We continued on the second half of the six-mile auto tour through the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.
Even though we were required to remain in the car during the drive, except for three designated areas, we were able to get relatively close to a number of the birds.
More than 95 percent of the wetlands of the central valley have been lost in the last 100 years, and waterfowl have become increasingly dependent upon the refuges of the Sacramento Valley.
In several sections of the refuge, the grasses presented colorful accompaniments to the photos of the waterbirds.
As we stopped and were watching a large number of birds on the water, something startled them and the sky was filled with this flurry of activity.
Even while sitting in the car, we could feel the effect of the stare of this master of the refuge.
Just as we were leaving the auto route, we saw this area. In the distance, it appeared as though the land was covered with rocks.
Upon closer inspection, those "rocks" were birds.
As noted in newsreview.com/chico/sacramento_national_wildlife_refuge: "They have traveled thousands of miles, from as far away as Alaska and Russia; battled stormy weather with tired wings; eluded hungry predators and encroaching human development; and now they need a place to rest and feed."
It's unfortunate that there isn't more "wing room" for these intrepid travelers.
We are two retirees--Chuck, 64, and Kate, 63--who decided to travel the U.S. On June 13, 2008, we began our long-talked-about travels by heading south from our home in Pennsylvania in our Ford 550 and 38’ New Horizons fifth wheel.
Our travel aim is to meet people and go at least "knee-deep" into the culture of several communities. To learn what is important in the lives of the residents of the towns, villages, and farms of America is our primary interest.
When not learning about what people do, we will be (1) sampling the foods that help people do what needs to be done and (2) listening to the music of their culture.
A neighborhood joint or local hall serving liquid refreshment and featuring a jam session with local musicians . . . well, it just doesn't get any better.
We welcome comments, questions, or suggestions of people to meet, places to visit, and "don't miss" neighborhood joints for food and/or music. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org