This week we went to a park that was part of the East Bay Regional Parks District located about 40 minutes from Berkeley. It was a drastically different landscape than what i was used to and most of the area looked like it hadn’t seen any moisture in years. There was no running water anywhere at the parking lot since all the pipes had been shut down because of the drought. There were a few giant water jugs for drinking water thankfully.
We saw a bunch of really neat birds including a golden eagle, turkey vultures, and a few woodpeckers hard at work. This one was chilling out on an oak tree covered in mistletoe.
Everywhere that was away from the creek was pretty parched. There was a green band running throughout a sea full of yellow grass.
The hiking trail was very different from what the website pictures showed because it’s the end of the dry season. The landscape was primarily covered in yellow grass and dotted with a few oak trees. Hopefully the rain comes back soon
On Tuesday we had the opportunity to go visit our intern counterparts at Cambridge and we got the chance to learn more about what they’re working on. We also had a lovely tour from one of the staff there who was very well informed about Cambridge.
We started off by going through a bunch of the colleges. I honestly don’t remember the names of them but they all had these beautiful lawns that I really wanted to run across. There were keep off the grass signs everywhere (I think more so than Oxford) to preserve the beautiful checkerboard of grass that was the centerpiece of every quad.
This was undoubtably the most beautiful building we visited on our tour. The King’s College Chapel was seriously impressive and beautiful! Luckily we got free entrance into all the colleges courtesy of the Cambridge sustainability staff. We visited a few other colleges as well but this was by far my favorite. It really inspired me to attempt to go college hopping at Oxford (I’ve only been to the ones that were Harry Potter sets) but alas they’re almost always closed or holding some sort of wedding when I’m not at work.
In the back of the colleges is the famous River Cam where everyone goes punting down. Apparently students try to climb over the bridges and jump back down on their punt while they go down the river. There were a bunch of students ferrying around tourists and a bunch of people punting their own boats and trying not to fall in. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go punting at Cambridge but I still want to try it out before I leave Oxford!
One of my favorite things to do after work is go running or cycling to all the parks in the area. All of them are clean, beautiful, and well maintained. Each one has a different characteristic and charm, which makes them so nice to visit.