Back in the U.S. of A.

Santee Lakes has become our go to place to stay in the San Diego area. There is usually some kind of spot even in the busiest times somewhere in the campground. We have our special spots, along the sad small river of recycled water is the cats favourite, trees to climb and bushes to wander under for cover, lizards lurking…fun! I love the lakeside spots where the wood ducks run under the trailer and you can sit in the morning drinking your coffee watching the Coots and Ruddy Ducks. So yes, get ready for a bunch of bird pictures;)

This time the trip was marred by a horrible smell coming from the lake and a hooded man on a golf cart spraying pesticides and herbicides everywhere. Where kids played and people walked their pets, right onto our doormat one morning…I called the office and got the standard “These are safe to use in California and no they don’t spray when kids are playing or people are walking their dogs”, that was a lie. I don’t like to be sprayed or have to breathe in “Round-up” thank you:( so no more Santee Lakes for us for now. When we come back to this corner of the world we will look for a more sustainable spot. There is no excuse for this with all the wildlife and insects around this area of water it is truly sad to see what is done, and to think the people EAT the fish coming out of these lakes? YIKES!

We moved from the long term sardine side by side back of the campground towards the lake after the weekend was over. I do love the lakeside camping spots. From hummingbirds to butterflies and of course the plethora of birds. I walked the lakes one day only to return and have our neighbor point up to the large live oak shading us asking me “What’s that bird?” Sure enough a pair of Black Crowned Night Herons were blending into the oak trunks as they sat there looking down at us:)

Egrets stalk the shoreline along with the Great Blue Herons. There is a Green Heron in pond one lurking in the reeds if you have patience to stop and wait for him/her to appear:) There is Great Egret that wanders across the road, slowly, watching you, expecting you to wait for him… Does he know this is California? He is living dangerously chasing after mice and gophers across the road!

A flock of American White Pelicans dot the lakes. Following the fish, and the cormorants then follow them. They gracefully glide about the lake and rest on the shoreline rocks, preening and watching. These are huge birds, with up to a 9 foot wingspan. A yellow plate forms on the bills of breeding adults.

The Wood Ducks were choosing their nesting boxes. A few fights and chattering on the water but most seem to be paired off. One male put on a beautiful yoga show for me one morning-daily exercise routine no doubt;) Young Rocket was not exactly thrilled with the quantity of the birds, maybe he has seen Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”…be wary young cat! The small finches in the back window proved to be more to his liking and socializing with the dogs and owners that walked by;)

It is always a balance, the traveling and pets. I always worry about the old guy Beezil, 20 years and 4 months old now. Getting back on the road doesn’t seem to phase him as much as the younger ones. He sits at my feet, squawks when he is hungry and that is about it! For Groot, Gamora and Rocket new places are often hard to adjust to. The amount of noise at the campground, vehicles, people and low flying aircraft here in Santee isn’t something they are used to. Some spots are spacious but you are more often squeezed in like sardines:( Their and my favourite spots do coincide…parks, State and National, quiet, spaces to roam away from other humans:) sigh…soon. We have a stint in Tucson to get our roof repaired then it will be back to those quiet spots, for all of us! Stay tuned, we shall try to survive a one night visit to Yuma, a few days at Picacho Peak State Park before a Monday visit to the RV repair in South Tucson to order parts etc. The we’ll see how long our wait in civilization shall be, make it quick oh RV Gods and Goddesses! The kids and I are longing for the wild!

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