Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Making a Virtue of Necessity

Having been unhappy with myself for not getting out more yesterday, I decided to make up for it today. I knew I needed to get some bread and lunch meat for my lunches this coming week, but especially with gas prices being so high, I'm getting more reluctant to drive for small grocery trips if I have no other errands that need doing. So I decided that I would take a little walk. That is, I walked over to the Safeway in Union City, had lunch there at Hometown Buffet (perhaps a bad idea, as the place was backed with Father's Day dinner traffic even at 2 in the afternoon), went to Safeway for the small amount of groceries I needed, and then walked back through Quarry Lakes Park. I made sure that I only bought what I could carry in my small SMOFCon tote bag. Heavier stuff like milk can wait for the next time I'm driving anyway, say on the way back from BASFA tomorrow night or something like that.

My pedometer had more than 11,000 steps on it by the time I got home. I know that pedometer is under-counting, as the route I walked was over 12 km, and my stride is somewhere between three feet and a meter.

The odd zig-zags coming back through Quarry Lakes' parking lot was my bird investigation. On the way out, I observed a couple of birds -- killdeer, I think -- sitting oddly on the parking lot and acting like they were injured, while some folks were getting in to their vehicle. The people there told me that they'd seen a nest on the ground near that parking space. On my way back, I went to look. As I approached the little dirt island in the sea of asphalt, one of the birds bounced up and walked off a short distance and sat down, obviously enticing me to follow. I had a look -- sure enough, scraped into a tiny depression in the dirt traffic island at the foot of a small tree were four little speckled eggs, looking very vulnerable. I then followed the bird and let it lead me away from the nest before heading back to my main course.

Earlier, on my outbound trip, I spotted two jack rabbits loping along across my path. On the way home, there were quite a few ground squirrels and fence lizards along the riprap on Alameda Creek, turkey vultures catching thermals over the lakes, and the usual assortment of ducks and geese. It was a really pretty day, nice and clear without being too hot. I even remembered to put on sunscreen before leaving the house, so I think I avoided sunburn.

It's nice to know that I could probably walk to the Union City BART station in an hour if I pushed it, or more likely 90 minutes. I bet it would take about the same amount of time to walk to Fremont BART. Possibly sometime I'll test that trip. Now the reckoning comes, though. There are things I really must get done this weekend, and this weekend is almost over and I spent today avoiding work because it was such a nice day out there.
Tags: health, quarry lakes, wildlife

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