Salt Creek Trail Wildlife

My favorite view on the walk from my house to Salt Creek. -2015-
Golden-hour at my favorite view spot on the Salt Creek Trail.  Carly Hollas -2015-

I love Dana Point. It’s so beautiful. I feel so lucky to call an area like Monarch Beach my home.

My favorite aspect of my current location is it’s proximity to a hiking trail. It is always buzzing with wildlife activity. This trail is a somewhat depressing “nature preserve”. I say this because they really only preserved a slim patch of it to surround the paved bike/pedestrian trail.

Little birds live in the coastal sage shrubs and trees. They fly from bush to bush so quickly it looks as if they are playfully hopping along! On some occasions, I have gotten the feeling that a couple curious birds are following me, watching my every move.

I also get really excited when I catch a glimpse of the little tiny fluffy bunnies that live there. These bunnies are so cute, I just want to hold them! They are super fast! I wouldn’t dare attempt to touch one because I prefer to let them be. Even if I wanted to, I doubt I could catch one!

The other week, I saw something quite entertaining. There were so many lizards out! This is quite the norm but today I noticed a lot of them were doing what looked like little push-ups!! It must have been a mating ritual. It was quite a sight! I could just imagine them thinking they need to get buff for the ladies, adorable!

Considering the drastic decline in butterfly and bee populations over the last ten years, I feel very grateful every time I can observe them. They hover over plants with flowers, pollinating each bud before moving to the next plant. I live in Monarch Beach so I can assume this was a place for common sightings of these beauties back in the day. If you have never seen a Monarch Butterfly, they have black and orange wings with symmetrical patterns.

monarch
Shutter60 / Photobucket

I hardly see any Monarchs now in 2015. Each time one of these majestic creatures graces me with their presence, I simply stand there in awe. I saw one recently and it almost seemed very shy. It noticed that I was watching it and fluttered away delicately. I kept moving as to not deter it from circling back to it’s spot. I attempted to start a pollinator habitat on my patio. I got a Milkweed plant and a Winter Bee Lavender plant. So far: zero sightings. The Winter Bee plant died, but I still have hope for the milkweed!

Oh yeah, and there was that one time my boyfriend practically screamed like a little girl because a snake slithered between his bare feet! That was hilarious! It was very cute. It made it’s way off the trail and tried to camouflage itself within the leaves.

Wildlife Conservation should be one of the fundamental concerns of 2015! Every single plant and animal has it’s own important contribution to the planet as a whole. We as humans need to take a step back and evaluate whether developing in wild areas is really a good idea. Walkable cities are the future! We should stop developing every single square mile possible and instead focus on creating more density in the cities that we already have.

Let’s re-prioritize and keep wildlife habitats for the animals! 🙂

Carly Hollas -2015-
Carly Hollas -2015-

Thanks for reading! Please comment below if you know of any ways to help with wildlife conservation efforts.

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