Monday, April 27, 2020

Red-Crowned Parrot in Loquat Tree

This weekend a couple of red-crowned parrots flew into our loquat tree.  A clearer photo of a red-crowned parrot in a loquat tree is at socalparrot where there is also some good parrot info.  For example, our local parrots have not displaced native birds or damaged habitat for native species.  The reason is the parrots do not eat our native plants but rather the non-native plants (like loquats) that we grow in abundance in parts of southern California.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Orb Weaver - 7:30 AM- September 2019

This morning from 30 yards away, I saw this big orange spider seemingly hanging in mid-air.  When I got closer, the sun was just right and the spider's web came into clear view.  The detail on the web and the sheer volume of work required to create it is amazing.

Here is the same spider in the same general location a few days earlier.  Here it is hanging about five feet higher than it was this morning and the backdrop is blue sky rather than trees.   If you look closely, you can see that the spider has spun a web around its dinner.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Spanish Bayonet

You do not have to walk far into the local mountains to see one of these.  The bright flowers on these Spanish Bayonets stand out against the generally brown-green landscape.   It takes five years to produce a mature plant that flowers like this.  After flowering, the plant dies. These photos were taken on my hike a couple weeks ago through Eaton Canyon up to Henniger Flats.

The plant goes by many names -- Spanish Bayonet, Our Lord's Candle, Foothill Yucca and Quixote Yucca and Chaparral Yucca -- all of which make sense when you see the plant.   The botanical name, Hesperoyucca Whipplei, needs explanation.

The species is named after Ameil Weeks Whipple.   An Army engineer, in 1856, Whipple was ordered to lead an expedition from Little Rock, Arkansas to Los Angeles to plot a railroad route along the southern part of the country.  Whipple surveyed a route that that traversed Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, which route was later used for the famous Route 66.  After his expedition, Whipple surveyed the Mexico-US border and then worked to improve naval navigation through New Orleans and the Great Lakes.   When the Civil War started in 1861, engineer Whipple created maps that guided Union forces into battle and provided Union generals reconnaissance by going up in hot air balloons that floated across Confederate lines. He also fought in the battles of Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville, where he was mortally wounded by a Confederate sharpshooter.   He died in 1863 with the rank of Major General. He was 44 years old.      

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Bears in Trees

Living toward the north east end of the City, we see bears in the neighborhood.  Occasionally, they will be in trees.  The first bear we saw here was in  a tree, having been chased up the tree by our dog.  Since then, we have seen more bears in neighborhood trees.   This weekend, we saw another bear in a tree.    Here, the bear is starting to climb up a vertical trunk of a pine tree.

Here is the bear further up the tree.   Hard to see him from here.    But, if you zoom in....

There's the bear.  Kind of looks like the bear is growing out of the tree.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Snow in East Pasadena

Snow in Pasadena?   Didn't last long, but that is what it was.    You need to enlarge the video to get the full effect.   

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Palm Tree, Power Lines and Eucalyptus

Through the trees and wires last night at sunset.