Laguna de Santa Rosa
This morning in Sonoma County, we hiked the Laguna which is less than a fifteen minute drive from our house. The laguna is a 22 mile long wetland rich with valley oaks, home to over 200 species of birds including great blue herons, great egrets, swallows, owls, eagles and kestrels. The mountain lions, river otters, coyote, mink, gray fox, and bobcats live here too.
I brought my camera and selfie stick to take video. I filmed the first 20 minutes of our hike through the oak savanna, following the the 1.8 mile trail looping around our largest freshwater wetland. Later, I tossed the video I took since I cut off half my face, the light was intense, and the great blue heron that flew over my head reminding me of a Pterodactyl looked like an inch of muted blue across the screen when I reviewed the tape after our hike.
I am no Spielberg.
It's hard to grasp the intense beauty and biodiversity of where I live. Land is bought, preserved and protected through a voter initiative supported by 76% of the voters initially approved in 1990 and extended to 2031 to collect a tiny portion of the sales tax (quarter cent) to purchase open space to add to our network of over 50 City, Regional and State Parks.
We walk, hike, picnic, swim, or set out our camp chairs to get fresh air, exercise and immerse ourselves in nature. And it costs us less than $20 a month for all the passes we need to get in. That is less than a $1 a day to go on safari in our own backyard. We go on our days off and when we are working, we make sure and go before work or after work almost every day.
For many of us who don't own property and those of us who do, it's priceless.
Today, I watched dozens of swallows fly across the marsh, swallowtails and white butterflies, red dragonflies, and a great blue heron. I admired the wildflowers in shades of blue, purple, orange, red and yellow. I looked over a waterway imagining an alligator lived in it's murky mud waters. No, unfortunately we don't have alligators here.
Later, we visited another park to have lunch at a picnic table under the oaks and watched visitors walk their dogs through a dog friendly trail. Moms and kids rode their bikes as we sat and listened to the birds in the trees.