Saturday, December 4, 2010

Off the Main Road: An Oasis by Discovery Park

I'm a country bumpkin and living in concrete forest cities sometimes depresses me. Oddly enough, the best cure for that is often to go out and walk a skewed hike. How is a hike skewed? By looking where you wouldn't normally look, of course.

This is a little creek hiding in plain sight near Discovery Park in Rancho del Rey area of Chula Vista. I've been by there several times without ever giving the little out-of-the-way grove of palm trees a second thought (ok, I confess I was interested once but was discouraged by the graffiti on the retaining wall up the hill from it... It looks like a druggie's hangout).

Yesterday, however, I was walking back from the store nearby when I spotted a lone hawk being harassed by a pack of three huge crows. It was a weird sight! The hawk went crashing into the eucalyptus grove on the hillside and just sat on a limb, ducking its head as the crows kept diving in to buzz him. I sneaked around and had a look at Mr. Hawk from below just before he flew off again. The last I saw of him he came circling back to the eucalyptus with something furry and yellowish in his beak, deftly maneuvering between the branches as the three crows tried to get at his lunch.

Looking back down on the ground level, though, I was surrounded by little birds! They were hard to photographed with my low-tech low-zoom camera, though, hopping from one bush to another as if cheering for the crows to drive that big fat flying predator away. There were a bunch of red-headed house finches up in the palm trees eating palm fruits. And the bushes were quaking with hopping golden crowned kinglets.
A golden crowned kinglet
And behind the bushes, of course, was this clear watered oasis...

If you were paying good attention you might have spotted the one icky thing in the creek.... An overturned shopping cart from the mall nearby. Thankfully there was just one of those and it was sort of tucked into a corner. The whole creek is only about 20 yds long, starting from a pipe outlet on the east end and disappearing underground behind a lone palm on the west end. On the whole, it really isn't much. But as a contrast to its citified surroundings.... it's a welcoming peaceful oasis!

1 comment:

Mark H said...

I live in fairly central Sydney and the suburb has a lovely oasis of trees and creek as well. Again, not overly picturesque but a wonderful escape and haven from the rigours of city life.