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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

She’s Green, He’s Green: Gilbert’s Riparian Reserve

This month, as the weather begins to warm up and nature finds herself in bloom once more, why not take a walk out in nature? We did just that at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Ariz. and were not disappointed!

 

She Said: This place was huge, and so full of life! Not only is this preserve dedicated to conserving valuable natural resources, it has been home to over 300 species of birds. I loved the biodiversity, especially the saguaros, hummingbirds, bunnies, and quail! The quail made me giggle every time they ran across the path. So dang cute! We explored just part of the four-plus miles of trails winding around the seven ponds (and one lake), and found lots of fun nooks and crannies to explore. And the sunset – OH, the sunset!! Find a park bench, put down a blanket, or heck, just stand there, but definitely stop to enjoy the sight. Try to find a spot overlooking the water for extra “oohs and ahhs.” Be sure to take lots of photos, because you’ll get stellar shots even if you’re the most unskilled shutterbug. Once you visit, you’ll want to come back again and again. The wildlife you see will likely be different. And if you’re lucky, you may even see a bald eagle! If you’d prefer more structured activities, you can go fishing, join a free bird walk with an expert birder, or visit on a night that the observatory is open. But honestly, with just a little prep, you really can have a fun evening with the family or a romantic evening with your partner with just a picnic basket, favorite beverage, and a blanket —nature will fill in the rest. 


He said:
We’ve had this tradition of visiting Arizona in the winter for the last couple years, but don’t call us snowbirds, it’s not like that. Our visits are usually just a week or two in January for a little break from the Pacific Northwest weather. When we trade 32º and rainy for 72º  and sunny, we like to be outside as much as possible. Luckily there are places like the Riparian Preserve that are perfect to go for a stroll in and soak up some free vitamin D. We really enjoyed feeding the ducks, and seeing all the cottontail rabbits, quail, and various other desert creatures. We stayed long enough to take in one of the unbeatable Arizona sunsets. There are a million different ways to enjoy this space, but I think next time the wife and I are here, it’ll be with a box of wine, some cheese and crackers, and a nice quiet bench by one of the ponds. 

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