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Join us for our 24th annual celebration of the migration through San Francisco Bay of more than 1 million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, hawks and other wildlife at the peak of migration. February 8-10, 2019




Now, it was my own hometown of Paradise where incredulously, my family’s current home and the three other houses we had called home since 1959 were annihilated in the blink of an eye and my elderly father, suffering from the “double whammy” as he called it, of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, was evacuated from a nursing home to a town nearly 75 miles away. At that moment, I had no one to turn to who could possibly offer an explanation that resonated with me. Now, two months later, there is still no understanding and wise guide on whom to lean, at whose knee to sit and clue me in on what this is all about. I am still simply stunned. Mystified. Confused. Unsettled. Deeply, soulfully, disturbed.

The day following the Paradise “Campfire” as it is called, I wrote a memoir. I posted it on Facebook. It was published in the local paper as a guest editorial. I soon started another piece. It will take some time to complete and for that matter, to even take the time and courage to return to.

Having acknowledged the unspeakable, the unthinkable, I reflect, too on the months and nearly a year since you and I gathered together for our 23rd Flyway Festival in that ridiculously cold and windy, big old barn of a building on Mare Island. Yet, it seemed like just days after our annual Flyway Festival reunion, that Spring began more and more to show itself, not seeming to be bothered in the least by, but actually reveling, in the rain and wind storms of March and April. And, with Spring, came a certainty that my life of service, volunteer managing the Mare Island Preserve, with its ready access to wildness, is truly what sustains me. With Spring, I renewed my commitment to you to keep this gift of nearby wilderness open to you, no matter how high the personal and financial cost.

In Spring, I found myself renewing too, my vow to this sacred land’s native wildlife including, yes, to my ever more awing rattlesnakes, more great egret families than we’ve previously recorded, and to the complete chaos of great blue heron young on their nests, combined with the soaring, sailing of our nesting turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, and osprey in the sky, all landing for a breather or breakfast on a lighting rod in the former Naval Ammunition Depot. Red-shouldered hawks, kestrels, red-shafted flickers, California scrub jays and black phoebes even, we spot them all high on our perfect perches. Picture perfect! Thrilling to the core!  Click to continue

Please make your donation to the Flyway Festival payable to:

Mare Island

Heritage Trust

816 Branciforte St.

Vallejo, CA 94590

Click on the Donate button above or give at the Flyway Festival Wildlife Expo

Photos: San Pablo Bay and Mt. Tam, Myrna Hayes; BFF and pup, Mare Island Preserve; Cooper’s hawk, Rita LeRoy; Black phoebe on lighting rod, Mare Island Preserve, Bill George.