Saturday, July 18 was our monthly work party at Strawberry Creek.
Once again, Nature caught us by surprise. We had planned to continue weeding an area planted in an earlier year, rescuing the native plants from being smothered by encroaching weeds.
But we found that a huge limb had fallen from one of the pre-existing native willow trees. So Tom and Jane and I spent our morning clearing the path and rescuing smaller native plants which the limb was threatening to crush. I put on waders and went into the creek, where I removed enough of the limb to permit free water flow and passage of any fish that might come through.
Since much of the limb was still green with the sapwood still moist, we were able to save dozens of cuttings. Smaller cuttings will be rooted first, then planted. Larger pieces can be jammed into the mud near the water’s edge; they will send down new roots and create new branches, eventually growing into whole new willow trees. Since we already have enough willows at this site, these will be planted at other restoration sites around the bay.
As usual, animals played a part in our morning’s adventures. Jane found that minnows, which had disappeared from the creek for at least a year, had returned in one of the pools. I discovered a towhee nest with several downy babies being fed by the parents.
The next work party is Saturday, August 15, 9-noon. I really hope that a few more of you will be able to make it!
East Bay Chapter