Butterflies, Roses and Kayaking Too

Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013, Jenner, CA.

Seems like a Spring day to me

The sun was already up when I got going today. Instead of rushing down to kayak, I decided to spend a bit of time in the yard, just taking it easy.

While I was sitting outside in my chair warming in the sun, I noticed the black butterflies had returned to their favorite plant. For some reason, they are attracted to this one plant, a California Dutchmen’s Pipe, which is a native plant of California. I found this plant east of Santa Rosa about fifteen years ago and moved a cutting to my yard. It wasn’t long until I noticed that these black butterflies really liked to lay their eggs on this plant and they’ve returned every year to do this.

A female laying eggs.

I spied one flying around and landing on the plant and when I investigated, it was a female laying eggs on the plant. They hatch into little black caterpillars which quickly grow to big  guys.

Below, you can see the female butterfly depositing eggs on the plant stem of the California Dutchmen’s flower plant. The flowers are already gone for the year, but hey do look like a Sherlock Homes pipe.



And some caterpillars too.

I looked around a bit and sure enough, there were some caterpillars already hatched out and eating away at the plant. These caterpillars get big, then crawl to a new spot, like my house and make a cocoon for the next year. Most of these get eaten or destroyed, but new butterflies arrive from somewhere each year, the plant attracts them.

These caterpillars get to be about one third of an inch in diameter and several inches long.

Below is a picture of one of these guys. It’s about three eights inches long.



My blueberries are doing great.

I noticed I have quite a few blue berries this year. Below is my blueberry patch.



As you can see below, there are quite a few green blueberries on the bushes. I noticed the scrub jay is staking them out, so I hope it leaves me some. I also have potatoes planted in with the blueberry bushes, as they seem to do well together.



And the roses were in full bloom too.

Some roses were also blooming in the yard so I got you some pics of a couple of them.

Below is a pick tree climbing rose.



This one is some kind of red rose of which I’ve forgotten it’s name.



Time to head to Jenner for a yak.

After a leisurely morning in the yard, I headed down to Jenner to kayak and got there about one PM. A slight breeze was blowing and the sun was out, with just a few people in yaks in the water.

Up the river I paddled, taking my time. When I got to the Eagle’s Landing area, a young eagle flew out from the trees, went across the river and came back and landed just up river from me.

I was able to get a pic before it flow away up the river. It’s a young bald eagle, I’m pretty sure, as it’s tail has some whitish in it when it flies. It’s been hanging around the area for awhile now. I think the other older eagles are somewhere else nesting right now.

Below is the young bald eagle I saw today.



After awhile I headed back down stream, the wind picked up a bit, until I got to the west end of Penny Island, when the wind decided to subside. I continued down to the river’s mouth.

Below, you can see the river’s mouth looking out it toward the ocean, seals on the beach.



Always lots of seals down at the river’s mouth.

Below are some more lazy seals taking it easy on the beach.



I paddled down to the little cove at the end of the river and spent a couple hours just taking it easy and enjoying the weather as the wind died down to nothing as you can see in the picture below.

The below picture is looking back up the river from the river’s end, note how flat the water is.



As I was sitting there, I heard something behind me, it was John, a guy who lives down there. He has been out on the beach picking up trash and had a bucket full of assorted stuff. We shot the bull for awhile and then I headed in, around five thirty.

Had a nice day at the river.

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