Thanksgiving is next week and it still feels like summer. Over the course of the Rivers Journey project, we have travelled to a number of sights along the watershed. One of the joys of being outside is you always have birds as companions.
We had a jaw-dropping trip on Lake Cachuma with the wonderful Naturalist, Rosie Bishop, at the end of August. Of course, we saw all kinds of winged creatures, from waterfowl to birds of prey, as well as helicopters that were filling these enormous buckets to drop on the Rey fire. The assortment of birds was abundant. We plan to return for another tour at the end of November. I highly recommend this adventure. (Nature Cruises Lake Cachuma)
We were informed that they would stop releasing water into the Santa Ynez river in the next day or so (this was at the end of August). So, we made another road trip to see the river with some water still flowing. The roads that meander through the valley are as beautiful as the river. The California Magpie greeted us. I think they are a cheerful bird and always stand out with the high contrast of black and white with the yellow beak.
As timed transitioned from summer to fall, our explorations led us down Paradise road, past the burned area were the helicopters from Cachuma had dropped their buckets of water to drown the Rey Fire. As we drove further down the road we crossed passages that are often covered by water when the river is full. The day was full of fall colors. We do have autumn splendor in Santa Barbara, you just need to know where you can find it.