BLUE HERON TRAIL February 9, 2012

Needing to drive my car and do some shopping, I headed out after lunch on this fine Thursday. I picked up some food, enjoyed an afternoon buffet, then drove south on Interstate 5.

Coming to Hood-Franklin Road Exit, I went west about a mile from the freeway. The signed Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has its side road and parking lot. I used the nice facility, and took my camera and tripod to see two other people leave. I had the whole place to myself! I began with photos, and walked east towards the large pond where some birds seemed to be flocking. The concrete walkway had some imprints of animal and bird tracks.

I used my tripod and started with movie clips. The sounds of the fowl chirping and twittering was great to capture! Walking about, I saw some red winged blackbirds that were nice for videos. I captured a few more clips, and had to watch for mosquitoes, which weren’t too aggressive. The sky was filled with clouds which I like, and I did a few panoramas. I snapped a few more photos, then saw it was time to leave. There is a gate, and I didn’t know if I could be trapped inside. I hurried to my car, and left the parking lot. One vehicle took off, too, from the house that I think is the area management, and I followed through the gate. I took some photos of the sign, and then got back on the freeway.

It was shaping up to be a nice sunset. I motored to the Riverwalk, and began some photography. The lights turned on, and I noted the rush hour jam on the nearby freeway. Soon, the sunset was over. I went back to my car, and finished the day going home.

Walking maybe a half mile, I captured 54 images and movie clips (92.8 MB, 4:52, 720p HD). I drove 38 miles, and spent $28.50 on groceries. Having gotten $20 worth of gas at 3.619, I maybe used a gallon.

My ops for travel are looking O.K., with the nicer weather about my usual destinations. Flowers are blooming about town, and I imagine they’ll be nice in the desert. Rejected from a peak activity for which I had inquired, I feel it was good to leave that climbing club, as I wouldn’t wish to hold people back. I’ll be looking for easy, safer, peaks to do alone, and I have a small number of them in mind.