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!
You just can’t predict what you’ll find or don’t find when you go out shooting. It was a gamble going to Grizzly Island, a wildlife area just outside of Suisun City, in the summer, but we hadn’t been there so…what the heck.
When our Camera Totin Tuesday group got there, the rangers told us of Tule Elk, river otters and the birds that inhabit the area. It’s a large area, and we were allowed to get out of our cars and walk. Many wildlife areas don’t allow this because they don’t want the birds to be frightened. Many other wildlife areas allow hunters to shoot in specific areas and photographers and bird watchers in another (away from the hunters). At Grizzly Island, bird watchers and photographers have the early summer and hunters have a time of their own.
However, after driving around and walking, we didn’t see Tule Elk, hardly any birds (the ones we saw were far away) or river otters. Oh, I lied, one of our photographers happened to catch a river otter as it jumped out of a storm drain. We also saw three otters cross the road, but couldn’t find them when we drove up to their crossing place. So no otter photos for us.
We did get images of pelicans at a distance and some nice landscape images. I guess we’ll have to go back after some rain next winter. The wildlife might be more abundant then. But, who knows, you can’t predict these things!
Enjoy the landscape, pelicans and and egret from Grizzly Island.