Thursday, October 31, 2013

More Owl Mysteries with a Goatsucker Thrown In

In the family of "goatsuckers", I first starting seeing these small birds hunkered down on the ground at night at the Dipper Ranch after we put a thick layer of gravel on the driveway.  
After the interesting comments on the driveway owl - whether it is a great-horned owl or a western screech owl - I want to share more owl photos.  Especially a small owl that shows up at the Newt Spring and then a goatsucker that surprised me on the driveway tonight.

Those night critters.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sharps at Sunset

A large buck crosses the driveway and heads down the hill at sunset.  
I am working on a post about deer at the Newt Spring in late summer and early fall. So many different deer families and they are regrouping this time of year. My notes are something likes this:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Water for the Trickster

Summer-dry brown in October. That's SoCal.  
Southern California. SoCal.  Land of lovely sunshine and 13.7 inches of average annual precipitation (at Redlands).  Last year, actual annual precipitation was 9.0 inches, and so far this calendar year, there has been 3.6 inches.  Future climate models project that this region will be dry and getting drier with more extreme events including longer droughts and stronger sudden storms.

Something for us ecologists to consider when we are restoring land to natural conditions. How do we convert abandoned agricultural fields, mining pits, eroded bluffs, dissolving roads, buried or channelized creeks to diverse, functioning, sustainable natural systems? In the future climate, are these areas best suited as forests, grasslands, chaparral or ephemeral streams? With climate change, there's no going back so what is the path forward?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Arboreal and Frugivorous

Gray fox scurrying off with prey.  Are those floppy bunny ears hanging down?  
A week ago Saturday, we heard a loud crash in the backyard at 3:00 am.  People and pets raised our heads high enough to peek out the bedroom window. The backyard remained dark and silent so we went back to sleep.