December 15, 2021 Tujunga Wash

I haven't posted here for awhile so I thought I'd do a "winter" post. I've spent a lot of the last couple of years observing and photographing insects, not only because I like them and they're interesting, but also because I love finding new species and it's pretty difficult to find new birds and/or mammals in your place of residence. I'm still hoping to see and photograph a mountain lion but I think I've photographed most of the birds that reside here and many of the mammals with the exception of bats and some rodents. And there are definitely a few snakes I'm still hoping to see.

However, it's December and it was actually very cool today so finding insects was a lot more challenging. Although we are in a temperate climate and in one that seems to get warmer every year, on cold days, there are usually not too many insects around. My strategy to deal with that is to get more creative. I look under rocks and/or leaf litter and also look for super small insects which for some reason still seem to be around though definitely not as plentiful as they are in spring and summer.

After yesterday's rain...one that finally made things wet, it was a pleasure to get out and see the changes in the landscape. One rainstorm does not end a drought but it sure was nice to see plants looking healthier and birds much more energetic.

Tujunga Wash seems to have some water year round so that is one nice thing about visiting the area; however, today there was actually water in one large section of the creek bed that has been dry for months and months. Unfortunately, with the storm and rain, came loads and loads of trash and debris. It seems to be a feature of life in Los Angeles that with the rain comes lots of trash. It's very sad that our fellow humans can't seem to dispose of trash properly.

But, on to observations. I found a fair amount of interesting things today though I don't know what most of them are! Still with the new rain ponds and puddles that were everywhere throughout the wash, I spent time looking in the water for whatever might be swimming around. I found one really cool looking larva, though I have no idea what it is. In addition to the larva I found a few beetles, some very tiny cricket-like insects and probably got my best photo ever of a prostig (a type of mite) which are very tiny and tend to run around like crazy.

And while it is always exhilarating to find something super unique and cool, just finding anything of interest on a 58 F day is an accomplishment in itself.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, December 16, 2021 03:42

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 15, 2021 02:57 PM PST

Description

Tujunga Wash

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 15, 2021 03:07 PM PST

Description

Tujunga Wash

Photos / Sounds

What

Horse and Deer Flies (Family Tabanidae)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 15, 2021 03:47 PM PST

Description

Tujunga wash
A cool larva of something in the water

Photos / Sounds

What

West Coast Ant Cricket (Myrmecophilus oregonensis)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 15, 2021 04:45 PM PST

Description

Tujunga Wash
Going with AI as these do look sort of like crickets. Very small and found under a rock

Comments

Nice writeup and cool finds 👍

Posted by ectothermist 8 months ago (Flag)

Thanks! I'm so enjoying not working and having the time to do all this stuff. I feel fortunate to be able to get out there and look and I sure hope even a small percentage of what I find will be helpful to scientists in the future!

I also hope you are able to get out over the holidays. You always find much more interesting stuff than me as I won't go out at night alone! And I'm looking forward to the upcoming spring and desert season!

Posted by naturephotosuze 8 months ago (Flag)

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