A walk through a seasonal marsh that’s out of season. (We’ll see how much rain we get this winter.) And a virtual hiking buddy.
A recent news article with photos of a local park that doubles as a flood control basin.
Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach protects homes by collecting rain runoff
Polliwog Park did what it is designed to do during Thursday’s heavy rain, by collecting rain runoff, and providing food and a resting place for local and migratory water birds.
And some photos I took after storms in 2017 and 2019 (since I can’t exactly go out right now)
Some #butterflies from an exhibit, including a banded orange, a postman, an two morphos (they had SO many morphos)…
one of which decided to land on my leg and stay there. They had made it clear that we were not to touch the butterflies so as not to damage the wings with skin oils, so when it still hadn’t left after a couple of minutes, I asked a staff member to remove it, and they coaxed it away with a sponge brush soaked in gatorade.
Scenes from a seasonal marsh. Low areas collect water and form ponds during winter and spring, then it dries out over the summer. All the ground in these photos except on the near side of the logs in the last picture usually spends part of the year underwater.
The lowest part of the preseve is also where the most trees are (presumably because water has more time to soak into the ground there).
I see tree squirrels around town all the time, but this is the first ground #squirrel I’ve spotted in ages. You can tell by the narrower tail. and the pattern of the fur.
And when I moved too fast it dove into the hole instead of running off.
I’ve seen so many tree squirrels since I started on iNat, I can’t even remember the last time I saw a ground squirrel. At least, I think it’s a ground squirrel – something about the head shape, plus the narrower tail. And the iNat AI seems to agree.
Plus it was sitting in a hole and rushed underground instead of running away when I moved too quickly.
I heard these hawks calling to each other, then they each landed on this tower. I thought I saw a third one land there too, but by the time I was in a position to take any pictures, there were only the two. After a minute or two, a group of three smaller birds showed up and chased one of the hawks off. A few minutes later, the other flew off to join it, and I could see them circling together off in the distance.
This weekend, try to observe as many wild plants and animals in your neighborhood as you can, especially in urban areas.
Here are some #birds I spotted on a late afternoon walk today, including a sparrow, one of many many finches, two doves, and what I think might be two blackbirds (yes, including the gray one).
More info: City Nature Challenge
House Sparrow on iNaturalist
Eurasian Collared-Dove (on post) on iNaturalist
Eurasian Collared-Dove (on cable) On iNaturalist
Brewer’s Blackbird (on post) on iNaturalist
Brewer’s Blackbird (on cable) on iNaturalist
Who knew a hawk could be a #birb?
Spotted in a park. Probably a Cooper’s Hawk.
I heard a lot of chirping from this tree, and saw a cluster that looks like it could be a nest near where this hawk was standing guard. It just kind of looked around the whole time even as I walked past the tree. If it was standing guard, it must have been able to tell I wasn’t a threat.
Cherry blossoms are coming in at the local botanic gardens. They have a grove with multiple different cherry trees in various stages of waking up for spring (some with a few flowers, some with more flowers and leaves, some still bare), and a few scattered trees elsewhere in the garden – some of which are already covered. But the tree in the fourth shot isn’t even in full bloom yet!
Nice small collection of unusual photos of Martian landscapes from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at Daily Overview. I don’t know what the blue triangle thing is.
The description doesn’t say, but I’m guessing most of them are false-color or exaggerated.
(Images originally from NASA)
A Cooper’s Hawk I spotted on a walk around the neighborhood.
I heard a *lot* of sparrows chirping in a tree behind a house. Then this hawk flew up and perched on the nearest telephone pole and the sparrows all just dropped silent. It stayed up there for a few minutes, then flew to the next pole, then flew off out of view.
The photos aren’t great, but I like that I managed to catch it this clearly. The last one I saw, I only had my phone with me.
As I was walking through a residential neighborhood, I heard a *lot* of sparrows chirping in a tree behind a house. Then this bird flew up and perched on the nearest telephone pole and the sparrows all just dropped silent. It stayed up there for a few minutes, then flew to the next pole, then flew off out of view.
Sunset over the ocean. In the zoomed shot, just moments after sunset, you can see the silhouette of Santa Barbara Island. There’s a park up in the hills that also has a clear view of the ocean, where you can see the more distant San Nicolas Island next to it. But down here near sea level, it’s below the horizon.
Picked out the best shots of the #PointVicente bluffs. I got there mid-afternoon & took some photos of the #cove with the historic #lighthouse (and could actually see Catalina Island in the distance!)
Then I walked along the blufftop path along the nature reserve for a while, before turning back to reach the lighthouse area by sunset.
Two more shots from Bluff Cove, this time looking out at the ocean.
Small boat sailing on the bay seems like a good way to get out while staying isolated, and surfboards look like they’d be handy to measure minimum distance.
It’s been years since I’ve been on a boat of any sort. But I do remember enjoying small sailboats. Maybe I’ll look for a class when it’s safe to interact with people in person again.
On the way to and from Point Vicente, I stopped at Bluff Cove (also on the Palos Verdes peninsula). I was surprised to find that I could plainly see the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles in the distance. I guess I’d never been there on a clear enough day before.
There were more people than I expected, but everyone was maintaining distance and most of them were masked up.
Really wish I’d had a tripod for the evening shot, though