I’ve never been on a photo outing where I didn’t get a good shot or learn something. This time, I learned not to return to Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Suisun City, Solano County. When we were there last, it was during the drought. I thought, with the current rains, it would be different. I thought I’d see a lot of wildlife (It does boast of being 12,900 acres of prime wildlife habitat.) and nice green marsh land. However, it looked much like it did last year with more water.
We drove for about 45 minutes and then called it a morning there. Next we, Ray, Marlene and I, went to Rush Ranch, which is down the road from Grizzly Island. At first Marlene wouldn’t get out of the car because of mosquitoes. They were swarming during our last visit. So Ray and I checked it out–no mosquitoes. Marlene joined us. I did get some shots that I hadn’t gotten in the last two visits.
Yes, it was a disappointment, and I probably won’t return; but we did have fun. Whenever you go out with friends, it’s fun. We shared jokes about this misadventure, mosquitoes and more. I value the friendships I’ve gained since beginning photography.
Wildlife: Red Winged Blackbird.
Farm outside the island.
Bridge leading to the island.
Near the pond.
We saw more wildflowers.
I thought this scene looked best in black and white.
A house outside Grizzly Island.
Another farm outside of Grizzly Island.
Now we’re at Rush Ranch.
I didn’t go into the barn last time.
The mosquitoes were so bad. Now we have spider webs!
Outside the barn.
An old wagon–uncovered.
An old truck.
There’s an air base near the Island. This was my best wildlife shot!
Those little buggers are called mosquitoes, and they were biting at Rush Ranch during a recent visit. We backtracked to Rush Ranch after leaving Grizzly Island and eating lunch. It wasn’t too far, and I knew there were things to shoot.
Rush Ranch is an operating facility and is part of the Solano County Farmlands & Open Space Foundation that provides educational programs. There are hiking trails and grasslands. And, this time, there were mosquitoes. And did they bite!
Those who entered the barn to photograph the two barn owls were ferociously attacked. I decided the shot would not be worth the pain. I didn’t venture on any of the trails either. Nevertheless, I was bitten on my left index finger which took a little more than a week for the swelling to go down!
I’ve been there before and there were no little buggers to feast on us. You can never predict what environment you’ll encounter on a shoot!
Enjoy what I did get of Rush Ranch before rushing back into the car. The old equipment is there as museum pieces. All photos were shot and processed in HDR. No captions are necessary.
The best things are the ones you don’t expect. And, I didn’t expect Rush Ranch to be so beautiful and fun to shoot. We went there after we visited the Suisun Wildlife Rescue Center. Photo buddy Laura suggested this and Marlene and I were agreeable. Oh, did we have fun, and we didn’t even take any of the nature paths. We stayed and shot old equipment, etc.
Rush Ranch is a working ranch, with cattle and sheep grazing under a wildlife habitat management program. Prior to its purchase by the Solano County Farmlands and Open Space Foundation in 1988, this ranch was owned by the Rushes (a pioneer family).
Now it is open to the public with three hiking trails that take you through different ecosystems. These are the trails we didn’t have time to walk. So we need to go back. Who knows what we’ll see, especially when we don’t expect to.
Meanwhile, enjoy these images from the immediate property.