A Year on Clear Lake-Jan 06, 2013

First sunset of the new year – Jan 06, 2013

The sun finally made an appearance – its first in the new year. We have been advised, though, not to get used to it as another wet, rainy system is on its way Tuesday. Bring it on.

With the tree-clearing  that occurred on the island recently, I’m becoming painfully aware of just what an urban lake Clear Lake is.  There are few undeveloped areas left. I visited one of my favorite spots today. It’s not undeveloped, but whatever was there is no longer. That is surprisingly true of many sites along the parkway. At one time the Endeavor  group was grabbing up commercial, waterfront property with the intent to build multiple highrise, luxury apartments. The deal fell through, but they did manage to acquire several properties and tear down whatever was on them.

My spot is several vacant lots the equivalent of about a city block. There is some undergrowth by the shoreline which gives it a natural appearance, along with a rough, rocky bulkhead. The birds seem to love it as much as I do. This is where I found the Little Blue Heron, and the Bittern.

There’s always some excitement, and today was no exception. About the time I was packing up to head home, an osprey appeared with a fish in tow. This is always a startling sight – a bird flying through the air carrying a fish in its talons. Today’s bright sun reflected off the poor fish’s flesh like a mirror flashing a desperate SOS. That’s what caught my attention first. The osprey landed on a post not far in the water.  It didn’t stay long before vanishing with its catch farther down the shore.

I wonder what will happen to our migratory visitors when the waterfront is fully developed? When there are no longer undeveloped areas or vacant lots that offer some degree of peace? What will happen when we have gone in and claimed all the space for ourselves?  Will our seasonal guests vanish, choosing to winter in other less developed locations? It will be our loss.

And then you have to wonder, what have we lost already?