Batiquitos Lagoon Carlsbad-Using Natural Resources

This post was written by Valerie on April 5, 2012
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes
Batiquitos Lagoon Carlsbad

Part of the view from our yard in Carlsbad is of the Batiquitos Lagoon. My children (four and now adults) all grew up before the houses in the picture were built when it was a farm and part of the flower fields of Carlsbad. The kids and I would ride our bikes to the Lagoon path that went from the west to the east as far as El Camino Real. On that path were lots of cactus, plants, palm trees, people walking their dogs and at one point to the annoyance of the neighbors motorized dirt bikes and their constant loud hum of their engines. Eventually the people who cared about preserving this once Kumeyaay Indian lands created a nature reserve. If you climb to the top of one hill you have the most incredible view of the lagoon and the white waves of the ocean and sunsets awash in purple/pinks and sometimes bright orange. I took the lagoon for granted after awhile though never tiring of the view not seeing it as something that my grandchildren would want to visit. There are no amusement rides, no food to buy just a path and a small museum of sorts.

I could not (still have not) go/gone to Lego Land which is near by but did the occasional trip to Sea World and Disneyland and very long ago the zoo and Wild Animal Park which I took my children too more than they cared to go.

My Grandparents did not have much money. They had a modest home in North Park and both my brother and I really looked forward to spending the night at their house. I remembered what made it so special was the things I could depend on. My Grandfather always gave us each a quarter, my Grandmother gave us some money to buy Strawberry soda and licorice (which oddly enough I did not have anywhere else) and my Grandmothers wonderful French Toast. I knew that no matter what that those things would be there and I felt a deep comfort in knowing I could depend on those things. We always played one game-Parchisi. We had no toys to play with and almost no other children around. I loved to brush my Grandfathers hair and hear him whistle in the yard. I loved to hear them both laugh and I knew how much in love they were with each other. Security. It was about the only secure and safe place I knew growing up.

I have a small basket full of small cars from my sons, some stacking lid boxes that held candy one Christmas, two now broken guns that shoot ping pong balls, lots of books and just bits and pieces of toys for the kids to play with when they visit-they never tire of those meager toys. So the consistency for my grandchildren is they know that basket is for them to share with their cousins and their bath toys and towels (Hello Kitty/Princesses/Dinosaurs/Shamu…) and they all love to take a bath and play with the same toys. They notice if one of the toys is missing so with a little looking I usually can find it. They know they have their own toothbrush and toothpaste just for them. They love the fountain in the back yard where traditionally the older children initiate the younger ones about the water and the fish and getting their hands wet without tipping it over. We have play dough which is a mandatory part of any time here and their own table and chairs outside to paint on or do play dough. When I ask them what they would like to do they all say stay here Grammy and play.

It was just recently when I thought to introduce the boys to the lagoon. My one sons two boys 4 and 3 loved the Lagoon. They walked a long way to see all the sights on the paper for a Treasure Hunt of sorts. Looking for sea shells embedded in the sandstone, Egrets proud fisher birds standing white in the tide pools looking for their next meal. There is prickly pear cactus and pickle weed and lots of lizards. I took my oldest Grandson today to the Lagoon for his first trip. There are numbers along the path that point out special plants, birds and points of interest. There is a smattering of benches so we took snacks and water and would take a break from running from one numbered pole to the distance of the next numbered pole. My grandson noticed that there were more lizards than the numbers. I reminded him as we wandered further towards El Camino Real that it would be a long walk back. But the pull of the next number, the hidden rivers and bridges made him excited about what we would find next. A neighbor saw us and met my Grandson. Various dog owners introduced their dogs. “This is so fun!”, my grandson shouted.

When he decided it was time to head back it was with the same gusto as we started because now he remembered what was next ahead of us. He spotted tons of different bugs and in fact we were first met with a grasshopper who let us gently touch him as an ambassador to the trail.

There are various markers with historical information about how 2000 years ago the land was inhabited in the summers by the Indians to trade and hunt and eat shell fish (where all the shells were broken and piled now part of the sandstone walls). The Spanish explorers came about a 1000 years later. The info even said that the word Batiquitos (which I was once told meant smelly water due to the bacteria that creates the marsh with its rotten egg smell) really meant watering hole.

More of the Lagoon from a distance

The large mound and trees in the right side of the picture is part of an Indian burial ground. It is just on the North Edge of the Lagoon. I shared that story with my grandson and his eyes got really big. He was impressed. When we made our way back to the car I asked him what part or things he saw he liked the most and he said,” All of it. It’s awesome. Next time we come I want to walk to the end of the numbers and back.”

So who knew? All this time I had forgotten the wonders of the lagoon. Many of the birds come into our yard and now the kids know their names. We also get lizards and an occasional bob cat, road runner, possums, raccoons, squirrels and in reality since we were part of the Lagoon at one time we find shells in the yard but so far no arrow heads.

Look around and remember those things that are right there and free and fun and if you can get the kids to walk take them and enjoy not only the lagoon but the natural resources around you.

My grandson threw his empty snack bag in the trash bin at the end of our trip and we talked about how important it is to have this place to come to and enjoy and our responsibility to keep it like it was before we came to visit. I know I had the best time just being with my grandson and seeing him so happy and enjoying something I will never take for granted again thanks to my grandsons and the three of them all told me that this is going to be part of the tradition of visiting Grammy and Grampy from now on.


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