Friday, May 29, 2009


Lake Minden is a private lake, part of A Thousand Trails, and our first stop on our journey north to Oregon and Washington. Its hot here, 95* just outside of Nicolaus, a small town with a visible tavern, church and post office. East of town is a High School and a small, expensive store.
What I like about the parks is their location away from city centers. They serve as mini-preserves for wildlife and birds. Its been a joy to take our morning walk each morning and watch the sunrise over the lake and see, and hear, a large variety of birds, none of which I could photograph. Herons, ducks, jays, bluebirds, swallows, woodpeckers, crows, and many I don't recognize. Bullfrogs drum in the cattails and plop in the water as we walk by.
Cottontails inhabit nearby fields and walnut orchards. Active in the early morning they remind us of the fragility of nature in the concrete, traffic swamped world we normally inhabit.
Even though we are well connected with laptops, internet signals and cell towers nearby, the phone hasn't rung once. However, the park resembles a parking lot with rigs so big and comfortable, most of the inhabitants stay inside and replicate their lives at home. We, too, don't want to be untethered from our computers and phones, but divide our time to include what nature has to offer.
Tomorrow, daughter Virginia and her children will join us for a day of play. At this particular park, people can bring and house their horses in a barn on the property and ride the back roads. The lake is stocked with blue gills, sunfish, catfish, and, I'm told, bass. Somehow, the carp found their way here and are easily the biggest fish in the lake.
Kayaking, canoeing, paddle boats and swimming are attractive activities. Hopefully we'll catch a mess of fish before we leave.

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