Posted by: ramblinrobert | March 21, 2008

A green-hilled ramble and a surprising meal

Saturday a friend enticed me away from house-cleaning chores to go for a ramble in the East Bay hills at Briones Regional Park. It was a gorgeous spring day with the usually brown (oops, “golden” in Cal-speak) hills a beautiful emerald green and wildflowers just starting to pop out. Of course, I fantasized I was ramblin’ in the hills of Scotland.

My only regret was not taking my camera along. There were several places that photos just jumped out at me, but I had no way to catch them. One shot would have been delightfully humorous. We reached the top of the ridge and were treated to a sweeping view of the Carquinez Straits, the Benecia Bridge and the Martinez and Concord areas. Dead ahead of us was a rainbow, with it’s end marking a pot of gold right at the oil refinery in Martinez. Given today’s oil and gasoline prices, truly there was a pot of black gold at the end of that rainbow.

We also saw something absolutely amazing and unexpected while standing at the same spot. Not more than 50 yards away was a Great Blue Heron. We were surprised to see it up on the ridge, as we are used to seeing them feeding in marshy and riparian areas, presumably on fish and other slimy critters. This bird was clearly hunting and we soon found out why. As I watched it through my binoculars I saw it strike downwards and come up with a gopher. Within seconds it lifted its beak and dropped the gopher down its throat. We watched for about five minutes as a big lump slowly worked its way down the bird’s long neck. The bird then continued hunting. I really wish I’d had my camera!



  1. I’m looking forward to reading more and ramblin’ with you now and then.

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