Every campground has a personality and its activities are influenced by the people who stay there. There are some activities and events that we enjoyed in Tucson that we miss here: weekly bike rides, daily visits from food trucks, weekly farmers' markets, lapidary classes, wine tasting, for example. But when it comes to appreciating nature, this campground excels. The nature center showcases the plants and animals that are found here in a museum worthy of at least a thirty minute stay. Speakers are brought in to discuss topics such as conservation, ecology, and history of the area. Nature videos are on a continuous loop for visitors to watch in the nature center. Campers bring in photographs of animals to the volunteers for identification and occasionally bring in baby animals that appear to be deserted by their moms. When rattle snakes or gators appear too close for comfort, these nature center volunteers give advice and know who to call if outside help is needed. Next week these volunteers are going to head out on the nature trail to help in removal of the undergrowth that could bring fires too close to us during the next drought.
Today we were fortunate to join a nature "hike" lead by one of the our volunteers to the wetlands next to our campground. Like the other wetlands we have visited this winter, this one is instrumental in the purification of waste water. After the heavy metals and chemicals are removed by the vegetation, the clean water is routed to our campground for irrigation. No wonder the golf course always looks so good. Access to this wetland is restricted, but if you go with a volunteer with a key to the padlock, you feel like you are hanging around with the right people. This hike took place with our golf carts. We each had a walkie talkie so we could learn what we were seeing and draw the leader's attention to things we noticed or were curious about. Perhaps because this area is less accessible and visited less often, most of the waterbirds were too far away to photograph any better than the ones we have already taken and those nearby flew away as we approached, The leader set up a spotting scope we could observe them feather by feather. I enjoyed seeing the plants that are beginning to bloom. Spring is definitely here.