wilderness – wild near us pg 3


Join us for our 25th 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 7-9, 2020

Through it all, I’m reminded, of the resilience of nature. I’m imaging how our wild neighbors from the north and those who live here amongst us, are constantly adapting and living their lives one glorious and wild day at a time. I’m thinking that they too, are under siege as we we experience it, but for them, it is another morning of foraging, another moment of rest, another day in flight, another evening meal, another night in which to find shelter.

I’m reflecting too, on an amazing journey I ended up making last night. While I sipped tea and wrote about the Festival, a car drove up to the closed Preserve gate. It sat there for a very long time, then slowly inched backwards, only to return to the gate, then backed and turned around. I was curious. I walked up to the car and asked the driver, a slight, older woman if I could help her. She said she was lost. I get that. Lots of people end up at the end of that road, disoriented about where they are and unable to find their way back to civilization!

To make a kind of long story short, I escorted Ann to her home close to the town of Bodega. She followed me across the 37, up the 101, through the 20 or more miles, I imagine if winding roads, ultimately ending up according to my phone directions, because her phone was dead and she had no charger for it, at the entrance to her driveway. She got out of the car, hugged me, I gave her a Mare Island Preserve brochure, wrote my name and circled my phone number, and she said, “I think my car will know its way home from here. My 2 kitties will be very happy that I have returned home.” Nitro and I headed for the ocean, just 10 miles, further. We felt we deserved to at least smell the ocean. As a bonus, we were serenaded most of the way with the voices of frogs so loud, we could hear them through the car windows. We’ve been missing our frog choruses at the Preserve. Few can fathom the loss of silence and the equal loss of the sounds of nature that lull my soul in my chosen personal place of peace.

What I have learned in the last months, weeks, days and hours, is this: we are invited, no matter our anguish and sorrow over the losses of our nature connections, to, inspired by that same compelling nature, find in its presence, a reason to go on. To find a place to feed and rest and find shelter. Our wild visitors from the distant north remind us of the seasons. They show us that there is no option to turn back. They fly on. We glimpse them in their fleeting moments with us. They inspire us to care for our own flock, too, don’t they? In our communing with the wild, with the migrating, we find the momentum to press on on our own urgent journey within and without. I invite you to experience for yourself and with others, some of the “north shore” of San Francisco Bay’s wilderness: the “wild near us”. Join me, will you?

I’m asking you to do one and/or two more things to help us stay aloft as the host of the Flyway Festival and the founder and funder of the Mare Island Preserve. Your signature on our petition and sharing it asking others you know to sign, will continue to help us send a clear message to our elected representatives. Simple. Work with us, instead of against us. Open the Mare Island Preserve Now! Sign and share this petition. http://chng.it/wtqYqngM      click to continue

Please make your donation to the Flyway Festival payable to:

Mare Island

Heritage Trust

816 Branciforte St.

Vallejo, CA 94590

Donate online  or give at the Flyway Festival Wildlife Expo

Photos: Upper, Old Sperry Mill, background, Myrna Hayes, above right lightning rod at Building A-167, Myrna Hayes, American kestrel, Bill George, palm sisters, Myrna Hayes, Sparrow in olive, Bill George, all, Mare Island Preserve.

Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they

say, but with


So, go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world

waits in darkness

for the light that

is you.

L. R. Knost



Sierra Club, Solano Group