In my lifetime, I’ve crossed and recrossed the Yolo Causeway many, many times. But last week was the first time I actually stopped to explore the surrounding wetlands, now designated as the Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area. I wasn’t precisely sure what to expect when Google told me I had arrived at my destination — and I’ll admit I was a little bit disappointed. But after returning home and examining my photos as well as doing some more thinking, I now feel I would be quite happy to go back a few more times and get to know the place better.
I did feel pleased that I had some overcast on the morning I visited, although I only caught the tail end before the sun really came out to play. And of course, because of our current drought the wetlands aren’t nearly as wet as they normally might be. I also had expected to park my car and hike along paths through the fields; instead, I found myself driving the auto tour route (I chose to make the circuit twice). I was having a little trouble spotting birds from inside my car, even when I pulled over and sat with the windows rolled down.
I think on my next visit I’d like to get out there earlier in the morning and be prepared to really take my time, even if that means sitting still for a long while (that’s always a struggle for me, as I like to keep moving). I’m sure it also would help if I further educated myself about what birds to look for and where and when to find them. I will note that I spotted a couple of male pheasants but unfortunately didn’t get a shot at either of them.
I initially felt like my first visit was a huge waste of time, but I’ve since changed my mind. Though it’s not my typical landscape, it’s a truly beautiful and vital wildlife resource.