Santa Ynez canyon 8/12/20

Today I visited Santa Ynez canyon for the first time in at least 2 months. Since Covid became such a big part of our lives, all the trails seem busier, even during the week. It was difficult today to really look for stuff as the trail is narrow and I had to step off trail many times to let people by.

Because I have been visiting various areas in the Santa Monica mountains for several years, I have spent the last few years trying to get to know the flora and fauna better, particularly plants and insects. Ultimately I would like to find as many total species as possible for this rich diverse environment. If I can find something unique, so much the better.

I also hope that my observations can help in showing the biodiversity and importance of the natural world around us.

One of the advantages of returning to a place frequently is that you really become aware of changes. Today, I noticed that a rock wall where some dudleya plants were growing is now empty with visible holes where the plants had been dug out. It’s sad that people have to steal plants. And yet another large oak has fallen across the trail, most likely a victim of the drought. Since the drought, we’ve lost so many trees and Santa ynez has lost many over the last 6 years.

Although I always enjoy observing the natural world, it’s a real treat to find something you haven’t seen before. Today I was rewarded with seeing my first true walking stick. I didn’t get great photos but I count any day when I find a new animal a good day.

Posted on August 13, 2020 03:15 AM by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze


Photos / Sounds


Thread-legged Bugs (Subfamily Emesinae)




August 12, 2020 11:32 AM PDT


Santa Ynez Canyon
Definitely the find of the day. My first encounter with one of these. If you look closely, the antennae are actually quite long so it rules out the short horned walking sticks. Unfortunately, after taking only two photos, I stopped to check my results and when I lifted the camera up to try and get a better photo, it took off and I couldn't relocate it


How sad is it that people are digging plants out from their homes? :(
On a really good note, you observed a walking stick! I have yet to see one in the wild, and the photo tells the story quite well, kudos to you.

Posted by scubabruin over 3 years ago

Congratulations to finding a Walking Stick!! Firsts are always so wonderful.

I have to dig around, but I may have photos of the Dudleyas on that wall from three or so months ago, my last visit to Santa Ynez. I think these were about the last photos I took before I was aggressively bullied by someone who wanted to "liberate California." What made her furious was that I was wearing a mask. It was the first of two such experiences... Yikes.

Posted by andreacala over 3 years ago

I didn't keep the pictures. But I know exactly where they were. They had yellow flowers, and looked like Canyon Live-Forevers.

Posted by andreacala over 3 years ago’s very sad that people have to do that. It seems that the trails are more crowded than ever and behavior is getting worse among some people.

Posted by naturephotosuze over 3 years ago

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