Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SOLSC 8: A Walk in the Park

            My last day in Watsonville, it’s in the upper 60s, and Heidi and I go for a walk to Pinto Lake City Park (not to be confused with Pinto Lake County Park at the other end of the lake). While it looks like we are in the country – there are agricultural fields between the settlements of houses – there is also a sidewalk. It’s not well maintained in spots, and lots of vegetation on either side, but a sidewalk nonetheless, which is more than one would find in this terrain in the east. A big plus for California.
            After the torrential rains last month, most of the park was submerged until last week. Most of the water has receded by now, but there is still more lake/less park than there should be. Some park benches and tables are knee-deep in water. One man had waded out to a table now yards out in the lake to fish.
          Those birds in the water are not ducks; they are coots. Have you ever heard of a coot? I never had. They have long legs, and their feet aren’t webbed like ducks, but each of their claws has its own webbing, and as they walk, they look like they are wearing too-big galoshes.
            That water between the paved area and pier is not normal; it’s left over from the flooding. You should be able to walk from the paved area to the pier without getting your feet wet.

            Three-year-old William (shown above) and his five-year-old brother, Connor were also out with their father shouting at the coots, but Heidi’s dogs were a much bigger attraction. I didn’t have my phone with me, so I can’t show you the two dogs, Zoe and Pippin, on a double leash, but here they are back home, tired out from all that exercise.

            The park is a peaceful grassy place, with a volleyball net, a baseball field, RV camping area, and a three-tree redwood grove dedicated to the pioneer ancestors of Mary Curtis. Pinto Lake is 10,000 years old, but parts of it are now afflicted by toxic algae, and swimming is not allowed.

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