Saturday October 24, 2015 Monte Rio CA.
I had to get up early this morning as the the Fisch Brothers Drilling guy was coming by today at nine, early for me.
Steve showed up on time and we discussed what needed to be done to drill the next water well. The what, where, and how much. It’ll be awhile before they get time to do it as there are about sixty people before us, but that’s ok, as we do have water. We just need some more for my brother’s Armstrong Valley Farm gardens. The well they drilled last spring did very well, but dried up when the valley water table dropped in September and will get replenished this winter when it rains.
After a cup of coffee I went down to Monte Rio to visit with my friend Charlie. I talked him through fixing a light fixture in his sister’s room. We shot the bull for a couple hours, then I decided to put my boat in at Monte Rio and head on down stream, not intending to go down river very far, maybe just past the Villa Grande hole, about a mile down river.
Paddling Monte Rio
I put my boat in about two PM and headed down stream. About a half mile down, I pulled into these weeds and sat for a spell just enjoying the day.
I could see a great blue heron off to the right in the bushes which I went past when I took off from there.
I also saw this grebe, which got me to thinking about what I’d been calling the little grebes I’ve been seeing down at Jenner lately.
I continued on down to the Villa Grande hole and sat here watching for anything that might pop into view of interest, looking back up the river.
Merganser enters the picture
Eventually, this merganser duck came by and went over to my left where it dove down under the water.
As I watched and waited for it to surface with camera ready, it surfaced with this crawfish in it’s bill and I watched it consume it.
After it consumed it, I watched it do what I call a little happy dance, but I wasn’t able to get a photo of the dance, so I continued to watch to see if it would dive down again and it did.
The merganser surfaced with this big crawfish.
I watched as it shook it around a bit. I think it was getting the big claws to fall off which I captured just as they hit the water. You can see them in the water right in front of it, just before they sunk. Then it swallowed the crawfish whole.
It swam a short distance then did the little happy dance a lot of birds do after swallowing fish. I think it is either settling the thing in it’s stomach or maybe that is how they squash it to kill it inside it. That’s one of the water agency buoys with measuring devices on it like down at Jenner.
I think that was enough to fill it up as it followed me down river as I proceeded that way and I didn’t see it dive anymore, just take some water in several times.
I’m just leaving the Villa Grande hole and headed down stream a bit more in this photo.
I only went a short ways more, about a quarter mile and pulled in to the right here and sat for a bit.
I always say, you don’t need to paddle far on the river as you are already there.
I sat for a spell then headed back up the river and was sitting in these weed when I saw some movement off to the left in the weeds.
Pied billed grebes
Two of the little grebes were feeding there as I snapped their picture and was beginning to wonder if I’d miss named the ones I’d seen down at Jenner.
When I looked them up when I got home, I found that, yes indeed, I’d misnamed the ones I’ve been seeing down at Jenner. These guys are called Pied billed
Grebes and the ones down at Jenner are called Least grebes.
Just past them, I spied these mallard ducks sleeping. They weren’t too concerned about me being close to them. That’s the way most of the Monte Rio birds are.
I continued on up the river to Monte Rio and paddled up to the bridge just ahead and had a look around before heading back to the boat ramp which is to the left in this picture and pulled my boat out for the day, about 4:30PM.
When I arrived home, I didn’t do much, just puttered around the yard and did some chair hopping and enjoyed the rest of the day.
That was my day.