Archivos de Diario para marzo 2009

15 de marzo de 2009

Birding the Bulb

Went birding at the Albany Bulb with Sarah this morning. It was raining, but not hard, and there were actually plenty of birds about. Tide looked way out, and the waders were wading, ducks were diving and dabbling, humans were out with their dogs. Highlights were the big flock of beautiful Green-winged Teal, hilariously waddling about the mud flats (definitely not birds built for land), the Pelagic Cormorant and Oystercatchers out at the point, and oh yeah, A NEW SLUG FOR ME! I was sort of just perusing the pools at the point, not really hoping for much, when I cam across what I knew to be an opisthobranch I hadn't seen. Of course, I didn't have a camera with me, it being rainy and me wanting to focus on simply seeing stuff, instead of taking pictures. Looking it up now, I'm pretty certain it was in the genus Haminoea, but it's hard to say which one without a pic. Sigh.

Now I kind of want to go back and look for intertidal critters. Maybe next tide.

Publicado el 15 de marzo de 2009 a las 11:26 PM por kueda kueda | 35 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Joshua Tree 2009

I went down to Joshua Tree National Park last weekend to catch the desert bloom. I've been going to the desert in the spring for the past two years in search of flowers with little luck, but this time I think I managed to catch the beginning of a pretty good bloom. Saw tons of flowers and other things that I'm still sorting through.

I set off very early Friday morning, and enjoyed watching the ghostly white flowering fruit trees off I-5 brighten into glimmering orchards in the morning sun. Green rolling hills most of the way down to the transverse ranges, then snow-topped mountains. Skirted LA and headed to the dry lands, arriving at the southern end of the park around 3ish. Scouted around for wildflowers off the road there until the evening, and camped at Cottonwood Springs. Did a little night searching for spiders, which turned up some fun stuff, not all of which I could ID but whatever. Spiders are kind of tricky without a microscope.

Spent most of the next day hiking to Lost Palms Oasis. The trail isn't tough or anything (nor was it devoid of people), but there were way too many biological distractions. That part of the park is largely Sonoran, so ocotillo were everywhere (thought not blooming too much). Many cool flowers, ubiquitous side-spotted lizards, lots of Phainopepla, Anna's, etc.

When I got back to the trailhead, I drove north toward the Boy Scout trailhead. Found lots of cool flowers along the roadside until I got a bit higher and entered the Mojave, where Joshua trees rule. Lots and lots of beautiful Joshua trees. Hiked in about a mile along the Boy Scout trail and camped at the base of an outcrop, as advised by a friend. Great site, lots of good, flat camping spots, and nice vantages for sunrise and set. Saw some cool birds in the morning, including Cactus Wrens and shrikes.

Hiked back out Sunday morning, and drove on north, this time along the north side of the transverses with hopes of hitting Antelope Valley. Did so (eventually), but the poppies weren't even close to peaking. Oh well, still a pretty drive.

Thus ended a very cool (if solitary) trip. Kind of a ton of driving, but I did see tons of cool stuff.

Publicado el 15 de marzo de 2009 a las 11:37 PM por kueda kueda | 31 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de marzo de 2009

Mitchell Canyon, 2009

For the past few years I've been going to Mitchell Canyon in the spring to look for wildflowers. It's a fantastic spot: you get a wonderful variety of woodland and grassland flowers as you hike up along the stream, and as you get higher you start getting scrub species, and at the top along the Eagle Peak trail you get a bunch of odd, semi-alpine species. Fun stuff.

This year I think I was a little earlier than usual. No Mt. Diablo fairy lanterns blooming, no pipestem (and sadly no Orobanche), but so many other wonderful things were out in force. I think the highlight of the day for me was the Mt. Diablo jewelflower, a tiny, scrappy little flower found only on Mt. Diablo. I'd seen it a few years back, but this time I found lots of them. Very cool.

Weather was overcast, occasionally rainy, and real windy. Forecast for Sunday was t-storms (which have not come to pass, damn you wunderground), so I figured clouds were better than getting zapped. Still, some weather made it feel like an adventure.

I might head back in a few weeks to see some of the later stuff. So many things to see there.

Publicado el 22 de marzo de 2009 a las 10:25 PM por kueda kueda | 27 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario