Pond Season in Oysterville

Nov 24, 2017 | 1 comment

In Front of Oysterville – Photo by Cyndy Hayward

It’s sometimes said among the wags of the Peninsula that we have two seasons – Wet and Dry. But, actually, there is at least one sub-season in Oysterville.  It happens during the Wet Season and usually not until the rains have been underway for a time.  It is Pond Season – the time when the low areas around town become so saturated that the standing water gets to pond-like proportions.  During especially rainy winters, the ponds are a continual part of our landscape until March or April.

This year, Pond Season came early.  The first stormy weather arrived in early November and, though we were off ‘hospitaling’ in one place or another, we got reports and even a picture or two about the rising waters.  “The pond behand the church is back,” Tucker reported.  “The water is the highest I’ve ever seen in my three years here,” Cyndy wrote and sent an accompanying photo of the pond out ‘in front’ of our house.

Our Lower Meadow

The water in the ponds begins, of course, as fresh water, but during the highest tides of the year – usually in late December – there is co-mingling of the bay waters and the rain water and, at least in the ponds between us and the bay, it’s a brackish mixture that attracts a myriad of waterfowl.  Brant and mallards, Canada geese and great blue herons and, now-and-then, an egret, come to rest and paddle or wade and forage throughout Pond Season.  They provide continuous watching pleasure from our east windows.

A little history note here – the old houses on the east side of Territory Road all face the bay so we consider the bay to be “out in front.”  In the very early days before roads, the water was the only highway and all the focus was on the ships that came into the bay from San Francisco.  They carried food and building materials and furniture and clothing – everything it was said “from top hats to prostitutes” and once their cargo was off-loaded, the holds were filled with bushel baskets of native oysters bound for the markets of the City by the Golden Gate.

Oyster Schooner Louisa Morrison, 1868

So… we still consider the bay to be located “out front” and we love to watch all the activity out there during Pond Season – perhaps not as exciting as the hustle-bustle of 150 years ago, but fascinating none-the-less.  We are sorry to be missing that ever-changing view just now, but are looking forward to getting back home before the season is over!  Maybe we’ll luck out and there will be a swan or two waiting for us!

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