Besides the beautiful setting of Santa Barbara, I came to love that there was so much to do and all so close.
Andree Clark Bird Refuge
Near the east end of the beach, is the Andree Clark Bird Refuge. This 42 acre park with a large lake – made to function as a estuary – shows recent plant restoration projects. Looking in the ‘right’ directions I could imagine a more wild place but the convenience of the place meant the trains went by and the Hwy 101 roared.
Looking towards the ocean, I could see the stretch of the lake and attempted to make out the islands. Oh, and spot the birds as well. Coots were the only ones social enough to reward the casual birdwatcher.
We started noticing that the trees planted along the road were planted in someone’s honor, complete with plaques. It helped with the ID – but if you asked me today to recognize the different palms – I’d be stuck for an answer. This path connects to the one we discovered at Shoreline Park on the other side of town.
Link to Andree Clark Bird Refuge.
Sidebar: Andree Clark was the daughter of William Clark, a politician and rich guy (thanks to copper in Montana). She died at 17 in 1919. Her sister, Huguette Clark died in 2011 at 104. Across the street from this bird refuge and behind the cemetery is the family mansion. Huguette supported the mansion for sixty years without ever visiting. According to a volunteer gardener, we met at the Alice Keck Garden, there is much discussion of opening the mansion to the public.
Santa Barbara Zoo
The zoo in Santa Barbara is small, which suited us as visitors trying to see lots of things in a few days.
This swan greeted us at the entrance. Then we wandered around looking at exhibits outdoors and in of mammal, reptile and avian.
But the main reason for visiting was to see the California Condors. I counted five. A couple were digging and nibbling in the grass. The most regal were on perches. They overlooked the lake at the Clark Bird Refuge.
You can see what a spectacular day this was and what a beautiful area. Link to Santa Barbara Zoo.
Yesterdays post Santa Barbara Waterfront – and tomorrow Alice Keck and downtown Santa Barbara.
Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar, available upon request.