Happy New Year! Everyone!

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Today a Hairy Woodpecker perched in a Split Maple tree outside our apartment: at the 49th Parallel, 366 M above Sea Level, Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby, BC. Only days earlier we captured a Hairy Woodpecker, in a warmer climate, at Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angelas. (34-07’02” N).

The recent heavy rains in LA were welcome as they cleared the air for our trip to the notoriously smoggy city.

In the Hollywood Hills and near environs we enjoyed an array of birds. It was a pleasant surprise in such a huge urban area. A hawk perched directly above a fountain on Sunset Boulevard (Beverly Hills?). The statue? of a Native American. I don’t know the providence?? Anyone know?

At the farmer’s market (Wed, Dec 26) off of Hollywood Boulevard, is available a great selection of organic fruits (delicious), plants, crafts… There is a large hispanic population in LA, experienced in its full colour at the market. Many of the produce booths are hosted by the Mexican Farmers. Chinese Grapefruit, lemon, California Oranges provided an affordable solution for our holiday meals.

We stopped to talk to the owner of a booth of Theodore Payne Nursery, Sun Valley, selling indigenous plants of ‘California’.
The Channel Islands, particularly Catalina Island, provide rich indigenous natural variety, A. a volunteer for Native Plant Restoration told us.

“The Gallapagos of the California Coast”.

Arnold Schwarznegger may not have been what the people hoped for… He has left California with unprecedented debt after the booming period petered to economic downturn. Keep in mind, in terms of environmental action, it is the local action where we find the metal of heros! I see this time and time again with programs like GSA, a community based marine stewardship group in BC, personal efforts at Burnaby Wildlife Rescue supporting local wildlife, and with the volunteer streamkeepers of SCEC.

Governmental leadership should not be misunderstood. It can create longterm effecting policy. We need politicians everywhere, including here in Burnaby, to be aware that policies have longstanding effect beyond personal political terms. Be patient our honourable leaders! And also the public needs to communicate an unwavering attitude to sustainable community program to maximize environmental action and supports in the community.

The vibrancy of LA was astounding and part is due to this rich natural beauty.
Californians needs to continue to pursue a balance with environmental friendly and ecosystem supportive policy, even as California welcomed it’s new Governor, Democrat, Jerry Brown, Jan 3, 2011. Voters may blame nature for some of the disaster brought by rains: I believe some homes had their foundations undermined by rapid soil runoff. I glanced what I thought was a disaster response, with huge orange tarps enveloping the lower parts of a foundation, located on a steep section of rock/sandy cliff during one of our tours of the Metropolis. This can have a toll in people taking counter-intuitive action.

I harken to the North Vancouver landslide that swamped a home, and ensuing killed a mother and popular teacher in Jan of 2005. A pool built in a property (without permits) above the home had been implicated, teamed with heavy flooding rains. Events like this have a tendency to increase public mania to remove trees, with the argument they may fall on their homes. And city policy parallels in action to tame? environment. Along THE CUT, a stretch of the Number 1 Highway, North of the Second Narrows trees were removed most drastically, following the North Van. tragic event.

While in fact the root system of trees is crucial for soil support. Good policy will ensure trees and healthy plantlife in our communities. They provide habitat for the hairy woodpecker, and fullfills a roll to prevent soil erosion. Nature is not always soft and kind, however; working against her is not a solution.

Enjoy! the colour around you. Thanks, Vivian

LA metropolis, including its five environs had a population of 17.5 million as of 2005, according to Wikipedia reports.