Here’s how this week’s arts and culture piece begins:
I am not a birder but I have a mystical, poetic affinity with birds.
So for my first real foray into the world since COVID, I recently made a field trip to the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve.
Heading out to the San Fernando Valley that day, the thermostat in my car read 108.
The Reserve is in Encino and is part of, but not to be confused with, the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, a 2000-acre flood control basin near the intersection of the 101 and 405 freeways comprising, among other features, two parks, a sports field, an archery range, two 18-hole golf courses, a Japanese garden, Balboa Lake, and the only unpaved stretch of the LA River.
The entrance to the Recreation Area is on Burbank Boulevard, East of Balboa.
The Wildlife Reserve is closer to the 405, off Burbank down Woodley Avene a half-mile, then another half-mile to the parking lot.
“Follow the trail leading from the ‘stonehenge’ restroom/amphitheatre area south,” the directions run. “You can walk all the way down to the LA River, but if you do (the trail leads through a tunnel under Burbank Blvd.) be sure to go with another person.”
Naturally, I skipped over that last part. I also, at the first sign on open grassland on Woodley, became so excited that I wheeled over, parked, clamped a sunhat on my mind, grabbed my water, and gaily set out on foot vaguely intuiting that I was headed in the right direction.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.