Chasing Eagles and a Big Storm is Coming In

Wednesday December 10, 2014 Jenner CA.

Making up my mind

It wasn’t raining as I got up this morning, but a big storm was predicted to start coming in this afternoon, so I had to make up my mind to kayak or not for the day.

I decided to at least go down to Jenner and see  how things were. Some light rain started falling on me as I drove down that way in the Monte Rio area, so I decided to drive down to the Highway One overlook to get some pictures of the mouth area, as I knew the ocean was supposed to be getting really rough as the storm comes in.

Open river’s mouth

This is what the open river’s mouth looked like. The ocean is fairly rough, but just warming up. Note the mouth is going out to the north as it usually does in the winter, which is to the right of this picture.rivermouth

 

The left side of the open mouth had a bunch of harbor seals resting on the sand. Note the ocean water has been breaking over the sand, you can see the white foam it leaves.seals

 

Looking south towards Goat Rock. Note the ocean is rough and has been breaking over the sand. Tonight, when the storm really hits, I bet it washes over the whole sand bar.ocean

 

To put in or not?

I wasn’t sure what to do as it was raining just barely, so I drove back to the boat launch and parked and was thinking about it. To put in or not. I finally decided to put in, in a very light rain. As I put my boat in the water the light rain stopped, so, so far a good decision.

Bald eagle fly’s over my head

I crossed over the river and just made it to the side of Penny Island when this bald eagle fly’s directly over my head and circles a couple times, ,then heads up the river as I watched. I could see it landed about a quarter mile up the river on a log by Swamp Rock trailhead.

I decided to follow it and see if I could get any pictures of it, so I took off, hoping it wouldn’t fly off before I got up to that area.

Of course one of the tricks to getting wildlife pictures is to start taking pictures  way before you think it’s a good picture as you never know when the wildlife may take off.

Turned out to be two bald eagles

As I was taking these pictures and getting closer all the time, I realized there were two eagle sitting side by side on the log.eagles

 

I didn’t get much closer when one of them jumped into the air and flew off up the river and the other one followed shortly after that.eaglefllys

 

One landed on Paddy’s rock

I saw one of them land on Paddy’s rock, about a half mile up the river, so off I went hoping to get close enough for another picture.

I was able to get this close when the eagle flew off again and headed up to the nearby hill top where it joined the other one and they both flew off up the river and were gone.eagle

 

Oh, oh, that cow doesn’t look good

As I watched the eagle fly off, I noticed there was a cow on the shoreline that looked like it might be dead. It was laying by itself and not moving around. Just the fact that it was by itself meant something might be wrong as these animals mostly stick close together.sickcow

 

I paddled over to see if it was alive or dead. As I approached and made some noises with my mouth, it lifted it’s head, so I knew it was alive. But a healthy animal would of got to it’s feet when I got this close to it, about twenty feet away, but this one did not.bovine

 

What to do now?

So now I was thinking I needed to let the local rancher know about this, as with the storm coming in, I didn’t think this animal would make it. These animals generate body heat from digesting food and this one didn’t look like it had been eating, so I knew the cold from the storm might finish it off.

But I just started out for the day and I’d only been out for about an hour. However I could see the storm was starting to come in and if I stayed out much longer, I’d likely get caught in it too. I wasn’t’ sure what to do, so I started heading back in thinking about it and feeling for the cow.

I was almost back to the boat ramp when I ran into this great blue heron.heron

 

There’s the tunnel

I paddled around it and spied the tunnel that goes under the highway and decided it would be a good time to enter it just for fun and I did. The little creek that goes up behind the town of Jenner drains through this tunnel.tunnel

 

As I popped out of the tunnel I was able to go only a short ways to this spot where I turned around.creek

 

And back through the tunnel. I usually whistle at about the one quarter and three quarter distances. One reaches resonance near these points and the whistle is really good at these spots.tunnel2

 

Storms moving in

The wind was starting to pick up and the storm was starting to come in just as I approached the boat ramp.

I looked on down to the river’s mouth area and could see the ocean was picking up and lots more waves were breaking over the sandy beach now. Again, tonight the whole sandy beach will have big waves breaking over it. If the mouth was closed, which it isn’t, this process would allow spawning fish to get into the river to spawn. They can come over the sand in the big waves that break over.russianriver

 

I pulled my boat out of the water and went on back to Monte Ro where I pulled into the boat ramp area to see if there were any fishermen there.

Talking with the ranch owner

But first, I had to stop at the ranch on the way to let the people know about the down cow.

It was on my way, so I pulled into their yard and a dog came out of the open barn door as I stepped out of my car and he was friendly. I walked into the barn where I found two guys shooting the bull. Mark Mann, the owner and the guy, Mike,  who was renting the house there. The Mann’s are an old family that has owned a lot of the ranch land down by Jenner for years and I had known their grandfather and had bought my first little scooter from him, a long time ago. The scooter wasn’t that great and I pushed it up many hills, but for a kid, it was a great toy, I learned a lot from it, both riding and fixing it.

Anyway, I talked with the two guys for a bit about the cow and things in the area. The cows weren’t his, but someone that leased the property so Mark would give him a call. He said there was another one down, up on the hill. One doesn’t really want to lose any of these cows as it’s like taking a couple thousand dollars out of your wallet and just tossing it in the air. It’s gone.

I was glad to meet Mark after all these years.

I continued on to Monte Rio to check on the fishermen. Three trucks with trailers in the parking lot. Today will be the only day to fish before the storm hits washing fishing out for some time. All the fishermen were still out on the river, so I didn’t talk with any of them.fishingtrucks

 

Time to do some shopping

With the storm coming in, I decided to hit the grocery store to get some things to eat. There was a big pile of sand  dumped in the store lot and people filling up sand bags to take home to use in case things got bad and flooded. Lucky for me, my Great Grand Pappy didn’t build the house I’m living in, in the flood plane, so I don’t need to have any worries about the house flooding. He bought this place from Armstrong, which the  state park next to me is named for, around 1900. I consider my property,  the best part of the Armstrong Estate, better than the park as no one in their right mind would want to live under the big sun steeling redwood trees in the park. I only have a few of them scattered around my property, which is just right.

And some banking

I shopped and then went over to the bank to get some cash, as I like the stuff over plastic cards.

And picked up a new alternator

The other day, my alternator stopped charging again at the boat ramp. I carefully pulled the field connector off the back of the alternator and reseated it to see if that was the problem, but no, it still wasn’t charging, so I tapped it a few times with the hammer I was carrying for the purpose. The hammer gets things to make contact and the generator starts charging for awhile, but I know it will stop charging again soon, so I had ordered a replacement from the local auto parts store and decided I better pick it up, as the place might get flooded and I’d be without until they got the store going again. I went on down and picked it up and went on home just before the rain started to come down hard.

It rained hard all afternoon and has let up for now. If this afternoons rain is any indication, it’s going to rain really hard tonight. I like big storms so am looking forward to it. There’s already over an inch of rain in my ran gauge bucket.

All in all, another good day out and about. Let it rain. :O)

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