First, the funny stuff…
One of the things that my grandmother did here in the canyon, and that I have continued doing since she passed, is feeding the local hummingbirds. Years ago I got a little hummingbird feeder that had perches for the little tykes so they could rest while having a snack. And, while it’s arguably not good for them, I do use a drop of food coloring in their water so I can more easily keep track of when the feeder needs to be refilled.
About a week ago I noticed that I hadn’t seen any hummingbird air battles in a while. Also, the rate of consumption of their food had dropped dramatically. The amount of food in the feeder was still going down, but not as fast as is typical.
Today I discovered what is causing these changes in activity at the hummingbird watering hole. Orange Orioles.
I am still trying to snag a picture of the orioles that have commandeered my hummingbird feeder, but this picture I found on the web is spot on. Who knew? I don’t recall seeing this particular variety of bird in Big T before, but they are definitely here now.
Guess I’m going to have to get another feeder for the hummers, and this time without a perch so the orioles won’t use that one.
Now for the not-so-funny stuff…
This afternoon I took a drive up the road to check out the dam. As you might expect, the canyon had lots of cyclists, motorized and not, plus other visitors pulled off the the side of the road, parking and picnicking as though they never saw the “Forest Closed” signs.
The dam, as it happens, is full, and not with water.
This picture shows pretty clearly that the dam is completely filled with sediment. I have no idea what plans exist for excavating all that sand, silt, rock and debris, but I find it almost impossible to believe that the job could be done before next winter’s storms. And until the dam is dug out, all the water coming down the canyon is going to flow right over the spillway.
If anyone has connections with the dam, I would love to hear what plans are in the works to address this minor little problem. Otherwise, does anyone have blueprints for an ark I can borrow?
What was even more disturbing was what I found on the side of the canyon just below the vista point for the dam.
From the look of it, someone dumped 5 or more boxes of books down the side of the canyon. The boxes appear dry, so this was fairly recent. But the books are scattered over an area at least 50 feet long, and on a very steep rock face. In order to clean this up someone would have to rappel down from the vista point and bring everything up piecemeal.
Illegal dumping is nothing new to Big T, but this just made no sense. Books can be donated or recycled. And the placement of the dump is practically malicious given how difficult it will be to retrieve this debris so it can be disposed of properly.
If anyone has resources available to tackle this issue, please let me know. It’s just heartbreaking to see this kind of thing in the forest.