Exploring Carlsbad, Part Two: Wildlife vs Development

When we first moved here in 1985, our street was a dead end (literally).

My son and I would walk our dogs to where the pavement ended and there we abruptly entered a wonderland of nature: along narrow paths with overhanging vegetation;  sage, coyote bush, sumac — and wildlife; coyotes, bobcats, deer– even a mountain lion was spotted now and again.

In other words…heaven.

It was a sad day when the bulldozers appeared and in a matter of minutes completely raped the hills, scraping the native flora down to bare earth, uprooting mature trees, and displacing dozens, if not hundreds, of animals.

It’s unrecognizable now–if you hadn’t lived here as long as we have, you’d never know the rich beauty that once existed.

It’s regretful that the city leaders didn’t and don’t seem to care about respecting, protecting, and preserving native flora and fauna.

Instead of conserving and sustaining our unique beauty, they’ve allowed Carlsbad to become an Orange County clone — heavy on the ubiquitous business parks and subdivisions totally disconnected to the land.

They’ve mostly destroyed the unique personality and beauty of our little coastal town.

In my opinion.

Historically, Carlsbad/Agua Hedionda Lagoon was the former home to two Native American groups, the Luiseños and the Diegueños or Kumeyaay.

Did you know that Agua Hedionda means “stinking waters”?

(It does and it does.)

Although the Spaniards (and other settlers) decimated the Native American connection to this area, over the years I’ve heard about nearby sacred burial grounds that might still be intact, and that’s a good thing.

In spite of the destruction of habitat, there are still a few surviving animals attempting to coexist.

In the evening, we hear the song of the coyote, not as often as we used to, but it makes us happy. Check out this audio. So close!

I’ve seen fresh bobcat tracks, too, but no actual visual sighting.

On a recent walk, I stepped out of my front door, walked across the street, and was immediately greeted by this amazing sight, a Great Blue Heron nearly as tall as me.
GreatBlueHeron1 greatblueheron2 After I snapped a dozen photos, I continued walking, and spotted a White Egret.egret2015It was a day for wildlife; these are not good pics for some reason, but a couple of different rabbits made an appearance.

On a front lawn.
aprilwalk5 Overlooking Agua Hedionda. aprilwalk4

I believe this is a Cooper’s Hawk; don’t think it’s a Red Tailed Hawk.CooperHawk1If I ruled the world (or at least my little part of it), I’d make sure that any planned development would respect all wildlife and make appropriate plans to not only preserve habitat, but encourage MORE animals to coexist with us.

Especially predators. We need predators. We need coyotes and bobcats and mountain lions and hawks and falcons for balance. Without them, we’re inundated with their food source; rabbits, rats, and squirrels.

Can’t we all just get along?

Read Exploring Carlsbad, Part One: Signs

8 thoughts on “Exploring Carlsbad, Part Two: Wildlife vs Development

  1. I’m SOOOOO with you on the ‘predator’ thing! What most people don;t understand is the balance they provide. Yes- it can seem cruel, but it’s important. Looks like you had a good day. Love the pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have our wildlife intact only because our land isn’t sufficiently valuable for the developers to rape. if business moves to the valley, our worthless “leaders” will sell it off for a song and a few lies. They have in the past and we recovered. I doubt we would recover again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to attend council meetings and rail against the “machine” but it got me nothing but that vacant stare all elected officials share and seem to learn at secret training when they take office. No facial expression, glazed look, impatiently waiting for the public speaking part of the meeting to be finally OVER. Have you ever experienced that? I quit going/speaking except to support the anti-puppy mill pet store protests. Our elected officials don’t give a SHIT about animals or the native plants that were perfectly suited for drought tolerance and erosion (when it did rain) not to mention being the proper habitat/environment for critters large and small, all deserving to be protected and respected. These walks have made me so sad, remembering what it was once like around here. OK, rant over 🙂


  3. Thanks for this. As with so many things, you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Sadly many people don’t appreciate them PERIOD. I’d be perfectly happy knowing that the Agua Hedionda Lagoon is there left alone. Why do we need to have ACCESS to it? We have plenty of places to walk, hike and otherwise appreciate nature. Why can’t this be left as is? We all know the answer…GREED. Radix malorum est cupiditas. Unbelievable that some people just can’t wait for a mall to be built there, as if we don’t have enough malls and enough places to spend our money. Count me out.

    Liked by 1 person

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