Saturday, November 3, 2018

Palm Tree, Power Lines and Eucalyptus

Through the trees and wires last night at sunset.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Henninger Flats Hike from Eaton Canyon

 This morning I walked into the Eaton Canyon Natural Area and just kept going.    I walked through the parking lot, around the native garden, on to the wide trail that leads down to Eaton Wash, then on to the steep Walnut Canyon trail which leads to the Mt. Wilson toll road and on up to Henninger Flats.

This is the view from Henninger Flats.  The view is expansive.  If you enlarge the photo, you can see St. Lukes in the foreground, downtown Pasadena and downtown LA at the middle left and if you look hard toward the center of the photo there are the vague outlines of Catalina Island with its two conical hills.   Directly westward, toward Santa Monica, you can see the Pacific Ocean.

 The Mt. Wilson toll road dates back to 1891.    All the way up the road, you can look down the mountain to see tiny cars traversing the streets below.   I thought this contrast was interesting -- the old dirt toll road on the left somewhat paralleling the shining sliver of 210 freeway down below.  The freeway is the white line toward the upper right of the photo.

Though not an easy hike, I crossed paths with many other hikers, some runners and a few mountain bikers.   Here's a mountain biker making his way up the trail in the face of the morning sun.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Mountains on a Fall Morning

Fall is here.  No, we don't have biting cold weather or crimson leaves lining our streets.   But, we have the San Gabriel Mountains.  It is a constant in the San Gabriel Valley -- always the backdrop of the mountains.    And, early on an October morning, the air a cool low-60's, sometimes the clouds will bank against the mountains and mingle with the sun to frame a wonderful mountain vista.   The photo above was taken driving north on New York Avenue, just above Sierra Madre Blvd.     Photo by my favorite photographer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Bobcats and Rabbits

 I was surprised early today to see this bobcat.  It may be the same one I saw in June, or possibly a different one.  Either way, I watched as this cat walked the very same route as the one in June --  across our yard, jumped up on the fence and then disappeared into the neighbor's yard.   I got a better look this morning and these truly are beautiful animals.    There is an excellent up close photo of a local bobcat at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center site.

Here's a diagram from the National Park's Santa Monica Mountains site showing the relative size and color differences of a mountain lion, bobcat and house cat:

As you can see from the photo, bobcats are about twice the size of domestic cats and much smaller than mountain lions.  Here are some interesting area bobcat facts courtesy of the Santa Monica Mountains site and Urban Carnivores:  

Bobcats are found through out the continental US, most of Mexico and some of southern Canada.  The average bobcat tips the scales at about 18 pounds.   They are primarily nocturnal and the best times to see them are early morning or dusk.    Bobcats are solitary and territorial with males marking a territory of about 3 square miles and females with territories of 1.5 square miles that overlap with males' territories.   For reference, a square mile is 640 acres, so these cats cover a lot of ground.   Bobcats are adaptable and can live on the urban edge, provided they find food.

Which brings us to the bobcat diet.   They're carnivores and eat the prey they catch.    That prey can be birds, lizards, squirrels, gophers, rats, or any small animal.   But, the primary prey and primary food for bobcats are rabbits.   Perhaps not so coincidentally, just this summer I have started seeing more and more rabbits scurrying about the neighborhood, including this one:


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Recent Wildlife in the Yard

Seems we have lots of alligator lizards and I've posted more than a few photos of them on this blog.   One thing about alligator lizards -- they're always going to give you attitude.

This  is a young bear we've seen several times already this  year.  They look sleepy and lumbering until you see them climb a tree.   They are very agile and can easily go straight up that pine tree in this picture.

The picture is poor, but this  is a bobcat we watched calmly walk across our  yard, jump up on the fence and  disappear into  the neighbor's yard.   This is maybe the third or fourth time we've seen a bobcat here.  This was a brief but fun sighting.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Last Night's Snow on San Gabriel Mountains

Palm trees, sun and snow.  View this morning from Wilson and Colorado Blvd.