December 5, 2020 Charmlee Wilderness Park

Finally open after being closed for nearly two years since the Woolsey Fire, this was my second attempt to visit. I drove out here on the day after Thanksgiving only to find the gate closed with the no trespassing sign up. The website said the park was open but I didn't want to take any chances so I didn't go in. A few days later, the gate was open when I drove by so I thought I'd try again. I arrived on this Saturday morning to find the gate still closed but a few cars parked outside. I decided to join them.

The day started out great with seeing a pair of coyotes, a red tailed hawk and a northern harrier all during a one minute period just as I entered the road into the park. I failed to get a photo of the coyotes as they took off running when they saw me and disappeared into the brush. Later I heard their distinctive howling down in the canyon.

I was expecting great things, thinking that wildlife might have gotten used to having no humans around and be in abundance. While it was certainly true that the area around the inside parking area, picnic tables and surroundings was where I saw the most wildlife, once I got out on the trails, it disappeared for the most part. It seemed very quiet.

I didn't stay long on the trails as it was a Saturday and people kept coming in to the park and I really wasn't in the mood to see a bunch of people. Though I didn't spend much time in the park, I managed to spot a third coyote--they obviously have enjoyed the lack of humans in the park and the third one seemed pretty comfortable walking down the main trail.

Why people continue to bring dogs into these areas off leash--I saw one toy size dog running around nowhere near its owners--when there are plenty of coyotes around, I can't fathom. As a side note, I even saw a sign posted at Malibu Bluffs park awhile back that their dog, I believe a golden retriever, was bitten and killed by a rattlesnake there. Yet people continue to let their dogs run loose in these wild areas.

Though I was disappointed in the lack of abundant wildlife, it does seem as if the vegetation is doing fairly well. This place used to be quite lush before the fire but it is definitely drier now. That being said, it was nice to see some chaparral currant blooming, again, much earlier than I would have expected. And two dragonflies were still out and about.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, December 08, 2020 05:00

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Chaparral Currant (Ribes malvaceum)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 5, 2020 10:10 AM PST

Description

Charmlee Wilderness Park

Photos / Sounds

What

Coyote (Canis latrans)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 5, 2020 11:25 AM PST

Description

Charmlee Wilderness Park

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