Russian River estuary is Still Closed and a Walk Looking for an Old Road

Saturday September 20, 2014 Jenner CA.

It was a bit on the over cast side as I approached Jenner this morning, around noon. That doesn’t mean the weather was bad. No, very mild and the wind was down to barely a breeze. The river’s mouth is still closed so the estuary’s water level is bit high, which is just fine with me.

I paddled across the river and into the little channel on the east end of Penny Island where these male mallard ducks were resting. I spooked them as I crossed over and they flew off.mallards


This is the little channel I stole from the ducks, where I rested a bit before popping out the other side and continuing up the south side of the river.island


I passed the usual cormorants by the redwood log by swamp rock trail head. Lots of times, when they’ve been preening, they have that little while feather sticking to the end of their bill.cormorants


And past that, a few little pipers attracted my attention as they were feeding along the shoreline, here’s one of them.piper


Hard times for the yellow jackets

I continued on up the river, past eagle’s landing where I remembered there were a couple yellow jacket nests up in the trees, so I started to look for them. I wanted to see if they’d been broken into yet, as that’s what usually happens to them in this spot from what I’ve seen in previous years.

I looked and I looked, they aren’t easy to spot, but I finally found one of them. Looking closely, you can see there is a big hole in the top of the nest. Seems like this kind of hole would be made by some kind of bird? I didn’t see any active yellow jackets, so the nest must of gotten wiped out.jacketnest


I kept looking for the other one as I paddled up the river as the other nest was not far from the first one, but I didn’t see it, maybe I just missed it or it might be gone?

This is my view as I paddled along headed for musk rat nest beach, just up ahead on the right. Notice the lack of wind. :O)russianriver


Looking for an old road

Musk rat nest beach is just to the left outside of this picture. This picture shows where I’m headed for a little walk up the hill looking for an old road I spotted the other day with Ray.walkarea


I wanted to go up and see if I could get into the big green trees just behind and to the left of buzzard rock. We almost made it up to the trees last time when Ray got into the poison oak.walk


I walked up to the spot we stopped last time and looked and looked and finally found an easy way into those trees. Once I was under the trees, the going got easier as not much grows under the larger trees for lack of sunshine. I didn’t realize it before I started, but that old road appears to wind into the little canyon the big trees are in and on up it. I went a little ways further, but ran out of time, so left some more exploring for next time.

This was my view down to the town of Jenner from up on the hill while hiking around in the poison oak. The stuff is really in this area big time.jenner


I came back out of the trees and tried to get up the hill to the ridge top through all the brush, but wasn’t successful finding a way through the brush, yet.

Harbor seals are hunting

Back to my boat and into the water, headed back down the river. I saw a big wake moving fast along the shoreline and watched as a harbor seal popped up for a bit, then continued hunting. This type of action usually means they are hunting for big fish, such as salmon or steelhead. Likely salmon right now, starting their trip up the river to spawn.seal


Screeching osprey

Just past that hunting seal, I could hear an osprey screeching up ahead, so I watched for it to see how close I could approach, if I moved slowly. I got fairly close before it took off.osprey2


On past eagles landing I went and saw this turkey vulture sitting in a tree. I looked for things it might be eating, but saw nothing. Must just be resting.vulture


Kite type bird

I headed on down to the west end of Penny Island and saw this kite type hawk flying around over the island, so I turned to get a picture of it, thinking I likely would not be able to get one, as they fly around all over the place and it’s hard to get a good picture of one.

But this one seemed to be curious of me or something on the ground right in front of me, as it hovered right in front of me for several minutes as I tried to get a good picture of it’s kiting, which isn’t so easy as they are moving a lot to maintain the kiting and my kayak is moving all over the water at the same time.

I took about twenty pictures and this is about the best I could do.kit2


Closed river’s mouth area

After that, I headed on down to the river’s mouth area. which looked like this as I approached. The mouth  is closed with sand.closedmouth


There were a bunch of harbor seals swimming in front of the piled up sand as I sat there in front of it for a bit.seals


I didn’t stay too long at the mouth as it was almost six PM, so I headed on in for the day. On the way, I saw a red tailed hawk land in a big tree up ahead.redtailhawk

It flew off as I passed and I headed on into the boat launch area and was off the water and headed on home for the day.

Messed up traffic in Guerneville

I got jammed up in Guerneville as the jazz/blues festival was just letting out and traffic through the back streets was mostly at a standstill. I was patient and made it on through. Unfortunately, I didn’t know of any back street around the mess or I would of taken it.

That was it for another nice day kayaking on the Russian River.

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A Paddle and a Walk Up to the Old Indian Ladies Face Rock

Friday September 19, 2914 Jenner CA.

I could see Ray was putting his boat in the water as I approached Jenner this morning. There was some fog and it was a bit overcast, but the wind was down which is always nice.

We paddled across the river to Penny Island and went through the little channel on the east end of the island.The river’s mouth is closed so the water level is high enough to let us get through this channel to the other side, which leads into the channel down the back side of Penny Island.

Here is the little channel we went through on the east end of Penny


We did our usual thing and paddled on up the south side of the river at a leisurely pace.upriver


Ray decided he wanted to take a walk up to the old Indian ladies face rock trail, so I said ok, but let’s go up to musk rat nest first, which we did.

Here we are at musk rat nest taking it easy.ratnest


Old Indian Ladies Face Rock

We plan to go up to that big rock up on top of the ridge on a trail that starts right below it on the river.indianrock


Here we are pulling into shore at the trail head.shore


Ray’s long pants and the poison oak

You might have noticed Ray has his long pants on today. Apparently, the poison oak got him in the legs the other day, so he has a new respect for the stuff. The other day, we were in the stuff up to our ears, so it didn’t surprise  me that he got a bit of it. I did too, but not too bad. There was a lot of poison oak on this trail too and Ray was being real cautious today, although, there is no way one can avoid it all, walking around in this area.

The trail up the hill goes right through this area.trail2


Here is Ray, coming up the trail behind me. There were a lot of pepperwood leaves on the trail that made it real slippery on the steep parts.ray3


I was ahead of Ray as I approached the rock.rock


Ray wasn’t far behind me, just below the big rock.ray


The view off the top of the rock looking down the river. Paddy’s rock in the river near the right side.rockview


Looking for the old road

We rested up on the top of the rock for awhile studying the landscape and looking for the old road we spotted going up this way from musk rat nest beach. We saw some things that might be what’s left of the old road and so eventually we headed on over to that area to check it out.

Ray is headed to the other side of the big trees where we looked for what might be left of the old road.  We did find some things that might be a road, but not sure if it was part of the road we were looking for, so more exploring is in order on that one. I think we’ll have to check it out from the bottom.looking


We worked our way down the hill checking out this and that on the way down. Near the bottom, where the pepperwood leaves were the slipperiest, we detoured around most of them. I made it ok, but Ray had a bit of a slip out, but was ok, just landed on his butt in the dirt.

We got back in our boats and headed on down the river. Ray said he’d had enough for the day, so headed on in.

We passed these mallard ducks feeding along the way. They haven’t been around for awhile and just returned from somewhere else.mallards


I left Ray as he headed for the boat ramp and went over to the side of Penny Island to get a picture of the closed river’s mouth.

The closed mouth is where all the little white birds are. Looks to me like the sand got piled up even higher than it was yesterday.rivermoutclosed


I headed on in for the day and headed on home. A nap was in order and I just puttered around the yard, chair hopping the rest of the day.

Working on setting up cam outside

Tonight I worked on getting my cam put outside in the dark. I need to fine tune the motion sensor to detect movement of critters . So far, I’ve seen a fox come through, but the motion detector wasn’t setup properly to get a picture of it, yet. It’s needs some fine tuning, which I will work on. I’ll be leaving this cam on all night to try and get some critters pictures of what is moving around in my yard at night.

That’s it for another fine day.

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