Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Birds, the Bees, and the Flowers on the Snead/Rambouillet Trail

Revisiting the Snead/Rambouillet Trail


I previously walked this trail on March 18, but at that time I didn't know its name. Evidently the official trail entrances are on Snead and Rambouillet, but I entered on Oxen near Brahma. If you walk across the street from the sign toward the tree on the other side and then turn left on the sidewalk, you will almost immediately see the entrance to the trail on the right. I showed you the entrance in Surprised by a Hidden Trail on March 19. You see stairs leading from the sidewalk down to the trail.
















Last week it was dusk when I walked and I didn't have much time to explore. Today I walked in late afternoon while the sun was bright. As one walks down the steps into the forested open space, the first thing one notices at this time of year is the display of colorful wildflowers on either side of the stairs.



I wasn't the only once to notice all those flowers. You could hear them almost before you could see them because the bees were very busy gathering pollen. I caught this one on a clover blossom. They were also doing the rounds of the vetch, but I didn't see many on the lupines and poppies, which were also abundant.

The Birds,  the Bees, and the Flowers on the Snead/Rambouillet Trail





The birds were also quite active. I could hear the woodpeckers in the trees, but I couldn't see any. I did see lots of scrub jays like this one. They didn't seem eager to be captured by my  camera, but I finally found one who decided to show off a bit instead of playing hide and seek in the branches.

The Birds,  the Bees, and the Flowers on the Snead/Rambouillet Trail


Open Space to Explore Nature is Important for Children


As I walked, I couldn't help but regret the suburb of Los Angeles I grew up in didn't have any wild places where kids could walk to a place nearby to explore nature. We had a park with a playground, a tennis court, a cement slab where we could skate, some ball fields, and some trees. There were no "wild" areas to explore. There were no creeks or ponds where one could see ducks and catch tadpoles.

The children lucky enough to live in the neighborhoods around these trails have all of that. Here are a couple of ducks that were resting in the shadows beside the creek. I also saw tiny tadpoles in another park of the creek, but they were too small to photograph.

The Birds,  the Bees, and the Flowers on the Snead/Rambouillet Trail



















The ground squirrels I saw wouldn't pose for me, either, but I saw them. They would dive into a nearby hole before I could even see them clearly. Nevertheless I did my best to catch them on camera, and when I got home I found there was one who did not manage to escape my zoom lens. It's not a very clear shot, but it proves I saw him.

The Birds,  the Bees, and the Flowers on the Snead/Rambouillet Trail




If you'd like to encourage your children to explore nature, one of these books might be a good place to get some inspiration. 


Do you have any wild places children near you can explore within walking distance of their homes? What sort of wildlife do you see most where you live?