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Natural Perspectives: A wet and wild weekend adventure

December 22, 2010|By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
  • A report of a car in the water at Bolsa Chica brought out a host of emergency personnel, but no car was found.
A report of a car in the water at Bolsa Chica brought out… (HB Independent )

Vic and I hope that your newspaper arrived dry this morning after six days of that darned pineapple express. We feel like we've been living under a big fire hose. Six solid days of rain belong in Seattle, not here in sunny Southern California.

We're sure that most of you had enough sense to stay dry indoors. Regrettably, we lack such sense. We had things to do outdoors, so we just did them despite the rain.

Vic participated in the Audubon Society's Christmas bird counts Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. Rain or shine, birders go out on their assigned days to count all the birds they can find in their assigned area. Saturday, Vic was assigned to Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park. He trudged over hill and down dale, searching for birds. He saw only four. The birds had enough sense to stay under cover. Fortunately, he heard quite a few calling.

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He arrived home drenched Saturday. Ah, but his loving wife (that would be me) had a favor to ask. At the Bolsa Chica Conservancy's Christmas party last Friday, Claire Grozinger, Ross Griswold and several other docents reported spotting a store mannequin in the flood control channel. This naked female mannequin had already resulted in several calls to the police department. Apparently, people thought it might be a dead person in the water.

Saturday, I felt like getting some exercise, rain or not. I asked Vic to accompany me on a search-and-rescue mission to recover the mannequin. My long-suffering husband put his wet coat back on. We searched our garage to find long-handled tools. The best we could fine were a long-handled pruning saw and an animal catching pole. We grabbed them and slogged down the Bolsa Chica trail in a driving rainstorm. The only other people out there were students from a Golden West College geology class. Seems that geologists don't have any more sense than biologists.

We noted several police cars parked on Pacific Coast Highway along both inner and outer Bolsa Bays with their overhead emergency lights twirling. As we hiked along, we saw a couple of beach lifeguard trucks slowly cruise by. Uh oh. Something was up. We hoped that it wasn't us that they had come for. Two people walking in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in the pouring rain while carrying a large pruning saw and a long-handled animal catcher would look a bit suspicious.

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