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Follow Your Forrest Gump Feather

Biking & Birding in Santa Barbara

Maria Ignacio Trail at Santa Barbara. This merges with Obern Trail in Goleta.

Remember that opening scene in Forrest Gump? Where the camera leads us through the opening credits with a white feather buffeted by the breeze? For this post imagine that feather guiding us along a Santa Barbara bike trail, and leading us all the way from Santa Barbara, to a wonderful nature preserve in Goleta–full of our feathered friends.

This wild goose chase ends at Goleta Beach County Park, and proved anything but–a wild goose chase–lending flight to my fancy, and providing a flocking good excuse to feather this post with far too many bird idioms.

Some swamp…people!

Look! Up in the Sky!

It must have been all that paragliding I watched last week at Elings Park that caused me to look up. That, or potential bird poop, but whatever the reason, once I’d pedaled my mountain bike to a patch of swampy marshland abutting the Obern Bike path connecting Goleta and nearby Isla Vista, I was bird-dogging the skies. The turf, too, since the next few miles of wetlands before the coastal park proper plays home to feathered friends and terrestrial fauna alike, but in the 80 degree heat of afternoon, the sightings of four-footed critters was scarcer than chicken teeth. The number of birds taking advantage of the cool if murky waters was toothsome, though, and fully close-up worthy.

That’s a crane in the lower left…

Get off the bike and kickstand it worthy. Just look at this gorgeous wader.

The reflection of Himself is nice…

It’s no wonder my rubberneck craned in near 360 degree angles as I strove for—and missed—the perfect shot. What a magnificent beast, though! A dinosaur relation too awesome for just one photo, so here’s another from the albums with which I feathered my Pictures Library nest, a shot I immediately dubbed: crane-ka-too for obvious reasons.

The extremely rare Crane-ka-too…

Stylin’ & profilin’ reasons.  I’ve never seen any animal pull off a pompadour hairstyle with outrageous kicks & matching honker quite as effectively as the blog star above—well, excepting Amy Winehouse & certain members of 80’s rock band “the B-52’s”, and those warblers had plenty of cosmetic help. Stylists, too, whereas Mr. Crane and those below are wearing off-the-rack Mama Nature.



Lift off!

You know why they’re called pelicans, dontacha? ‘Cause their beaks hold more than their belly can!

Finally! A shade-of-grey bird I can relate to!

Stilted, but elegant…

And more natural platform “shoes”.

A trifle more stationary than most shoes, but platform nevertheless.

I’d strike a pose, too—wouldn’t you?

I love you THIS much–oh, yeah? Well, I love you THIS much!

A Nod to Jonathan Livingston…

Great as the creatures in this Beach Lagoon are, no trip to the seashore is complete without a gander at our pier dwellers. Nothing flies like a seagull so much as a seagull, and I like pigeons, too, despite their bad rap, and though I felt as crazy as a loon to depart the swamp with so many incoming and outgoing flights, my inner surfer chick couldn’t resist a sea-breezy stroll down Goleta’s all wooden wharf.

Dock of the Goleta…

While my not so inner blog-O-grapher snapped a picture of anything that moved.

And that which didn’t…

Stretch it out.

And my nascent Spielberg tendencies got busy, too. Defining a a floating, wind-blown feather of my own when I captured this incidental birdbath.

That’s a wash, then—er—a wrap.

Like a mirror image of Santa Barbara’s West Beach, almost.

Not a swan song, though, so until next time, chickens!

BIO: Based in Santa Barbara, CA, Karen Robiscoe is a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and personal trainer through NASM. DBA Kardio with Karen, she is additionally certified as a Group X instructor and Spin teacher with Fitour, a licensed Livestrong Cancer Survivors instructor by YMCA, and a fully accredited Aquatics teacher with AEA.

Wanna discover another Santa Barbara bike trail’? Click: As The Crow Flies for a beautiful ride along West Beach boardwalk!

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