Archive for the ‘Festival’ Category

What is in a name?

Posted by heidi08 On September - 29 - 2017Comments Off on What is in a name?

beaver festival SSPYesterday I handed in the goliath special event application necessary for the new beaver festival which felt great to do. You can’t imagine what the response was. (I’ve attached the map and short description they ask for).

We have gotten to be very good friends with Parks and Rec folk after 10 years and they give us quiet pieces of invaluable advice when we need it.  (Psst you forgot to do this or sign this…) This time it was whispered that when we advertise f or the event we should be careful to call it SUSANA PARK and not SUSANA STREET PARK because some were sensitive about the issue.


CaptureI will call it anything you like if it means I get to have a beaver festival there, of course. But who on earth calls  it SUSANA PARK? Even the listing of parks on the city website calls it Susana Street Park, the Gazette calls it Susana Street Park, and it’s known locally as Susana Street Park. But I guess Art in the park [and that squatter] Shakespeare in the park called it Susana Park as they’ve been advised, and it’s offially listed on google and map quest as Susana park, so I guess like everything else in Martinez, it’s complicated.

Meanwhile in the normal beaver news Rusty Cohn’s Photo Essay reappeared in the Napa Register today, and I am always very happy when people get to look at his awesome photos.

Photos: Life at Napa’s Beaver Lodge at Tulocay Creek

The Tulocay Creek beaver pond is located next to the Hawthorne Suites Hotel, 314 Soscol Ave., Napa. At the creek, you’ll find river otters, mink, muskrats and herons as well as beavers. Here are some photos of the critters taken by local photographer Rusty Cohn.

“Since Beavers are nocturnal, the heat doesn’t seem to bother them,” Cohn said. “They come out a little before sunset and are mainly in the water. During the day they are sleeping either in a bank den in the side of the creek bank under a fair amount of dirt, or inside a lodge which is made of mud and sticks mainly.”

This is my favorite of course, but go and look at the rest, they are all wonderful.


Like waking from a dream

Posted by heidi08 On August - 10 - 2017Comments Off on Like waking from a dream

Did Saturday really happen at all? It seems like a million years ago or underwater very far away. But it must have taken place be cause it got a nice write up in the Gazette this morning with charming photos.

Beaver Festival attracts adults, children, other animals in environmental celebration

MARTINEZ, Calif. – A breeze ruffled the feathers of a great horned owl that blinked at children from his tall perch. A peregrine falcon flapped his wings while Angela Mazur from Native Bird Connections held his jess leash. Both birds, who can’t return to the wild after being injured, were on display Saturday during the 10th annual Martinez Beaver Festival.

While there may be no beavers this year in Alhambra Creek near Beaver Park, at Alhambra Avenue and Escobar Street, others represented the aquatic animals during the celebration.

Most notably, the award-winning biologist Brock Dolman, dressed and portraying his character Buster Beaver, drawled a folksy explanation of the importance of beavers in the ecosystem and how they are affected by the sequences of drought and winter rains.

Dolman is part of Occidental Arts and Ecology Center of the WATER Institute, who often appears at serious or scholarly conferences, such as a recent multi-day meeting about the environment and its effects on salmon. There he tackled such serious subjects as climate change and how restoration projects should adapt for those changes.

In a more casual style, he reminded festival attendees that the Earth is the only habitable planet we can reach, and so it deserves our care. He also described how beavers’ routine activity becomes part of that care that helps many other types of wildlife.

Many other organizations promoted the same message. The Oakland Zoo described the many threats to California’s native pond turtles by letting children play a pachinko-styled game with bolt pegs and ping pong balls, then asked the children to describe how beavers can help turtles.

Other organizations promoted recycling, such as The Garden at Heather Farms booth, where visitors could learn to weave using natural materials, and the Republic Services booth, where R.C. Ferris took old badges, covered them in double-faced tape and showed visitors how to decorate the sticky badge faces with stickers, moss, leaves and other materials to turn them into works of art.

Youngsters small enough to squeeze into small carts decorated like beavers rode around the park, and Julian Frazer, riding his horse, Joey, let his mount join in the day’s theme by decorating his tail to look like a beaver tail.

Plenty of children lined up for the program books that guided them through nine booths where they learned about water, frogs, otters, herons, fish and dragonflies in addition to the beavers and pond turtles. Those who completed their visits collected tattoos they could use in making nature journals.

Bidders had an array of items they could buy, from vacations and excursions to stuffed animals and artwork. The money raised in the silent auction is paying for the festival.

Yes it is, Beth. Thanks for a lovely article. And thanks every person who bid on the silent auction and everyone who donated to it. We got received our last checks yesterday from lucky winners, as well as a very sweet note from ‘Joey from Utah’s‘ sister. So all that means it really happened, right?

And you were there? And you, and you, and you!


Beaver festival and beyond

Posted by heidi08 On August - 8 - 2017Comments Off on Beaver festival and beyond

The bulk of auction items found there way home yesterday, on the Monday after the festival which is unhead of. I have a few stragglers to complete today, but I’m thinking the whole thing will be done by Wednesday. I can’t tell you how delightful that feels! I guess one of the advantages of having no Peddler’s faire to share foot traffic with is that everyone stayed at the festival and claimed their prizes. Hurray!

To my great delight yesterday I finally had time to open the filming that some friendly moms did of their children doing the jjournal activity. I had asked a few to shoot video because I might think about making a film later on of the process itself. It was wonderful to have a moles-eye view (do moles have eyes? Maybe a gopher’s- eye) of what went on at each  booth. But I was especially delighted with this moment, which I had to share. That’s Dave Kwinter on the bag pipe btw.

Outside the festival bubble, in the larger beaver world there was a nice report of community upset by the loss of water caused partially by removing a beaver dam that caught my attention. I just love it when people point out that draining a pond will rapidly reduce property value.

Fayette’s David Pond losing water, alarming property owners who want action

Shorefront property owners are working with owners of the pond’s impoundment to seek a solution amid concern that reduced water level could affect wildlife, recreation and ecology and depress property values.

FAYETTE — The lower water level of David Pond this year has spurred those with waterfront property and waterfront access there to organize in search of a solution.

They say recent damage to a rock pile impoundment at the north end of the pond caused the water level to take a significant drop, and they cite concerns about the effect on “wildlife, recreation, ecology, and declining property values and the resulting losses to the town tax base,” in a website posting by Elizabeth Hicks.

Hicks is one of eight people on a steering committee looking for a solution. “We don’t know how stable the current situation is,” she said. “We would like to move on it very quickly.”

When Hicks and others brought their concerns to the Fayette Board of Selectmen, she said, they received sympathy but were told the board could do little because the impoundment was in neighboring Chesterville, which is in Franklin County.

“It’s been a little, ongoing dam war,” Cayer said. “What happens is the landowners are responsible, so we have to do some kind of remediation out there, but we’re not sure yet what that’s going to be.”

She said some people built up the dam to raise the water level and someone else came out and dismantled it, as well as part of a beaver dam, to lower the water.

This article is a wonderful reminder that removal of a beaver dam has consequences for the entire community, including the wildlife using the water behind it.  It sounds like some of the residents want their pond back and some of them don’t. I’m curious what will happen. Obviously the beaver dam wasn’t the only thing dismantled, but I’m sure there was also some trapping involved. It’s certainly the wrong time of year to be ripping out ponds. It will take a long time to get that water back now.


Speaking of ponds and times of year, Rusty Cohn of Napa has been enjoying the golden time of year at Tulocay Creek by visiting several times a week. This is the precious look at Mom and the new kit he got last night. Double click on any photo for a larger view and get ready to say it with me now.