March 11th, 2007

Shoreline Regional Wildlife Area

Sunday's field trip: Shoreline Regional Wildlife Area

On this warm sunny spring-like day, D. and I spent a few hours at the nearby Shoreline Regional Wildlife Area. It's part of Shoreline Park, which is another one of those re-purposed landfills. There is a lake, golf course, concert amphitheater, picnicing areas, paved trails, a dog park, a kite-flying area, marshes, sloughs and salt evaporation ponds, all right next to the SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge on one side and Byxbee Park / Palo Alto Baylands on the other.

We saw people walking, jogging, bicycling, tricycling, rollerblading, scootering, strollering and even wheelchairing. We saw a jackrabbit, a garter snake and an estivating milk snail I accidentally dislodged from its twig in the weeds (we put it back on another sturdier branch).

We found a good place to sit overlooking Charleston Slough and watched egrets, avocets, different kinds of ducks (shovelers, ruddy ducks, widgeons), and many pairs of Canada geese. We also saw a pair of northern harriers wooing and courting each other with swooping aerial displays over the marsh.

I needed to take my thinking off-line for a while, so it was quite therapeutic being able to sit in the warm sun under a blue sky and stare at the water's surface alive with myriads of glinting wavelets dancing endlessly in the wind.