Enjoying the Baylands Nature Preserve, Shoreline Lake, and the Grand Pelicans

“Life is like the eye of a Camera, focus on what you love and you’ll capture it's essence perfectly.”
Dennis Augustine

Cecile and I never seem to tire of having lunch on the patio of the Lakeside Cafe, an American bistro at Shoreline, and walk the trails around this breathtaking 50 acre lake right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

I discovered this refuge of peace and serenity when I did plein air watercolor painting with the Saratoga Community of Painters.

This is a place where kids, adults, family and friends, natural habitat and wildlife come together. There is something for everybody. On any given day local high tech company workers and their bosses, come to relax from the hustle bustle of a work day. Yesterday Cisco Systems had a buffet-style lunch out on the South lawn overlooking the lake. Google provides a fleet of primary colored bicyles to their employees to take wherever they please. Some choose Shoreline as their destination for a picnic lunch or riding along the bay.

There is a rich offering of paddle boats, kayaks, laser single sail boats, rafting and windsurfing. There is also ten miles of hiking trails in nature, birdwatching, and wildlife sanctuaries for adults and youngsters on summer break who attend Camp Shoreline Kids Camp.

With temperatures, at 89° in the vallley, you can usually count on Shoreline being 5 to ten degrees cooler and breezy. The strong winds make Shoreline Park a perfect place for kite flying just past the entrance to the park.

We love to see the tidal marshes an salt ponds and visit the grand American white pelicans and other shore birds tucked away on little islets in the Baylands Nature Preserve on the South Bay just beyond the lake. These powerful flyers have a wingspan averaging nine feet. They dive into the waters with great force and exuberance. They catch fish by scooping water into their pouches, then strain out the water and swalllow the fish. They sometimes form a semi-circle, slap their wings against the water, and drive a school of fish close to shore, where they can feast on them. The takeaway one gets from close encounters with pelicans is that they teach us how to ride the headwinds in our own lives, and how to move fearlessly across the water of life. The pelican also trusts in the abundance of the sea.