Madrona Marsh

New Year's meal included Dungeness crab. It's in season, and I recommend you go to you local asian store (Ranch 99 is mine) and buy some.

We volunteered at the Madrona Marsh today for about 2-1/2 hours pulling out dead native sunflowers that had seeded into the lowlands. I guess the planners are worried about the effect of decaying vegetation on what will soon again be wetlands. Apparently the birds had gathered all the seed they could and the rest had dispersed from the flowers to sprout again next year.

When I was there earlier in the year during the full bloom of the sunflowers, there were many birds taking advantage of the plants for cover and food. Today there were also a number of birders, perhaps due to a favorable Jan 3 article in the LA Times. I saw a few plants that I wasn't familar with including bladder pod, a type of buckwheat that I didn't know, Encelia (bush sunflower), and rattle weed (which was not unattractive despite it's name).

Ruth mentioned that we needed rain, and a look at my previous two blogs confirms that we have only about 1" total as of today. According to my previous analysis, that's about 1 sigma below average for the end of December. So while it is drier than normal there's no real cause for alarm quite yet since we have all of January to get to our season average of about 6" (plus or minus ~3") on Jan 31st.

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