Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let it Rain -- at least a little

This photo, taken this evening from Gwinn Park (on Orange Grove just west of Eaton Wash), shows the park's pines in the foreground and Mt. Wilson in the background with dark clouds gathered around. I saw quite a bit of lightening against the mountains and to the west.

Oh, there was a light rain at the park as I took this shot. Ahhhhh, a cool respite from all the recent heat.

Very, very unusual weather we're having.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


The Weather Channel on my computer says it reached 105 degrees -- just a few degrees shy of the record for the day of 108 hit in 1963. But my car thinks it hit 112 degrees.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Owl Talk

Lately, after nightfall, we've been hearing the hoot of an owl. Tonight we heard two owls. If you click on the video and turn the sound up you can hear the owls. In mid-video, I saw the two very large birds fly away.

The owls are likely Great Horned Owls. The Eaton Canyon bird page says Great Horned Owls are common to our area. Other owls (like the western screech owl and northern pygmy) have been seen, but only rarely.

The Great Horned Owl is a fascinating bird. As I heard tonight, male and female owls call together - each in its own pitch. They hunt at night by swooping down from a perch to snatch their prey in their strong talons. Don't even think about shaking hands with a Great Horned Owl. The crushing power of their talons is almost ten times that of a adult human hand. Like most other raptors, they have extraordinary eyesight and hearing, but a very poor sense of smell. The later quality probably explains why skunks are a regular part of their diet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eaton Wash Trail Design Meeting Tonight

The meeting starts at 7 pm at the Garvey Center in Rosemead. To get there, just pick up Rosemead Blvd. in East Pasadena and head south. After going under the 10 Freeway, turn west on Garvey. The Garvey Center is 9108 Garvey.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Eaton Wash Trail Design Review Meetings - Sept. 9 and 11

From Nancy Steele, President of Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy:

Please join us for the second round of meetings on the Eaton Wash to review the trail designs developed by our consultants. You have your choice of a Thursday evening meeting in Rosemead or a Saturday morning meeting in Altadena. We got a lot of really good input from the first round of workshops and I encourage you to attend one of these final two meetings to hear about the draft designs and provide your comments.

Workshop #3: Design Review
Thursday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Garvey Center
9108 Garvey Ave.
Rosemead, CA 91770

Workshop #4: Design Review
Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Altadena Community Center
730 E. Altadena Drive
Altadena, CA 91001

If you missed the first set of workshops or want more information, please go to our website:

You can also download a flyer in English and Spanish to help us get the word out.

See you there!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Young Alligator Lizard Cooling Off

It was so hot today that even the lizards wanted to cool down. Here's a young alligator lizard hitching a ride in the pool on a pine needle. He had hold of that pine needle and seemed content to just float around.

Alligator lizards are actually good swimmers. They swim with a vigorous undulating motion that resembles a snake in the water.

Once out of the water, the lizard paused before scurrying away. I like this lizard profile because it shows how long their tails are in relation to their bodies.

Two years ago one of my first posts was of a young alligator lizard. California Herps says that these lizards lay their eggs in May to July and that the eggs hatch in late summer or early fall. Judging from other alligator lizards I've found around here, this recently hatched reptile will get much bigger and will lose the orange stripe down its back.