December themes, if any...

I just came back from Paramount Ranch north, which just a month ago, when Laura and I explored it to celebrate her birthday, was quite lush by comparison to now. And it was already dry then. Now even the Valley Oaks have dropped their leaves, the beautiful sunflowers at the lowest, moistest elevation are dead, and even the Crows have left. A mountain biker in the far distance must have stirred up some dust that rose into the air like a smoke plume. We need rain so badly, but will get another Santa Ana event Wednesday evening through at least Saturday, red-flagged because of the extreme fire danger. My go-bag is still packed from the last one that wasn't all that bad, so here's hoping for the best.

Hiking up and down the mountain trails, with little to document that would give me joy (much needed joy, considering all that's going on around us), I felt I should (a) bite the bullet and drive longer distances, and (b) focus on the shore. So, anyplace king tide would be a major highlight of the month for me and something I really look forward to. Also something I really REALLY want to do is exploring docks, poop covered and all, as suggested by Susan. So possibly, marine life?

I had a blast exploring various San Fernando Valley lakes and ponds in the last few days. Laura got me to Los Encinos Historical Park, and I also walked around Lake Balboa, Lake Reseda (highlight fighting Coots,, and of course the lake in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve which I make a point of visiting once a month or so. I also really love the Los Angeles River @ Burbank Blvd. Bette Davis Picnic Area is on my list for the next few days, another great spot in the Los Angeles River. Any other suggestions? City Wildlife might be a theme too.

By the way, Laura and I are both "streaking," that means posting at least one observation every day, rain or shine. shows the stats. Laura is at 425 (!!) consecutive days, I'm at 348, with a streak that started December 19 last year and has kept me sane through all of 2020. And gave me an opportunity to really see seasons change, organisms come and go, especially since my radius has been so very limited. No trip to Germany and France to see my folks, no overnighter at all this year... (I so miss it.) But what I miss most in this limited radius of the mountains here right now... insects. Just hanging out at whatever flowers and observe... The highlight today was a lone Western Honey Bee on a near dry California Aster...

I hope you and your loved ones are all doing ok, and staying safe.

Big hugs, much love!!

Posted on December 01, 2020 11:46 PM by andreacala andreacala


I absolutely agree it is so dry out there and hard to find much in the dust and dried leaves. Heading to he shore sounds like a fine idea and I really ought to do it more often, so my vote is yes, king tides, dock fouling, etc. Also, I might add a related theme topic and that is Crustmas, a moniker being used widely by Cal Academy of the Sciences folks on social media. They are posting (and encouraging others) photos (maybe even daily observations) of crustaceans.

And, great job on your iNat streak Andrea! Anyone else streaking these days?

Stay safe, crossing fingers the winds don't bring fires, and looking forward to another month of fun, themed observations.
Hugs to you all :)

Posted by scubabruin about 3 years ago

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