Sunday, August 26, 2012

Getting out of Avalon

Cindy covered most of our activities on Catalina, but there was one special activity that I need to report on.  Lukas and I volunteered for part of a day at a native plant nursery.   How did I choose to do that?  Well, I really wanted to explore the interior of the island and see the mountains and bison (buffalo) with the whole family, but the options available were not all kid friendly.  Nearly ninety percent of the island is owned by the Catalina Island Conservancy, which controls access to their land.  I researched taking a tour with an eight passenger Jeep, or Hummer or Uni-Mog to explore, but they do not have seating options for children under six.  California State law has new requirements for attaching child seats for children under six, and even the brand new Jeeps the Conservancy has do not comply with State law.  What drove me a little nuts is that the buses that drive on some of the same roads allow anyone to sit in their seats without ANY seat belts or car seats. 

Anyway, I was frustrated and spoke to a Conservancy staff person who rattled off some other options.  The option that struck me was to volunteer to work at the native plant nursery at Middle Ranch.  There was still an age limitation of eight years of age, so I planned some "me" time with Lukas.  I have a degree in Geography, and I am always interested in the geology, topography, flora and fauna, etc., so I got to see some of the interior of the island, the fauna and learn about the flora.  There were five other volunteers who joined and helped to weed, clean out pots, and sort pots.  We were able to see some wildlife and a part of the island that very few people get to enjoy.
Lukas emptying pots of seeds that did not germinate.

Some of the unique plants that grow on Catalina Island

The ground squirrels like living in the pot storage container, so I had "latrine" duty cleaning it out.
Lukas checking out the drip system.
Bison taking a dirt bath.
Lukas enjoyed the street signs.

There are a bald eagle and a golden eagle a short walk away from the nursery.
Lukas found the information on the eagle breeding season sign very interesting.  He read every word.

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