May 28, 2021 Skyline Trail, Griffith Park

Since I didn't feel like driving far and because lately traffic to the west has gotten so much worse, I thought I'd make a trip to Griffith Park. I normally avoid Griffith Park....too many people, too much traffic, and too confusing to figure out where things are. So this time I thought I'd pick a trail on the valley side near the zoo so I wouldn't have to deal with traffic. But of course, I somehow got confused and finally ended up parking in the first lot I saw where there was a trailhead. This turned out to be the Skyline Trail.

The trail was basically a fire road--not the most aesthetically pleasing trail. The habitat was pretty much restricted to a cliff on one side as well as a few little culverts where there was some vegetation. On the other side was a drop off to the valley below and the 134 freeway--which of course you could hear the whole time you were on the trail....and of course helicopters, planes taking off and landing at Burbank airport and an occasional siren.

There weren't a whole lot of people on the trail and because it was so wide, I could basically avoid most of them. I kind of hugged the sides where there was vegetation looking for anything interesting and alive. As dry as it is, I was surprised to see a fair amount of flowers growing out of the side of the cliff--several botta's clarkia and lanceleaf liveforever plants as well as a few other random flowers. In a couple of places there were a few poppies and buckwheat plants.

And surprisingly I found a few interesting things--a couple of cool golden digger wasps, another small wasp yet to be identified, and even some non-native cape marigold flowers that seem to have spontaneously sprouted on the hillside....one of the few non-natives I haven't run into before.

Will I be back? Perhaps. I prefer trails where I can immerse myself in nature and the sound of semis and heavy freeway traffic does not lend itself to that type of experience. Still, I find it interesting and challenging to see what wildlife you can find in such urban environments. Somehow many species have adapted...there were many birds flying around including several eye level swallows and a very acclimated-to-humans red-tailed hawk.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, May 30, 2021 06:07

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

May 28, 2021 10:30 AM PDT

Description

Skyline Trail
Griffith Park
One of at least two

Photos / Sounds

What

Botta's Clarkia (Clarkia bottae)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

May 28, 2021 10:32 AM PDT

Description

Skyline Trail
Griffith Park

Photos / Sounds

What

Lanceleaf Liveforever (Dudleya lanceolata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

May 28, 2021 11:18 AM PDT

Description

Skyline Trail
Griffith Park
One of a few growing along the cliff

Photos / Sounds

What

Cape Marigold (Dimorphotheca sinuata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

May 28, 2021 11:25 AM PDT

Description

Skyline Trail
Griffith Park
Two groups of these growing along the cliff

Photos / Sounds

What

Typical Weevil Wasps and Allies (Genus Cerceris)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

May 28, 2021 12:17 PM PDT

Description

Skyline Trail
Griffith Park

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

May 28, 2021 12:59 PM PDT

Description

Skyline Trail
Griffith Park
Resting in a sacred datura flower

Comments

Thanks for the virtual tag-along. I don't know this area at all. Although I've take a few hikes directly north in the Verdugos, on Skyline Mountain trail -- the views are remarkable and it's a 'real' trail vs fire road. If you haven't been, I can provide directions/parking info.

Golden digger wasps fascinate 🧡 and I'm happy to see blooms still!

Seeing the Dudleya reminded me of this recent news report (grrrrrrrrr). Props to the Good Samaritan.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/02/how-a-savvy-big-sur-plant-lover-helped-convict-succulent-smugglers/

Posted by redrovertracy 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks Tracy. Nice tip on the verdugo trail...I’ve looked at it on the map but haven’t tried it yet. I appreciate the info. If it stays semi cool I might go for it. And yes I’ve read extensively on the dudleya...glad they caught some. It’s difficult to understand why people think it’s okay to plunder nature.

Posted by naturephotosuze 4 months ago (Flag)

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