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Some updates

I first wanted to post some updates about the Elwha Dam removal in Washington state. Things are happening over there, and it’s pretty cool. It’s neat to have dam removals happening on both coasts at the same time. This blog post has some cool photos to show the new sediment coming down the river. Although it looks really messy, sediment has lots of benefits for rivers — it rebuilds beaches, brings nutrients out to the ocean, and other things that scientists know more about than I do. One interesting thing, however, is that with all of the sediment that was stored in the lake behind the dam, while the river takes a few years to flush and return to normal, that extra sediment could possible suffocate salmon eggs that need oxygen. Hopefully not, but you can read more about it here. At any rate, I think scientists don’t know that much about dam removal, since it’s a relatively new thing, but I have to believe that on the whole, it’s better for ecosystems than worse. There are probably some initial negative impacts involved with all the built up sediment being released at one time, but my guess is that the river ecosystem will recover given a little bit of time.

The other thing I wanted to update on was our bird feeders and garden. We planted a few herbs in some pots near our bird feeders. About a week after we planted the seeds, we noticed some little green things sprouting in the pots. I was pretty sure they weren’t chives or cilantro, so I finally decided to pull one up and see what it was. As soon as I did, I realized it was one of our little bird seeds, millet, sprouting! Aha! You see, the chipmunks like to eat the bird seeds which fall to the ground, and their favorite place to eat them is in our pots! We even have a sunflower growing in the pot now! Anyways, it solved a mystery, and was also a funny connection between our gardening and birding efforts. I only wish the seeds we actually did plant would grow with as much success as the bird seeds that happen to make it into the pots. Maybe chipmunks have secret green thumbs…



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