Thursday, May 07, 2015

Environmental Nature Center

I shared a few photos in the last post that came from a recent visit to the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) in Newport Beach.  I've lived in The O.C. almost my entire life (since the age of 5) and, apparently, this little gem of a nature center has been here about that whole time and I never knew about it.  Just goes to show what can be right under your nose.

It's located right in a suburban area next door to Newport Harbor High School and has a tiny entrance so you would never even notice it if you were driving by.  Hidden behind that entrance are 3+ acres of wilderness trails planted with local So Cal trees, bushes and wildflowers.  There's even a small creek running through the center of it all.

Here's just a little bit of what I captured while I was there:

California Poppies, our state flower, are in bloom right now.
I have no idea what this is (if anyone knows - please tell me), but I thought it was so unusual looking that I had to grab a shot of it.
This tree had ONLY this trio of blossoms on it...and they were blowing around in quite a stiff breeze due to an incoming storm (in fact, it started to rain just as I was heading for the parking lot to leave) so I'm proud of my very slowly improving fledgling photography skills in that I managed to get a clear shot. 
I'm assuming this is some sort of daisy - I loved the lavender color!
Even the cactuses (cacti?) are in shades ranging from this bright yellow to...
...brilliant oranges and pinks.
This is probably my favorite photo of the day - love that color!

Lots of critters around in addition to the beautiful flowers.  I shared the Mourning Doves and Common Yellowthroats in the last post.  Here's a shot of the Mallard Duck pair at the creek.
The most abundant creature I found were the Fence Lizards...I could hardly take 5 steps without seeing one.

Or two...

...or three...

Did I mention there were a lot of lizards?

Because they were everywhere!

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