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A Tragedy on Otis Drive

Bear’s-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023

This past week, when my human companion returned from a meeting, I knew something was wrong because he did not give me a bunch of greeting neck and brisket scratches. He was really reserved and didn’t say much the rest of the day.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – Male MallardOn Friday, we walked past the house on Lafayette Street where the owners have a bird feeder and a water container. It is the gathering spot for squirrels and pigeons, and I often see the mated pair of Mallards there. However, on this day, I only saw the male.  No mate. I was confused because they are always together.

He let me know that on Wednesday he was on Otis Drive when he saw a female Mallard in the road. He assumed she had been struck by a car and killed. Her mate was quacking up a storm and pacing around her body as cars were maneuvering around the scene. He told me that he stopped his car, blocking the pair from traffic, and moved her body off the street hoping the male would follow. He couldn’t stay to check because his car was blocking traffic, and he had to get to his meeting.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – Mallard pair

Apparently, it worked because the male was gone when he returned that night. At this point, I realized why he was so quiet that Wednesday. I was devastated and could only imagine the incredible sadness one would feel coming upon such a scene.



I hesitated to include this incident in a report, but I want to remind everyone to please be careful of Alameda’s domestic animals and native wildlife.

OK, on to more uplifting items.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – vegetables growing in a garden

With that recent burst of sunny days, Alameda gardens are full of color and, in one yard, the start of a food garden. Looks like someone will be enjoying homegrown kale, lettuce, and carrots—seasoned with some flat-leaf parsley.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – Nasturtiums Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – more nasturtiums

The nasturtiums in front of the Meyers House on Alameda Avenue are in full bloom right now, and, as I walk around town, I see other big patches like the one at Central Avenue and Paru Street. According to archived reports, this was Bear’s favorite flower, so I stopped to take in all the colors and asked my human companion if he thought that nasturtiums were the Mendelian equivalent of the sweet pea, given all the apparent color combinations.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – Mendel

He just stared at me with that “head cocked look” that dogs have when they cannot process a new experience. It took me a minute to figure out that he had no idea what I was even talking about. It seemed like he stood there for a good two minutes more with that blank look on his face. AWKWARD!!!

I pretended to see a squirrel and bolted off down the street to extract myself from the situation and save his ego. I haven’t brought it up again, figuring it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie, but I did a search and found a short video: learn about Mendel and his observations using sweet peas to explain heredity.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – ice plant blooming

In other botanical goings on, the ice plant is in full bloom showing off an intense magenta color in one variety, and brilliant yellow in another.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – before and after of a hole and a Japanese maple planted in it

At the corner of Alameda Avenue and Central Avenue, there was a major project involving excavation. I checked out the hole… no food. However, the next day, a nice tree appeared in the spot. Is that a Japanese Maple?

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – California poppies blooming

I love poppies with their bright orange color. Did you know that these California poppies open in the morning and close at night—and on cloudy days? According to the BBC Science Focus, it’s to protect the pollen and keep it dry. Darn, plants are smart.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for April 23, 2023 – a diagram explaining the greenhouse effect

If you are looking for a quick pictorial lesson on the greenhouse effect, stop by Hummus Republic and check out the work of Tenaya Aguilera, Macy Meuser, and Ellie Choi. While you’re there, head inside and pick up a wrap, pita, or bowl with great spreads and fresh veggies.

If you have been in the area behind Target and along Marina Village Parkway, you saw the huge pipe that was being installed by the East Bay Municipal Utility District to be sure that my water bowl gets filled even in the event of a big earthquake. It was really long! You can check out how long in this video my human companion took.

To return to my lead story, drivers, please, please be alert to birds and animals that may wander into the roadway. They may not appreciate the situation or understand that as your car approaches, they are supposed to move out of the way. I have seen many a turkey stare down an oncoming car on Central Avenue near Grand Street.

Hill Street Blues - 'Let's be careful out there'
Let’s be careful out there.

Bear's paws

Mouf, Roving Reporter
Bear’s-Eye View of Alameda

Mouf and his human companion can be reached via [email protected]. Their stories are collected at AlamedaPost.com/Jeff-Cambra/. All photos by Jeff Cambra.

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