Mouth Closed

The Russian River’s mouth has been closed since September 11, more than 2 weeks now. Water is still being released from reservoirs upstream and something like 120 cubic feet of water has been flowing under Hacienda dam since then.

So the river, now lagoon has been rising. The water measures above 7′ at the Jenner visitor’s center.

For the past week I’ve been out there enjoying what amounts to a 9 mile long lake. In the next few days, I’ll share the best of the photos.

Here’s a view of the mouth taken several days ago from the overlook.


Quick Trip to Jenner: Russian River Lagoon

The mouth of the Russian River is closed, sealed shut by a sandbar. Waters in the lagoon have risen to about 6 feet at the visitors center launch area.

Most of the Harbor Seals have left. Only a few remain near the mouth. In their place are hundreds of migrating Brown Pelicans and Gulls.


Waves crashed against the rocks near the jetty. Some of the bigger waves shot grand plumes of spray into the air.

splash-91916 splash2-91916

Signs posted on the shores around Penny Island asked the public NOT to remove trash or debris from the shore.


As a retired educator I complied with the request stated on the sign.


This zori was a few feet from the sign. I left it there.

It was surprisingly hard to leave the trash where it was. Picking up trash in the river is sort of habit forming.

California Coastal Cleanup Day

September 17, 2016 marks California Coastal Cleanup day. Many citizens picked up trash this morning. The local air resources board declared today a “Spare the Air Day” so I helped clean up the beach nearest home—Doran Regional Park.


A crowd of approximately 50 were at the check-in station. I handed a volunteer my waiver form and ventured out to fill my bucket.

Ninety minutes later my green five-gallon bucket was almost full.


I wore the blue glove to pick up dicier pieces of trash (see below).

I hauled in a little more than 8 pounds of garbage. Most of it was everyday throw-aways: bits of styrofoam, cigarette butts, food wrappers, single-use cups, plastic beverage bottles, and tennis balls that the retriever did not retrieve.

Mixed in were things that suggested untold stories:

  • a good pair of children’s shoes
  • a used condom and its wrapper
  • broken prescription eyeglasses
  • a hand-rolled, and only half-smoked marijuana joint
  • a FULL can of Coors beer
  • a cremation certificate of dated August 4, 2016

Before driving home I took fifteen minutes to make a quick monochromatic watercolor sketch of the beach. (I’m learning to watercolor!)


It’s fun to participate these events. You’ll meet some interesting people and leave feeling good about your efforts to make the world a better place. For more information, visit California Coastal Cleanup.

(Picking up litter feels good each and every time you do it.)