Claudia and I spent the weekend hiking in Laguna Wilderness Park in Orange County California. It’s a gorgeous place – especially this time of year – 7000 acres of “wild” pacific coast, canyons and ancient limestone mountains set in the middle of some of southern California’s densest urban sprawl. I took the binoculars to take advantage of a little bird watching while we hiked well over 20 miles in 2 spectacular days.
Yellow-rumped warblers are here by the thousands foraging on their way south for the winter. California towhees beat the brush for food as red-tailed hawks soar overhead hunting from above. The ubiquitous western scrub jay and house finches provided color as we hiked through the cottonwood & live oak filled canyons. The sighting of the trip was a not-so-common and locally threatened cactus wren. The park features a large cactus wren restoration project including revegetation areas and a number of nest boxes.
As you can see in the picture, the cottonwoods surprised us with a shot of California style fall color. You wouldn’t imagine it from the pic but the busy port of Long Beach, the distant city of L.A. and the entire expanse of the L.A. basin from the Channel Islands to the San Bernadino mountians are visible from the ridgetop in the background – a breathtaking view to say the least.
Walking here is always good food for the soul. I’m very fortunate to be able to work and play here in California.