6.14.12 – coronado butterfly preserve (ellwood mesa)

I really like animals. Laura makes fun of me for it a lot. I have a dog, Buster Bluth, that my parents in the midwest are currently watching for me. Whenever we see dogs around here in Carpinteria, I miss Buster and verbally make plans to adopt more dogs in the future. I really want a golden retriever, a border collie, a lab, and a german shepherd, in addition to getting back Buster Bluth.

Recently, I’ve become obsessed with bears and I’ve decided I’d also like a pet grizzly bear. Seriously. Youtube it, they exist. As Dane Cook would say, “I WANT THAT!”

Today I decided I’d also enjoy having a pet hawk. Specifically a Swainson’s Hawk. More on that later.

I had my second “softball hike” in a row. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re not a very faithful subscriber of my blog and you need to read yesterday’s post. Just kidding. But really, read it. With my toe swelled up to the size of a golf ball, I needed to take it easy, much to my chagrin. I decided to take in the beautiful Coronado Butterfly Preserve on Ellwood Mesa in Goleta today.

The CBP is a cool little grove of trees that was adopted in 1998 by the Santa Barbara land trust. It’s a unique spot in that 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of monarch butterflies migrate here in the colder months every year. Literally, you can go there in December and see giant groups of butterflies clinging to each other on the branches of these trees. It’s totally cool. In the summer months, however, it is simply a wonderful and serene hike, with a little elevation gain. The hike from car to grove is about .3 of a mile, very short, but you can go further on, over to Santa Barbara Shores County Park, which overlooks the Pacific.

Today, I walked over to the grove, and couldn’t avoid hearing a weird squawking noise coming from the trees. I looked around and found two swainson’s hawks. Seriously, these are cool birds. I’ve included a couple pics in the slideshow below. If they weren’t threatened in California, I would so be all over adopting one as a pet. Totally cool.

And thus concludes the longest trail report for a .7 mile hike ever.

GPS LOG

Getting there: Take the 101 to Los Carneros in Goleta and exit south (left). Take that road to Hollister and turn right. In about a mile, after a couple lights, Coronado will be on your left. Take Coronado down a couple blocks and you’ll see the preserve on the right. No pass is needed, though donations help keep this cool place afloat for all to enjoy.

Time: 20:00

Distance: .7 miles (further if you want to venture outside the preserve.

Elevation: Around 200′ or so. It’s really flat overall and is a good hike for families.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Posted on June 14, 2012, in hiking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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