Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Carpinteria Salt Marsh

I set the alarm for 6 am one morning last week, got up, made coffee and then headed south for the Carpinteria Salt Marsh, only fifteen minutes away from Santa Barbara.  I wanted to catch that early morning golden glow before the sun rises too high in the sky and the colors begin to fade.  It is that magic hour that as an amateur photographer, I am becoming increasingly aware of.  I've just been too lazy to get up!!!

No more.  I'm hooked.  It's early to bed and early to rise from now on!

This is a very special part of the southern California coastline because nearly 90% of these historic wetlands have been destroyed through filling, draining or dredging to make room for houses or fields of strawberries.  This small park in the city of California is a little gem and part of a larger reserve, owned by the University of California and the Santa Barbara Land Trust for research and study.  It contains many rare and endangered plants and birds.

There were a few joggers out, taking advantage of the nicely maintained gravel paths and the wooden boardwalk which leads to the dunes and the beach.  But mostly, it was just me and a stray black cat who followed me everywhere, hoping for a bite of my granola bar (which he got).  I walked through the wetlands, the scrub areas and finally to the beach.  There are overlooks along the way with informative signs documenting the flora, fauna and history of the region.

That early morning glow fades quickly.   By 8:30, it was gone.  I headed into town and found a local Starbucks.  I still had the whole day ahead of me.  What a revelation!  I allowed myself to just sit and daydream for awhile.  I vowed to rise with the sun every day from now one.  Shake hands with its golden rays.  Say a little prayer of thanks.

And then . . . I can get lazy.

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