Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chula Vista Nature Center

Yesterday, my eight year old granddaughter and I went to the Chula Vista Nature Center, in Chula Vista, CA. It is located approximately 7 miles south of the center of the City of San Diego. We rode the trolley from Old Town, which took about 30 minutes. When we debarked, we went to the Visitors Center and requested the Nature Center Shuttle. No cars are allowed on the Center property so as to protect the reserve. About ten minutes later, the shuttle arrived. It took us to the Nature Center complex. After paying a very reasonable fee ($8 for me and $6 for her), we took in the beautiful exhibits of sculptured and blown glass created by thirteen local artists in large aquariums holding tropical fish. One was more beautiful than the other. One was called "Exploding Volcanoes", created by two ten year old artists. My granddaughter and I really enjoyed the beautiful colors and artistry. Further on, there were enclosed exhibits of spiders and snakes, which were not my "cup of tea." We left the main room and found an outside table to eat our lunch.

Then, on to the large birds. I've never seen a Golden Eagle, nor a Bald Eagle up close. This Nature Center provides just that. A man near us stated that both birds had a broken wing. The birds were very large and beautifully majestic. What an opportunity to see them in a natural setting. Also, the Center had several owls, a Ferruginous Hawk and a Turkey Vulture. These birds have been injured and cannot live in the wild anymore. Next door was the Shorebird Aviary where they breed Clapper Rails. We didn't see them but we did find a North American Ruddy Duck, a Black Oyster Catcher (picture above), and White-faced Ibis (picture below).

We couldn't leave without seeing the sharks and rays. Visitors are allowed touch the rays but neither of us was interested. The last exhibit was the Turtle Lagoon where we saw three Green Sea Turtles. They were swimming by the window and I spied my granddaughter taking a liking to one of them and waving at it, trying to get the turtle's attention.

At that, we had completed our approximately two hour tour. My granddaughter and I both agreed that it was very interesting and perhaps her Girl Scout troop might enjoy it as well. The beauty of this Nature Center was how close and personal it was. You can get more information on their website at .

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