Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lodi Sandhill Crane Reserve

Drove down last weekend to see if I could catch some crane in flight or otherwise. Started late and enroute, detoured slightly to a Vallejo park where there are peacocks. Strangely enough, I was told about this park by an online friend who lives out of California now.

Didn't see any peacocks but I know these birds can hide... but there was a small pond with ducks and enjoyed snapping some pixs, plus the foliage was so colorful, it took my breath away.I will never again be able to see the autumn colors and not think of my time spent in Eugene and in Oregon in general. Oftentimes I think I should have no left Eugene but it was my destiny, and in some strange way fate took me out of Spain for this crazy whirlwind I call my Life.Continuing on toward Lodi, there were lots of gorgeous landscapes - granted, it was along a narrow state highway with a lot of roadwork so you can imagine the mess of equipment and detours and signs, but oooooh, it was a great sight. To make it even more heavenly, the clouds were huge, and almost all gray or a darker - almost black - storm gray. I could see streams of rain pouring down in the distance and this reminded me of watching as a young sailor the thunderstorms at sea, something I will never forget.

I arrived very late at the crane reserve, so late the sun would set soon. There was a huge crowd of people there and realized that's a good sign. If no birds were seen, nobody would be there! :) The closest birds were anywhere from about 70 feet away (the few closest) but the majority were over 200 feet away, and many more hundreds even farther in a marshland area with lots of water inlets.The loud chatter from these birds was amazing, and though I am not a bird-watcher I can imagine now why people go to watch birds. Cranes were mixed in with geese, ducks and the closest bunch consisted actually of a few pelicans. Every few minutes cranes would take off, a small group at first but gradually joining up in the skies with other cranes already in flight. As the sun dipped lower in the sky, flying cranes formed short or long lines in the golden sky, and behind these, I could see even more groups of cranes.... it was all so amazing!! The wind picked up and it got very chilly. Eventually it started to rain but I stayed there - not cold at all and enjoying this fantastic mood and scene.sigh

I returned to that Vallejo park again, and saw about seven peacocks. While they ran to hide, a few others stayed and eventually was so quiet that soon a few of them passed only a few feet from me, so close I couldn't even focus on these beautiful birds so I had to quietly and slowly back away to get a picture.

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