Roadside birth of a calf

Two weeks ago I drove to Bodega to deliver a photographic print purchased as a gift.

The image she selected was a cow above the tall cliffs just north of Jenner.

On my way back, I spied a cow alongside route 1 with a placenta hanging out her backside.

What follows are a fraction of the amazing images I recorded as she gave birth to one huge calf.

The rancher said it was her first calf, a very large female, born to a large two-year old cow.

Less than fifteen minutes after being flung from her mothers’ uterus, this tiny cow struggled on noodle-wet legs to stand for the first time. Her mother licking her from head to toe during the entire process.

Click an image to see a larger version.

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Save our Tomales Bay – part 18.1, Walker Creek mess, construction

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Yesterday I paid a visit to the mouth of Walker Creek where it enters Tomales Bay.

There are 4 growers that extract profits in the form of oysters in this area.

Storms regularly rip their equipment out and paint it all over Tomales Bay, and the entire ocean.

These bags become lodged in the mud and pickleweed and are buried, to be ground into plastic bits forever.

The farmers must walk these areas every month, if not more often, to ensure the mess they make gets cleaned up before being buried in the mud and pickleweed.

The regulating agencies must exercise their authority and ensure that laws are being observed, fining those that continue to break the laws enacted to protect the environment.


This post will be updated, so come back to see more of the damage caused to our fragile planet by oyster farming.

Volume warning, turn your sound down

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Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Plastic China – Film screening and presentation by filmmaker Wang Jiuliang, 20 February, UC Berkeley

My Friend Wang Jiuliang is screening his documentary at the Doe Library on UC Berkeley Campus next Friday the 20th.

I hope to see you all there!

Plastic China.map
Click map for larger image to see where library is, where to park.

Below is what he sent me. All images are his, ©Wang Jiuliang.

February 20, 4-6p.m. ︱ 180 Doe Memorial Library, UC Berkeley

PLASTIC CHINA(Documentary/26 minutes/English subtitles)

Film screening and presentation by the filmmaker

Speaker/performer: Wang Jiuliang, independent filmmaker.

Sponsor: Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

We live in a spotless, clean environment. The waste that we produce each day quickly disappears from our eyesight. But once the waste disappears from our eyesight, where does it go? Is it recycled properly as we imagine?

PLASTIC CHINA is a story about how plastic waste from all around the world, including the United States , ends up in China . It is because of this plastic waste that water is no longer clean, air is no longer fresh, and food is no longer safe in many areas in China . People living in these polluted areas experience elevated rates of disease and mortality. This film reveals the shocking degree to which we all play a part in this problem. Nowadays, the connections among people around the world is ever closer, and China is in fact not that far from home.

Click images to see a larger version

PLASTIC CHINA 01


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PLASTIC CHINA 04


PLASTIC CHINA 03

Sustainable Oyster Farming, DBOC style – Stewardship concluded, thankfully

Please click the words above “Sustainable Oyster Farming, DBOC style ….” to see this entire post.

Happy new year.

1 January came around and I had no choice but to go enjoy the first day of an unimproved Estero.

The first thing to catch one’s eye is the new sign out on SFD….

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Here is an image of this same spot on 24 Feb., 2013
Johnsons-DBOC spacers


Driving down to the put-in, the empty parking-lot surprised me, not another boater out enjoying this auspicious new year.

There was a large truck poised to haul out another load of stewardship.

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Unloading my boat, odd specks in the water caught my eye.

Remains of a barge DBOC crushed into pieces while in the Estero so they could remove it. Too bad they left thousands of pieces of foam to further pollute The Estero.

Remains of a barge DBOC crushed into pieces while in the Estero so they could remove it. Too bad they left thousands of pieces of foam to further pollute The Estero.


Wow, it looked as if they had destroyed one of their barges and left the shards of foam as one last gift.

After putting my boat in the water and paddling around to photograph the mess, the truck driver on-shore informed me that they had indeed crushed a barge into pieces so they could lift it out of the water.

He then asked me if I could fetch the large wooden piece of barge still floating in The Estero and bring it to him so he could take care of that. I said sure and paddled over to it, threw a leg over it and paddled to shore dragging what must have weighed a few hundred pounds. He thanked me, as did I him.

After reading the comments made by one of the managers of DBOC at the “wake” held Saturday in Point Reyes Station, “The company, which also raised Manilla clams, has removed every oyster from the water in compliance with the terms of the settlement, according to Ginny Cummings, the farm’s manager.

We have taken anything out and with as much care as we always used in our operations,” Cummings said.”,

I can confirm that the same care was used in dismantling the operation as was used in running it.

As I returned from my short boating excursion, paddling against the strong ebb tide, thousands upon thousands of chunks of foam drifted with the tide, towards the mouth of The Estero. I picked up a few dozen of the larger pieces as I hurried ashore to meet a dear friend who was coming to visit.

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Thankfully, the variety of stewardship practiced by The Drakes Bay Oyster Company, and their workers for the past 30+ years will no longer impact a landscape that needs no improving whatsoever.

The grebes seen below can once again be grebes, unencumbered by the deep respect of DBOC.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.


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apologies for low quality iphone video of the mess


apologies for low quality iphone video of the mess


Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe


Eared Grebe

Eared Grebe

Save our Tomales Bay – part 18, Walker Creek mess, construction

Click the words above “Save our Tomales Bay – part 18,…” to see this entire post.

We’ve had some strong weather around these parts.

Witness the following images recorded today (29 Dec) showing the area at the mouth of Walker Creek.

There are four different oyster-farming leaseholders at this location. Maybe you can determine who runs which lease…

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

©Richard James - coastodian.org - Here is one way to operate a lease....

©Richard James – coastodian.org – Here is one way to operate a lease….


©Richard James - coastodian.org - And here is another way....

©Richard James – coastodian.org – And here is another way….


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Seems some new construction has been going on in Tomales Bay.

A fence, of sorts has sprung up.

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

To get an idea where it is located, here are two images from Google Earth showing waypoints I marked when at this new structure.

Fence in Google Earth


Here is a closeup version of the image above.

The red line shows where two "fences" are in Tomales Bay. Note the length of these structures, as well as the length of a previous structure from last year that is no longer present, yet shown in the google earth image from last year.

The red line shows where two “fences” are in Tomales Bay. Note the length of these structures, as well as the length of a previous structure from last year that is no longer present, yet shown in the google earth image from last year.


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org - Plastic coated copper wire left as so much garbage....This sort of dis-respect of the very environment being  capitalized upon really irks me.

©Richard James – coastodian.org – Plastic coated copper wire left as so much garbage….This sort of dis-respect of the very environment being capitalized upon really irks me.


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org - More tools of the trade left in Tomales Bay, as if it were the leaseholders' garage and this were a hobby.

©Richard James – coastodian.org – More tools of the trade left in Tomales Bay, as if it were the leaseholders’ garage and this were a hobby.


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org - Ah what the heck, let's just leave these here, nobody will notice.

©Richard James – coastodian.org – Ah what the heck, let’s just leave these here, nobody will notice.


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org - All of these PVC pipes you see are different pieces left to the sun and tides.

©Richard James – coastodian.org – All of these PVC pipes you see are different pieces left to the sun and tides.


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org - Yet another tool left in the Tomales Bay.

©Richard James – coastodian.org – Yet another tool left in the Tomales Bay.


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Click on image to see larger version

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org


Oyster farming is very, very hard work, no doubt about that. But if it cannot be done without leaving the sort of mess you see in the above images, perhaps the leases need to be reduced in size so that the existing crews CAN keep everyone’s environment looking much better. In addition, workers need to NOT leave their tools, gloves, bottled water etc. out on “their worksite”, AKA Tomales Bay, home to a multitude of birds, fish and insects.


Next installment may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

m4s0n501

Tomales Bay Triptych – Black-crowned night heron style

Click on the words “Tomales Bay Triptych” above to see this entire post.

Happy holidays.

The weather has been sublime of late.

Water in the creeks bringing a variety of salmon, Reservoirs filled, clear atmosphere with all the dust and smoke washed out.

This bird calls the area just north of Chicken Ranch its home. I never tire of seeing it roosting in the bayside trees or perched on a piling or the rocks below.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

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Sustainable Oyster Farming, West Marin Style – part 8 crime scene video

Click the words above “Sustainable Oyster Farming…” to see this entire post.

Below you will find a video composed of 48 minutes of footage I recorded on 13 October while diving under 8 oyster racks in Schooner Bay.

Be sure to click the rectangle icon in the lower right of the video window to fill your screen with this HD footage.

Skip around to see the variety of messes left on the floor of The Estero by DBOC. Or grab a beer and some snacks and sit back to watch the whole thing. That way you can get a better idea of the scope of the damage at what truly is a crime scene.

Thankfully, next year no further damage will be done and the clean-up can begin in earnest.

The diving recorded here shows a portion of 1/10th of the racks being left in Drakes Estero by DBOC.



See the next post in this series here

Sustainable Oyster Farming, West Marin Style – part 7 Stewardship in Home Bay

Click the words above “Sustainable Oyster Farming…” to see this entire post. In particular, the banner image that shows two of the miles of racks in Drakes Estero, upon which I have placed several plastic bags filled with oyster shells that I found on the bottom, directly below the where they sit in this image.

Earlier this month I spent a few hours recording the mess left behind by DBOC under the oyster racks in Home Bay.

No surprises, simply more of the same disgraceful mess left behind by a firm that repeatedly touted itself as a steward of the land, with deep respect for the waters of The Estero.

Below is three brief minutes from hours of video I recorded.

Be sure to click the small rectangular icon in the lower right corner of the video window so you can see this HD footage fill up your screen. That way you’ll have a better idea of how the floor of Drakes Estero is filled with the remnants of a farce, foisted on us all as the model of sustainable farming.


See the next post in this series here