumably a mated pair, that have been thrilling us with sightings by the mouth of the Gualala River.
And we have news that there is a confirmed Bald Eagle nest north of Gualala, on private, remote land. I was told there was an active nest last year, and again this year. Perhaps we will have a nest discovered in the watershed of the Gualala River too. These are exciting developments for those of us who love these magnificent birds of prey.
Thanks to Paul and Chris for allowing me to share their photos with you here. To see much more of Paul's nature photography, here is the link to his website: http://www.capturingnatureswonders.com/