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The Best Pictures are Not Even Close

Migrating Waterfowl

This photo of migrating waterfowl near The Barn at The Cosumnes River Preserve is an example of what we are creating at this 55,000 acre wetland /riparian preserve. The photo is so primordial, it melts my modern civilized mind down to it’s primitive core. Admittedly, that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but it’s true. The thing is, the photo doesn’t compare to the “experience” of being there this time of year. No matter how crisp and clear you make the photo, it can’t match what you feel when you watch that mass of wildlife fill the sky with their movement, and listen as their calls fill the air.
There is a subtle sense of belonging that creeps into me, and the hundreds of other volunteers that turn out at The Cosumnes, as we make it a place for the creatures that depend on this habitat for survival. We are here for every season, tending to the needs of the most diverse habitat that you can imagine. Some folks we only see in the summer and some only in the fall, but The Cosumnes is grateful for all of them. Come for whatever your favorite season is and pull some weeds.

Pete removes puncture vine

There is a sense of accomplishment in cutting out an invasive fig tree from the Mediterranean Biosphere that is crowding out the native California plants in our forest.

One fig tree with multiple sprouts

Now the native under-story can get some sun
HRT crew plants native roses to “fill in” the habitat

There are a lot of “invasive aliens” out there that make life very difficult for our natives, so we plant and replant the ones that evolved here in order to expand The Preserve. Hopefully, the natives will crowd the invasives out.

Marcos pulls Parrot feather out of the slough

The crew dumps the loaded canoe onto the shore

And the invasive water plant is dried out on the high ground

When its 90 degrees outside, it’s actually fun to get in a canoe and pull invasive water plants out of the river and throw them up on a levee to dry out.

It gives me a childish pleasure to slosh through the soft mud around the edges of our giant ponds and small islands, pushing willow and cottonwood cuttings into that soft mud.

Vic and Richard plant cottonwood cuttings in the mud

My mother would be aghast at my behavior, but it’s OK because it’s all scientifically and ecologically sound. Take the leap. Come out and join us. It will be fun.

The author awaits a wet assignment