Sandy Wool Lake_edited

Sandy Wool Lake at Ed R. Levin County Park

Yesterday we took a much-needed walk in nature. Off we went to Sandy Wool Lake hidden in the foothills of the Diablo Range at Ed R. Levin County Park. Wintertime is the best time of year to visit the park when temperatures are cool, and the dry, golden brown grasses of summer turn green during the rainy days of winter.

The last time we hiked around Sandy Wool Lake was several years ago. We had found the lake drained, and the remaining sludge littered with tires and other household garbage. The severe, long-standing drought in California necessitated emptying the lake to conserve water. The park felt lifeless without the lake and its flora and fauna.

On this trip, we were delighted to see water in the lake along with an abundance of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other small birds. The hills to the east of the lake were covered by a carpet of dormant brown grass just beginning to show subtle hints of green growth. On the hills to the west, closer to the San Francisco Bay, newly sprouted grasses cast a lush green hue to the landscape.

We walked the trail that circles the lake. It was slightly mucky after a few days of rain. While we tried to bypass the wettest 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. Sunny skies, fresh cool air, verdant rolling hills, and a wide variety of wildlife made the day perfect.

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.

Photo challenge theme: Growth.