My name is Annette, and I’ve been with Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful since this past March. I LOVE working as a team leader for creek cleanups, the sense of accomplishment afterwards is addictive and calls me back for more. Knowing that we have pulled tons of trash and debris from Coyote Creek makes me feel like I’m making a dent in the enormous amount of trash that litters our waterways. Anyone who has not joined us should give it a try and see what we’re all about.
Also, I enjoy being a docent for the BioBlitz events, but for different reasons. The main enjoyment for me comes from sharing the amazing beauty of nature with others. I particularly like when children are in my group. Seeing the look of amazement on their faces gives me hope that they’ll be lifelong fans of protecting the outdoors.
Another reason I enjoy the BioBlitz events is that I always learn some new species of tree, plant, bird or insect. During my last BioBlitz, I learned about the Pacific velvet ant, which is actually a wasp. Only the males can fly since the females don’t have wings. That’s why you’ll find the females crawling on the ground like an ant. They look velvety and soft but beware of their sting; it can be very painful, and the pain can last 30 minutes. Other than excruciating pain, velvet ants are not harmful to humans and will not sting you unless disturbed.
BioBlitz events give me a great reason to get out and experience nature in a California State Park or Santa Clara County Park. California is a biodiversity hotspot, and no matter where you go, if you look around, you can find something new. Using the iNaturalist app is a simple and easy way to identify new species. I love the solace from being outside. I feel grounded and connected, and I relish sharing that feeling with people.