Saturday, February 28, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Spring Cleaning

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2015.  It's TV season again.  Hmmm, another stripped TV.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

If you're going to drive here to dump your TV, drive a couple of miles up the 5 Freeway & take it to the City's e-waste center - for FREE.  

LOS ANGELES-GLENDALE TREATMENT PLANT
4600 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Hours of Operation:
Saturdays and Sundays
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Report illegal dumping: http://www.cityofla.org/myla-311/myla-311-service-request

Red Car Property: Super Bright Mushrooms

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 18, 2015. A bunch of bright yellow mushrooms caught my eye at the north end of the Red Car Property.  The yellow was very, very bright & looked slimy.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 15, 2015.  The mushroom caps start off vibrant yellow when they first sprout, then fade to beige & eventually, shrivel into a leathery brown.  The largest of these mushrooms was about 3" in diameter.  No, I have no idea what they are, other than some form of "gilled mushroom."  

Click here for all the mushrooms we've documented in the neighborhood.

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity. MykoWeb is the resource everyone seems to refer to for mushrooms. The Los Angeles Mycological Society has a recommended reading list

If you are eating your way through the Red Car Property, we DO NOT recommend you eat any plant you find in the Red Car Property neighborhood without first doing your own research.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Red Car Property: Not A Park, It Just Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 22, 2015.  Thank you for keeping your dogs on leash & picking up after them.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Note: The California Black Walnuts think it's spring already. Some trees began sprouting new leaves a few weeks ago.

Corralitas Public Staircase: Monarch Butterfly

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 24, 2015.  If you look closely you can see the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) drinking from the Dandelion.  This one was at the base of the Corralitas Public Staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monarchs appear to have a sense of humor, or maybe they are just more curious than other butterflies I've photographed.  Whenever I've stopped to shoot photos of them, even if I'm 10 yards away, a Monarch will come over and circle my head closely.  (It's not as if I ever wear bright colors that would attract them.)  Maybe it's just circling like a shark doing threat behavior & I'm just not reading the signs coming from a pretty butterfly.  

The Monarchs have really made their presence known in the neighborhood.  I've seen them in Elysian Valley, on Corralitas Drive, Riverside Place & all along the Red Car Property.  I've often seen them once the sun hits Red Car Canyon, flashing their bright orange wings in the dappled light.  Last fall, it was spectacular to see dozens at a time fluttering through the tree branches.  They also seem to like the slope above the Historic Red Car Viaduct Footings.

Considering Monarch migration numbers are in steep decline, it's great to see them adapt to our small pathways of green between the LA River, Elysian Park, Red Car Property & Griffith Park.  It has a lot to do with local native Milkweed restoration efforts.

Click here for all the butterflies we've documented through the years in the Red Car Property neighborhood.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Western Tiger Swallowtail & Flower Fly

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 26, 2015.  The Western Tiger Swallowtails  (Papilo rutulus) were chasing each other around my & my neighbors' yards at lunchtime today.  This one was joined by a Flower Fly. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I've been trying to catch a photo of one of these huge spectacular butterflies as they fly through my yard every day. This one kept stopping to rest on the Wild Geranium weeds that are mixed in with the mustard.

Corralitas Drive: Joys Of Hillside Living

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 24, 2015, 10:04 AM.  The sounds of jackhammers woke most of Corralitas before 7 AM Tuesday.  Of course they didn't put up no parking signs until around 10 AM.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

There was no advance notice for work that took place up and down almost the entire street.  A contractor for the City did knock on a few doors to try to get a few cars move just as at least one neighbor was trying to get his kids dressed, fed & to school, it was not really an opportune time to move his car.  

It's not like we have an alternate way off our hill.  With no prior notice many neighbors were trapped and late for work or appointments because they were unaware of the work blocking the street.   

Mostly the crew just jackhammered & poured concrete around the manholes - some very close to parked cars.   We brought this to the attention of  CD13 & a Street Use Inspector from the Dept of Street Services.

The no parking signs are for today, Thursday, February 26.  So be sure to watch where you've parked your car.

At least it wasn't on a Sunday morning this time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Red Car Property: Not A Park, It Just Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 24, 2015.  It's much easier for Grandma when she doesn't have to keep looking over her shoulder for oncoming cars when walking the small kids to school.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Red Car Property: Please Don't Pick The Native Wildflowers

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 18, 2014.  Native Lupines are just starting to bloom after a couple years absence.  They reseed themselves quite well so it's best to let them run their course & go to seed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Red Car Property: Not A Mod Bee *Updated

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 23, 2015.  Sometimes you just capture the odd bee in a close up, but this one seems kind of mod.  It has a rather large yellow & black geometrically shaped head, here, drinking from a non-native, invasive Wild Radish flower.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 23, 2015.  Even this view is greatly enlarged from a wider shot above the historic viaduct footings. I just happened to catch sight of the odd bee while editing photos.  It only appeared in one frame.


UPDATE February 25, 2015: I'd submitted these photos to What's That Bug?  The Bugman of Mt Washington posted his reply today.  The mod little bug is not a bee, but a Flower Fly.  (I knew it was a bizarre looking bee - it's legs weren't right either.)  Read more on What's That Bug?

Red Car Property: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 23, 2015.  This morning, Red Car Canyon Lake was passable up on the banks of the vernal pool.  As always, this was the worst of the mud today.(Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 23, 2015.  The stretch between Rose Scharlin Nursery School and Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase was deceptive.  The mud was somewhat slippery but walkable.  However, potholes that well-intentioned people have filled in with dirt, easily gave way underfoot.  It's definitely not for those unsure on their feet today.  If we don't have more rain tonight, it will be walkable tomorrow.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 23, 2015.  The trail north of India was totally walkable.  

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge:

February 22-23 (8AM), 2015: 0.7"
Season to Date: 8.8"



Red Car Canyon: Not A Park, It Just Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 22, 2015.  With the Red Car Property green again, more families are using the property like a park.  So please be sure to pick up after your dogs! (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Random Mushroom Is Not A Puffball

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 22, 2015.  It looks like it's some type of Agaric (gilled) mushroom that failed to open.  You can see the dried up gills inside.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I was curious to see if the mushroom had changed since yesterday.  It looked like it either split open or someone or something pulled a piece of it open.  A Puffball Mushroom would have exploded with powdery spores.

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity. MykoWeb is the resource everyone seems to refer to for mushrooms. The Los Angeles Mycological Society has a recommended reading list

If you are eating your way through the Red Car Property, we DO NOT recommend you eat any plant you find in the Red Car Property neighborhood without first doing your own research.
 

Corralitas Drive: Another Random Mushroom

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 21, 2015.  While talking to a neighbor, I noticed what looked like a 1.5" diameter, almost perfectly round rock at the base of her Climbing Fig.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Nope, not a rock.  Neither of us have seen a mushroom like this before.  

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity. MykoWeb is the resource everyone seems to refer to for mushrooms. The Los Angeles Mycological Society has a recommended reading list

If you are eating your way through the Red Car Property, we DO NOT recommend you eat any plant you find in the Red Car Property neighborhood without first doing your own research.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Corralitas Drive: More Mushrooms

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 14, 2014.  We'd seen similar mushrooms in the same  location a few years ago.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 14, 2015.  This year's mushroom seemed more of a deflated pancake than modern sculpture. 

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity. MykoWeb is the resource everyone seems to refer to for mushrooms. The Los Angeles Mycological Society has a recommended reading list

If you are eating your way through the Red Car Property, we DO NOT recommend you eat any plant you find in the Red Car Property neighborhood without first doing your own research.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Riverside & Fletcher: Clean Up This Saturday February 21, 2015


Meet at the Arco Station at 9AM.   Pick it up!
Info: outreach@silverlakenc.org

Corralitas Drive: Joys Of Hillside Living

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 19, 2015.  Coping with Hillside Construction is particularly difficult in an established neighborhood for both the neighbors & the construction crew.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 19, 2015.  Frankly, when there is only one means of access for the entire hill, crews have to realize they have to work with the neighbors and give them advance notice when they're going to block the street most of the day & have heavy trucks going up & down the hill all day long - especially since there are 2 hairpin turns on the hill.  The lower one is a notorious one for parked cars to be hit & run by big trucks.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 19, 2015.  A neighbor at the top of the hill reported huge trucks were making 18-point turns in the (substandard) cul-de-sac all day long.  The smell of exhaust was heavy in the air when I took the dog for a late afternoon walk yesterday.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Gulf Fritillary Camouflage


Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 18, 2015.  Subtle shading on the underside of the rear wings on Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae), creates a 3-dimensional effect of sticks or plant stems.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

Not seeing it yet?
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 15, 2015.  From below, a predator might see plant stems in the dappled bright light & dead leaves.  Even their bodies are striped brown & white from below & bright orange from above.  Although, it looks as if a predator managed to get a piece of this butterfly's rear wing.

Butterflies seem to think it's summer already.  In 25 years  in the Red Car Property Neighborhood, I've never seen so many, so early in the year.  In addition to the Gulf Fritillaries, Skippers, & the highly unusual Red Admirals, I've observed a lot of Marine Blues, Tiger Swallowtails, West Coast Ladies, Checkered Whites, yellows (don't ask me what kind), Mourning Cloaks, a few Giant Swallowtails, Monarchs & a couple of black Skippers (never seen those before either). 

Butterflies all seem to like the non-native Lantana in my yard.  The Lantana has proven excellent for photo ops.  

Update 2-26-15: we regret the misleading headline - sometimes we get lazy in writing them. We did not mean "Camouflage" as  subspecies of Gulf Frittilary. That's camouflage as in natural selection creating the clever disguise under their wings. 

Click here for all the butterflies we've documented through the years.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Corralitas Public Staircase: Native Wild Hyacinth Attracts Skippers

Photo: Diane Edwardson February 15, 2015.  After a couple of years without native Wild Hyacinth (AKA "Blue Dicks") on Corralitas due to drought, I was particularly pleased to see the long stemmed plants topped with paper-thin purple flowers attracting a small brown butterfly, a type of Skipper (of which there are dozens species in LA County).

Wild Hyacinth is a perennial, returning to the same location, every year (when we have rain). 

The Butterfly Bonanza continues tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Red Admiral Butterfly

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 16, 2015.  One of the new butterflies in the Red Car Property Neighborhood paid me a visit.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

I'd been trying to capture a photo of one of these dramatically patterned butterflies for the past 2 weeks.  I've never seen them before.  Yet, they seem to be everywhere this year.  They never stand still long enough for me to grab a clear shot of one to even figure out what kind of butterfly they are. 
Photo Diane Edwardson, February 16, 2015.  When I heard the telltale flapping at the window, I looked up, I couldn't believe it was the elusive butterfly trapped inside the window.  It's a Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta).  

According to P.J. Bryant, Biologist, UC Irvine, in his Butterflies of Orange County research, "The Red Admiral should not be mistaken for any other butterfly. The distinct orange band across the dorsal forewing makes identification of this species easy."

I shot a bunch of photos, then spent 10 minutes trying to gently show the butterfly the way out. It finally got the hint & took off in the direction of the Red Car Property.

Neighbors have been talking about the butterfly bonanza of all species starting so early this year.  We'll be running more butterfly photos throughout the week.  Click here for all the species we've already documented.

Learn more & help track sightings of Red Admirals: Iowa State University