Then slowly all the birds in a 5 mile radius start showing up for a little crumb action and you have chaos on your hands. Part of you is excited as the brave ones start inching closer. You want to see if they will eat out of your hand but the intelligent part of your brain takes over and you realize the bigger concern is whether or not they will eat your hand. You start noticing the hierarchy amongst the water fowl. You choose your favorites to toss to. Maybe its the one with the flashy feathers. Or maybe its the scrawny one who looks like he gets picked on all the time. Personally I favor the scrawny but I also discriminate based on species. I hate seagulls. So I try not to let them get a crumb. They are just scavenging flying rats whose main goal in life is to poop on my head. I do, however, love Canadian geese. I always make sure they are well fed. They have a long journey to make in a couple months and I want to make sure they are nice and fat for the trip back north. Mari and Ben didn't seem to have any particular method to their crumb throwing madness. They were just happy to be a part of it all.
Mason Regional Park is another one of those wonderful places you can go to escape the concrete jungle and enjoy a little nature. Its located in Irvine, near UCI on University and Culver. Its centerpiece is a 9 acre lake filled with ducks, geese, turtles, and fish. While no human contact with the water is allowed, there is a very active community of model sailboaters. It is so pretty to see the remote control sailboats silently glide across the water.
There are tons of picnic areas, a softball field, hiking and bicycling trails, two sand volleyball courts, a physical fitness course, and three playgrounds. We ended up spending time at one of the smaller playgrounds but there is a really cool blue fish themed one that has our name on it for next time.
The great thing about this park is that the kids can do some walking, nature loving, and playing all in the same outing. The grounds are just beautiful with trees, water, and beautiful bridges everywhere. We went on an 80 degree day in January and the trees were still in the process of shedding their fall leaves. Poor confused South Orange County trees. It made for some wonderful scenery but I do feel bad for them. You do have to pay to enter the park ($3) but considering it is set back away from traffic which is a big plus for a mom who is trying to watch two little ones, it is very worth it. When you consider $3 will give you hours of entertainment and also help keep this marvelous urban park in great condition, it is quite the bargain. So watch out ducks, I have more stale bread with your name on it (this does not involve you seagulls!).
For more information on this park check out Fun Orange County Parks!