Tag Archives: encinitas california

Out & About—San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Encinitas, California

Out & About

I remember the first time I heard the word Lagoon. Such a funny-sounding word. I was 7 or 8, living in Brigham City, Utah, at the time, and we were going to Lagoon, which was an amusement park in Farmington, 44 miles south of Brigham City and 17 miles north of Salt Lake City.

A couple of weeks ago, grade schools started up again after the end-of-year break, which meant that after-school enrichment programs would be starting up, too. I teach chess in five grade school enrichment programs.

One of the schools that I will be teaching at this term is a new school for me. Whenever I have a new school, I get there early to find parking, check out the neighborhood, get through the school’s security protocols, and find my room. This time, I got there way too early. I think many people were still on end-of-year vacation, so freeway traffic was very light.

As I was driving around the neighborhood looking for photography subjects, I found a little cul-de-sac with lots of brush, trees, and a little trail. Ah, trails. I just can’t resist trails. I parked the car, grabbed my camera, and went for a little hike.

I had not gone too far when I saw a couple of signs:

San Elijo Lagoon in San Diego, California

San Elijo Lagoon in San Diego, CaliforniaPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I saw several rattlesnakes and one mountain lion:

Twin-spotted Rattlesnake

Mountain lion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sadly, the rattlesnakes and mountain lion that I saw were at the San Diego Zoo the next day. That’s why I love the Zoo and SeaWorld—I get to see wildlife that I would never see otherwise.

I didn’t hike very far because I could see that the trails seemed to go on and on and on. (Hmmmm. Maybe the Energizer Bunny is out there somewhere.) I couldn’t get lost in the menagerie and not make it back to school on time to teach chess to that wildlife known as “rugrats.”

I did come upon a lonely bench, which turned out to be very photogenic:

Lonely bench

Lonely bench

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I got home, I used Google Maps to determine that I was on the outer edges of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands in San Diego County, comprising 915 acres. There are six plant communities within the Reserve: coastal strand, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, riparian scrub, coastal sage scrub, and mixed chaparral. The diversity of wildlife is enormous: more than 300 species of plants, at least 23 species of fish, 26 mammal species, 20 reptiles and amphibians, more than 80 invertebrates, and 300 bird species.

San Elijo Lagoon is part of the Escondido Creek Watershed, comprising about 54,000 acres, stretching from the foothills to the coastline. It includes the last remnants of an imperiled coastal scrub habitat connecting the northern and southern parts of a globally important ecological region. The coastal scrub habitat is vital to the persistence of some of Southern California’s most endangered species, many of which occur nowhere else on Earth.

All of which means that, of course, I shall be making a more extensive visit sometime soon.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I dream of a woodie

Out & About

For Christmas 1967, my oldest uncle bought a new car for his family, and they drove from Chatsworth (Los Angeles) to Kingsville, Texas, to spend Christmas with my wise old grandmother and me.

The new car he bought was a 1968 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. I fell in love with the car because it had wood on the exterior rear and sides.

A decade later I went to a car show in Houston that featured “Woodies.” Since then I have had a fascination with surfing Woodies from the ’50s and ’60s.

Today I went to Encinitas, about 45 miles from me, to see Woodies in all their spectacular glory. This was my favorite:

Woodie in Encinitas, California, on 9-20-14

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Woodie in Encinitas, California, on 9-20-14

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Woodie in Encinitas, California, on 9-20-14

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It was for sale but, sadly, all of these Woodies were way out of my price range, including this 1951 Ford Woodie for just $7,500:

1951 Ford Woodie

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The price for that Woodie pretty much tells you the price for the restored Woodies in immaculate condition.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I’m trying to cover all bases here

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you take a tour along the Pacific Coast Highway — marked variously as Highway 1, Highway 101, Coast Highway, or a combination like Coast Highway 101 — you’ll pass through Encinitas.

Encinitas incorporated as a city in 1986, gathering the communities of Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Leucadia, and Olivenhain under one umbrella, although each community definitely has retained its distinctive flavor.

It’s Old Encinitas that we want to visit real quickly because that’s where Pacific Coast Highway runs.

As you’re driving north, there are helpful roadside signs telling you that surfers might be crossing the highway headed TO the beach:

Surfer Crossing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Notice that it’s a female surfer carrying her surfboard on her head? Obviously not tuckered out from surfing yet.

If you are traveling south, the surfer crossing signs are a little different because the surfers are coming FROM the beach:

Surfer Crossing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hmmm.

A male surfer trudging along just barely able to hang on to that surfboard after a day of surfing.

So either the women never come back from surfing, there’s a sex-change hospital at the beach, or the women crossing the beach are just guys in drag.

Hey, I’m trying to cover all bases here!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos