BY DAVID N. LEE, ECOTRIPS UNLIMITED… Continue Reading PUBLISHER.
“Up there, in that sycamore,” our leader, Jack Sanford says in an excited voice. “Does everyone see it?”
A dozen binoculars point skyward. Way up in the tree is a bright orange and black bird, only visible to most when magnified. Closer inspection reveals his dramatic black markings – it’s a male hooded oriole for sure.
Thanks to Jack’s leadership and the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, a group of about 20 of us birders are in for a treat today as we roam the riparian edges of San José Creek at the University Circle Open Space in Goleta, just west of Santa Barbara, Ca. Although the open space is relatively small, the trails
BY KRISTIN CIOFALO The Adventure… Continue Reading
Two and a half hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park is a surreal high-desert landscape sculpted by erosion, weather and numerous fault lines that crisscross the park. Gnarled, spiky Joshua trees stretch out in sparse miniature forests, and jumbles of giant boulders rise up from the desert floor—rounded blocks of sand-colored granite that change shade with the movement of the sun.
During the day, one might catch a glimpse of coyotes, lizards, squirrels, a rare desert tortoise or one of more than 200 visiting or resident bird species. As the sun sets, new animals appear, taking advantage of the failing light to eat—or prey upon the eaters. Black-tailed jackrabbits dart out of the
BY KRISTIN CIOFALO
We’ve just crossed the wooden footbridge at Bolsa Chica Wetlands when an animated birder stops to announce his prize sighting of the day. “Keep your eye out for a Mongolian Plover!” the man exclaims.
“Birders love unusual sightings,” says Greg Leo, the docent guiding us through this 1,200-acre ecological reserve. Rumor has it that a rare Sooty Tern has also been spotted this morning. These sightings bode well for the day ahead. Although my husband, daughter and I live just a few miles from the wetlands and frequently hike here, this is the first time we actually have a tour guide to tell us what we’re seeing.
My family has joined Greg on his inaugural bird tour… Continue Reading
BY MALLORY MEAD
“Lean back, nose up!” Gracie yells to me from shore. It is my first time ever ocean kayaking. As a professional marathon swimmer, I am no stranger to the ocean‘s unpredictability. I have always been taught to dive under waves, where the water is calm and the chaos does not reach. Today I find myself paddling strait into the surf, unable to dive below and scared out of my mind. After capsizing my kayak only once, I make it past the wave break on my second try without incident.
This was the start of my perfect day.
I was accompanied by my friend and fellow marathon swimmer, Grace Van Der Byl and her husband, Neil Van Der… Continue Reading