We return to the hotel room only to find our keys no longer work, so while Ric goes off to the office, I sit and look up at the bright California sky and say:
“Thank you for this f***ing amazing life,” and then immediately apologize for the expletive, but sometimes it is just called for. Our life is that good right now.
We’ve spent the day at a park in San Dimas, California: Frank G Bonelli Regional Park. For $5 we had access to water, parkland, and trails, and an abundance of birds. Today was the day we were supposed pick up our newly repaired RV, but the shop needed extra time, so we came here instead. So glad we did.
The park includes a recreational area, an RV park, a beach, a Raging Waters ride, and a golf course, and covers quite a large area. We first visit the RV park, as we are booked in here tomorrow. It is set up on a hill overlooking the lake – an idyllic setting, although quite tight. Ric thinks we’ll be fine getting our monster rig in here. We’ll see.
In the main park, we head to one of the fishing areas, where we are the only people in sight. The water is filled with fowl, and along the shore are a number of coots, as well as two sets of Muscovy ducks, a white duck and two elegant geese. A little further out in the water I note a couple of ducks I don’t recognize. As I step off the concrete path to have a better look, I hear a familiar warning – it’s a killdeer asking me to stay clear. I step back and we have a momentary standoff before I alter my root and she goes back to sitting on her nest.
Satisfied with our pics, we decide to explore further and as I hop up into the truck and close the door, I realize that I’ve been followed. A white and black Muscovy look up at me beseechingly.
“I’m sorry; I don’t have anything for you,” I tell them, and the white duck tilts her head and looks at me as if to say: “Really? Are you sure.”
I admit it’s hard to turn her down, and tell her how beautiful she is, which just makes her move closer, until father and daughter arrive and recognizing a better prospect the two waddle off in pursuit.
We drive to the beach to find it closed, so we park and wander along the trail for a bit. There is a small bridge over a gully, and as I step onto it I notice that the nearby trees are bristling with activity. A small wren lands on the handrail right beside me, so intent on the nest he is building that he doesn’t seem to register my presence.
As I’m photographing the wren, I notice movement in my peripheral vision. A lizard has appeared from the shadows and is sunning himself. It is only when I got home and review the photos that I notice I’ve managed to capture not one, but three. Sneaky little critters.
I hear the sound of a woodpecker somewhere close by, but can’t find it, so eventually carry on down the path, alongside the water, where more ducks congregate and other birds forage happily at the water’s edge while turtles sun themselves on rocks.
Having lost sight of Ric, I decide I’d better head back, but he has found a picnic table and is watching the antics of several birds in a nearby tree. Approaching where he sits, a streak of black and white flashes past me and lands on a nearby tree trunk: the woodpecker! Mission accomplished. (See Featured Image)
From here we drive down to the boat docks where a pair of grebes (quickly becoming my favourite birds) glide through the water. They lean in towards each other, their long necks arching, beaks almost touching, as if expressing love for one another – so sweet.
Our time in the park winds down, and as Ric drives slowly, I keep the window rolled down in case there is something else worth capturing, and I am not disappointed. A Great Egret stands proudly on a log offering me one last pic to cap off a perfect day.
Tomorrow is calling for rain, and we’ll need to do laundry and get groceries once we have the bus back, so this marks the end of our explorations in the Los Angeles area.
Day after tomorrow – we begin the journey north.