Wings, Wings Are a Wonderful Thing!

by on December 17, 2021 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

By Kathy Blavatt

Happy birds make for a Happy Holiday Season. Pelicans, seagulls, and cormorants dance among the shore-break, diving and feasting on critters in the floating kelp.

Ocean Beach’s front yard is an ocean garden full of kelp, seaweed, and seagrass. Like any garden, it is brimming the small critters hiding and feasting on the plants. The larger animals eat them and so on. The food chain continues.

Our deeper water kelp bed forests are vital to the health of the ocean and animal life.

Birds congregated in O.B. at the foot of Coronado Avenue after several days of King Tides.

The majestic kelp stocks flow with the rhythmics of the ocean in delightful movement. They later break away floating on the surface or being dragged by the undercurrents. Some kelp settles on the ocean floor, while others break apart, are thrown into the shallows or onto the shore by waves and tides. The sand fleas, flies, other insects, and small sea life make the tangled drying mounds their hors d’oeuvre platter. The fish swimming in the nearby water are the bird’s main course! This vital process keeps our local marine habitat healthy.

This year’s cold ocean water temperatures and only a couple of storms have helped the kelp beds off our coast thrive.

On a recent clear day, Kathy photographed the Ocean Beach view, which included Camp Pendleton in the background.

Only the hardiest of plants survive up top on our local ocean cliffs. The dead branches supply bird roosting spots and nesting materials.

Sunset Cliffs native plants and hardy weeds help protect the cliff’s edge and hillsides.

Besides the birds, other common winged animals seen in Ocean Beach gardens include flying horses. This one is a highbred winged unicorn.

My holiday winged garden angel wearing red metallic chili pepper bling stands in my bay window overlooking my front yard. Along with the angel is my tribute to O.B.s leaning Christmas Tree. Instead of buying a Christmas Tree, I made my own from a branch off my twisted juniper tree that I stuck into a chunk of soaked Oasis Floral Foam in a silver pot. Then I decorated it with bulbs,  metallic ribbon and  added some of my single earrings that had lost their match.

Why buy a Christmas Tree when my evergreen tree in our yard needs trimming? Why not recycle/reuse items as ornaments when you have things like earrings that will work well and add character and a personal touch to your decorations?

Various winged “Bee  Kind “signs keep popping up in local gardens.

The last few years have been immensely hard on bees. According to the Friends of the Earth, “bumblebees are on the brink of extinction! In just ten years, the western bumblebee population declined by 93%.”

I hope the next year is better for the bees.

On a positive note, after a near-extinction event last year, this year was better for the Monarch Butterflies, whose population increased across the country on the migration routes.

In Pismo Beach in central California, they recorded a 3,500% increase.

As a child, I visited the Pismo Beach eucalyptus grove where the Monarch Butterflies congregated.  I saw thousands of flutter wings turn the tree trunks orange and while more Monarchs glided between the branches and leaves. The lovely image still is vivid in my mind.

Hopefully, people can “Bee Kind” and make this world a place for future generations. Then they can enjoy the fluttering wings of butterflies, bees, and birds.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frank Gormlie December 20, 2021 at 7:19 pm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today [Monday, Dec.20] declared one of Southern California’s rarest butterflies — the Hermes copper butterfly — as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.


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