Word Craft/Nature Focus

Winter/Spring in Laguna Grande

LagunaGrandeWinter 2018CMaParsonsWinter/spring is often a single season along the central California coast. Our winters are usually rainy and cool. This past December it was dry with mid-month temperatures reaching 77° Fahrenheit (25°C). Instead of welcoming wet winter, autumn was not ready to release its grip.

IMG_8447During January and February we had weeks of wintery cool (highs in the mid-50s, around 18°C) but with little rain alternating with springtime warmth (highs in the 70s, around 24°C).  [Note to those who experience cold, snowy winters: I’m not complaining.
I know we have mild weather year round. Rain, especially lack of, is our major winter concern.]

LagunaGrandeSpring Flowers 2018CMaParsonsNow in March, it rained for 10 of the 20 days before the equinox and 5 of the 5 days after. Winter finally arrived with the arrival of astronomical spring. but today the season switched again. It’s a beautiful, sunny spring day with a few clouds.

Confused? Maybe the local humans are, but not the avian fauna of Laguna Grande. Throughout this winter/spring mix up, visitors and residents have made the most of winter lethargy and springtime exuberance. Enjoy.

Autumn in Laguna Grande 2

I couldn’t get all of my favorite lagoon birds in the previous post, so here are more starting with empty and decaying cliff swallow nests — a sure sign of fall.

Some of the birds below are year-round regulars. The sparrows are infrequent past visitors. (Hover over images for names.)

If you’re in the area, take some time to enjoy our lovely fall weather at the lagoon.

Autumn in Laguna Grande

The root of “autumn” refers to the harvest and the root of “fall” refers to the fall of leaves, which traditionally occur this time of year in places other than here. Even so, this has always been my favorite time of year. Foggy gray days fade under bright blue skies.

To celebrate fall, I thought I’d share seasonal images of my local park and wetland. The lagoon offers an odd mix of recreation for the two very different communities that straddle it, good habitat for birds and birding, and a chronic homeless encampment. Some people treasure it, many people ignore it, and residents have mixed feelings.

I’m fond of Laguna Grande Park for its easy access to some very fine year-round birding. During the fall season, the lagoon and surroundings welcome migrants that enliven the local scene. Here are some of my favorite residents and visitors during autumn. (Tap images for bird names.)