Saturday, March 1. 2008
I took a camera on my bike ride on 2-26-08 and here is what I saw. It's my old, 1999 digital point and shoot camera, so please accept my apologies for the image quality. It doesn't do so well in really bright sunlight.
First the Good. And please remember that you are always welcome to correct me if I get something wrong! Unfortunately, you will notice that even when there is something "good" in the photo there always seems to be some filaree in the background.
(Note, captions are above the photos.)
Check out this Canada Goose. He was just standing out in the middle of nowhere, not near any water or corn fields or anything. Weird.
Here's an interesting thing. During the rains, the trails sometimes become very wet and muddy. Then after things start to dry out all of these red ant colonies start digging out through the firm mud. Their nests must somehow form bubbles underground or something. A lot of these are dead ones that have been removed, but the colonies always seem to survive, somehow.
A portion of the San Dieguito River is backed up here, forming a temporary marsh. The willows are charred, but the reeds seem happy to be getting more sun. They dance constantly in the current of the river. Here you can see an egret (flying away from me.)
Here went a raccoon, at the edge of the above pictured marsh.
One more print, then I'll stop. This was a deer. I see a lot of coyote prints and a lot of deer prints. I guess the deer must be smarter than they seem.
A nice view.
Here are some tiny white flowers. My camera really doesn't do them justice, but if you recognize them, please let me know what they are. You can click the picture to see a larger one.
Some Sun Cups, Camissonia bisorta.
There are a lot of these plants out there. They are about a foot high and have little tiny yellow flowers on them. Cindy B. tells me they are Amsinkia, or Fiddleneck.
Every now and then you see one that looks similar, but is three feet tall. It's the plant ID game again!
Here's a pretty hillside.
Look at these toad flax. (Thanks Janet and Cindy B.) Man, I wish I could show you a better picture. I gotta get out there with my good camera. Unfortunately, it is too awkward for bicycling and my feet are too bad to walk very far. We'll see.
This one looks big in the picture, but in fact that yellow flower is only about 1/4 inch or so across. It's Camissonia Californica.
Here is a Dudleya that looks like it was rabbit food for a while right after the fires.
That was the good (and some unknown - I am an optimist). Now for the Bad.
Yes, there is a lot of mustard out there.
There is a lot of filaree out there.
There is a lot of wild radish out there.
Are these African daisies? (This is really two pictures stuck together.) Yes, they are. Confirmed by Connie Beck. Thanks!
There are patches of this Yellow Oxalis along the river. It is very invasive. Thanks again to Connie Beck for the ID.
I'm told that it is also called Sour Clover, Sour Grass and Bermuda Buttercup. Here's a closer look.
Then there's the Ugly. Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Here you can see that the fire burned through the river bottom, charring most of the willows. Then the floods raged through here, re-arranging the banks and channels, and leaving a thick coat of mud. It's messy, but I think this will grow back and be very nice again. (You can click the image to see it bigger.)
Some people just have to make things uglier. I discovered this morning (3-1) that these motorcyclists also have been drinking, building campfires, throwing trash around, and shooting off a .45ACP pistol. Unfortunately, it is a regular occurance for this group. This part of the park will probably be closed until they catch these guys.
Besides, the trail is washed out, anyway. There's a lot of recovery to do and no money to do it with. Anyone want to volunteer to help?
That's all for now. If you made it this far, you are way too bored. Get out and see some wildflowers!
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