by Marie Michaud
Randy Downer and Judy Stone have over 14 acres of undeveloped property on the west side of China Lake. Randy took me on an amazing tour of the property, and I will share some of the experience with you in this article.
We started at the camp road where we saw a low area that in springtime pools water. It is home to 100 to 500 wood frog larvae and the water is called an “ephemeral pool”. Ephemeral means that the pool of water lasts only a short time. This undisturbed land is a bird sanctuary for local and migratory birds. While we were there, we could hear the songs of the American Kestrel, Wood duck and Spotted Sandpiper to name a few. I had never heard of a Veery Bird, but these birds breed here!
There are two streams that travel through this property. The land is heavily forested and has low areas to help slow down the flow heading to the lake. The tall, vegetated berm located at the waterfront is a good example of a natural barrier that can prevent any harmful pollutants from entering the lake. In the past 12 years, I have seen few properties that have such a berm.
The variety of natural plants on the property was amazing. It was truly uplifting just to walk among the trees, shrubs, understory, and the ground cover of various grasses. The red oaks and white oaks stood majestically.
This property is a good example of natural and wild. It welcomes wildlife. Sometimes it is good to just walk on such land to remember Mother Earth; natural and unbroken.
You too can help our land if you are willing. Feel free to contact China LakeSmart for some ideas and assistance at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com.
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