This past weekend we headed to Sandy Wool Lake at Ed R. Levin County Park for a much-needed walk in nature. Wintertime is a good time of year to visit the park when temperatures are cool, and the dry, golden brown grasses of summer turn green under the rainy days of winter.
When last at the park several years ago, the lake had been drained, and the remaining sludge littered with tires and other household garbage. The severe, long-standing drought in California had necessitated emptying the lake to conserve water. Without the lake, the park felt lifeless.
On this trip, to our delight, the lake was filled with water and an abundance of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other small birds. As it was early January, the hills to the east of the lake were still covered by a carpet of dormant brown grasses just beginning to show hints of green growth. Closer to the San Francisco Bay, the hills to the west, were covered in newly sprouted grasses.
We walked the trail around the lake which was wet after a few prior days of rain. While we tried to bypass the muddiest parts of the trail, by the end of our walk, our feet looked rather funny with a variety of leaves and twigs stuck to the bottoms of our shoes. Muddy shoes aside, as you can see from the photos, it was a perfect day at the lake.
P.S. I’m not looking forward to cleaning those muddy shoes. Also, I’m not a bird expert so please chime in if I’ve incorrectly identified any of the birds shown in the photos.