Bring on the Weeds!

It’s been a good sunny week here in California. As far as shorebird surveys go, it’s been a good experience. I am starting to see more variety in different shorebirds that visit Ballona Wetlands and it has been great practice. My favorite of the week is the Back Oystercatcher. It has a long orange bill, orange surrounding its eye, and black feathers covering its body. Aside from shorebird surveys, this week I also accompanied LA Audubon staff to a local elementary school. At Leo Politi Elementary School, LA Audubon has planted a garden that attracts birds and is full of native California plants. The garden has made great progress and the rain certainly helped it along. With the recent rainfall that California has had, it has also brought weeds. The work was tiring, time consuming, and the weather was hot and sunny. Although we didn’t get to finish pulling all the weeds, we made good progress. It’s rewarding to see how much of a difference your work makes. Along the way we had some elementary school students wanting to help us pull weeds. We showed them the difference between some natives and non-natives, and gave them each a pair of gloves. They tried their best, but soon got distracted by a fluttering butterfly and they ran away to catch it. It’s heartwarming to see kids so young wanting to help, but what’s even more heartwarming is seeing wildlife being attracted to the garden and the children noticing that they wouldn’t see wildlife as frequently as they do if they didn’t have a garden to attract them. The garden still needs some more work done, but hopefully I can come back soon and assist in finishing weeding and maybe planting some more natives.

Carla Sanchez
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