June 5, 2022 Corbin Canyon

I haven't visited Corbin Canyon much this year, partially because I've been trying to focus more on desert habitats, but also because I was so disappointed in how the area was decimated last year for "fire prevention" reasons by MRCA. It has taken a long time to recover from that extreme mowing down of every living plant within 100 yards of the trail. Between that action and the drought, the place has taken a beating.

However, I always like to check in to places I've visited in the past to see how they're faring. I'm pleased to report that the area looked very good. It's obvious that some vegetation "trimming" took place already this year. But, amazingly enough, it appears as though the people who manage the area actually listened to my concerns about how it was handled last year. I definitely don't want to take all the credit so I'm hoping that I was not the only one that complained.

While they did mow down a fair amount of the non native grasses and mustard this year, they actually trimmed around the native plants. For instance, the milkweed plant that was mowed down last year, was actually left intact this year--and it had a monarch caterpillar on it! New tarweed plants and elegant clarkia are all there. California aster plants are sprouting now that last year never even appeared except in areas not mowed. And the area that was trimmed was reduced substantially. Is it perfect? Probably not, but there were many, many birds around unlike last year when after the trimming I didn't hear a single bird for more than a month.

So what else can I report? I don't know if anyone else in the Los Angeles area has noticed but it sure seems like a good butterfly year. Though we only had two rainstorms of any significance, the wildflowers and butterflies seem pretty abundant this year. Maybe the spacing out of those storms contributed to this but I'm thankful for this. After all, we have no idea what will happen this coming rain year.

In addition, the purple sage plants that are very abundant in Corbin Canyon and looked totally dead after our dry, dry year seem to have revived and are thriving again and attracting many pollinators. Though some are definitely well past peak, there are still many that are in full bloom. The toyons have many flowers and the blue elders have many many berries. I saw band tail pigeons in the canyon for the first time since I started coming here. They were feasting on the berries.

And like everywhere else, the sapphire woollystar flowers are really prolific. It's a great year for Eriastrum flowers in general, though they've definitely already peaked.

In addition to the numerous native bees I saw (and yes, there were still an abundance of western honeybees) I found some interesting arthropods including this super orange bee fly (genus villa), a boldly patterned tiny bee fly (genus neacreotrichus), an ant mimic spider and a wasp that captured some sort of prey and took it into it's burrow.

And I'm always amazed at what I don't capture. As many insects as I was able to photograph, there were probably three times as many that I wasn't able to capture. Life is all around us just waiting for us to take notice. It brings me much joy to immerse myself in nature. I just wish more people would take the time to pay attention to the natural world around us. Perhaps if more people did, our planet would not be in such bad shape.

Posted on June 08, 2022 06:41 AM by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 10:05 AM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
At least 2-3 eating elderberries. First time I've seen them in this area

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 10:17 AM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
Can't find a match for this one but maybe it's just an anomaly. Very orange

Photos / Sounds

What

Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 10:48 AM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
The purple sage has recovered amazingly. Last year it didn't really flower and it looked almost dead. This year it's doing very well

Photos / Sounds

What

Sapphire Woollystar (Eriastrum sapphirinum)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 11:53 AM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
Once again, many more of these than normal but definitely past peak

Photos / Sounds

What

Beewolves (Genus Philanthus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 11:58 AM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
Perched then all of a sudden I saw it on the ground and noticed that it had caught something and proceeded to take it underground

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 12:03 PM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
Cool bee fly

Photos / Sounds

What

Ground and Ant-mimic Sac Spiders (Family Corinnidae)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 12:08 PM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
I think this is a spider--it was near the woollystars and was running around super fast. Lucky to get any photos. Does look sort of like an ant but I think I see 8 legs

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

June 5, 2022 01:58 PM PDT

Description

Corbin Canyon
On milkweed

Comments

A wonderful write up. You inspire me so :)

Posted by cooper-conservation almost 2 years ago

Thank you so much! Now that I’m sort of retired I go out almost every day and it really is amazing to see what’s out there and how things change. I appreciate your kind words!

Posted by naturephotosuze almost 2 years ago

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