Well who knew this was here?
Apparently it’s a rather well-kept secret here in the part of AZ I live in. I have actually driven by it numerous times and didn’t even see it. I used to live less than 2 miles from it.
My first outing in an effort to get to know, and hopefully someday love, the state I find myself residing in for going on 8 years now came about when I found it on an app under nearby activities.
There are lots of apps for that sort of thing, I have had them since having a smartish phone and never really paid attention. I won’t make that mistake again certainly.
I am more of a paper person. I don;t use my GPS much and when on longer trips, I prefer to have a paper map laid out in front of me when I plan, so I can visualize when I am driving where exactly I am. Little fun fact for you.
So The Riparian Preserve is situated in Gilbert. No long driving to see the desert flora and fauna kind of stuff. It is a series of seven ponds from reclaimed water that form different habitats which are home to many regional birds, insects, wildlife and other things as well as a place often visited by animals migrating in search of resting.
I read the reviews which mostly all were glowing, and headed out to see what I could find. Driving on the street it was supposedly on, I missed the entrance, although it is well-marked, it seemed a little… subtle for what I was expecting. I got there eventually and as it was already starting to get warm at 10:00 am, there weren’t more than three cars in the parking lot.
I have read that when the temps drop, which of course is the best time to see the flowers and the wildlife is probably more active, it’s sometimes next to impossible to get a parking spot. It also has become a popular spot for the Snowbirds (retirees who spend their winters in AZ) and finding it so empty I guess is rare and due to the time of year.
Plus you can fish. What I wasn’t sure yet but there aren’t that many places in urban areas to fish. This intrigued me but I didn;t get my hopes up.
So not my normally optimistic nature, I am thinking I am trying harder to not like it here than to really get into it. Old habits die hard I guess.
Starting out on the trail it was just a regular concrete path, grass and a playground like most parks, nothing to get excited about. Then I found the trail to the fishing lake. I could hear the ducks and geese as I walked but still did not see the lake until I came around the corner to this:
It’s huge, the surrounding areas is marshy and full of birds, and there are minnows all around in every little pond and puddle leading into the lake. There are turtles and bunnies, dragonflies… I was, correction am, amazed by this place being right here in the middle of the city.
I saw a guy fishing and asked if he was catching anything, he said no but a little while before he had seen a coyote run straight out into the water to catch a duck.
Ok, eww, and a little creepy too.
Instead of going on, here look at these pictures. Something really cool I found in AZ
And I enjoyed it so much, I brought the kids back today with duck food!
Here’s one to Living up the AZ. I could really like it here.