Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Red Car Property: At Least 5 Vehicles Towed From Lot C This Morning

Photos: Red Car Property Neighbor October 1, 2014.  Word came from a neighbor that at least 5 vehicles were towed from the Red Car Property north of India this morning.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 
The neighbor spoke to an LAPD officer on site who said they were towing vehicles with expired registration.  

Perhaps the property owner was compelled to start cleaning up the property since the he had to come out to the property last week to clear a new homeless encampment a few hundred feet north of where all these derelict vehicles have been parked for years. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Corralitas Drive: It's That Time Of Year, Raccoons In The Rubber Trees

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 27, 2014.  A very large raccoon was way up in the rubber tree eating the tiny figs that are dropping like rain in the yard these days.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wildlife can't resist the fruit of the rubber tree.  At night, raccoons, rats & opossums are up in the trees, while the skunks forage on the ground below.  By day, all manner of birds, including parrots, make a stop for the tasty & abundant fruit they can't seem to get enough of (but there is still plenty of fruit on the ground that has to be swept up daily).

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity.  We often get email suggesting some plants are edible. 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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Red Car Property: Stop Cutting Down Protected Native Trees Without Permits

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2014.  Thursday, someone cut down another protected native Southern California Black Walnut Tree on the Red Car Property, this time adjacent to a home on Adelbert Ave that was recently up for sale.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

This tree was definitely on the Red Car Property near the "Adelbert trail cut-through" was still intact on Thursday morning, before brush clearance was done on 2 Red Car Property lots.   It was the only tree cut down on Thursday.  (The incident was reported to the Dept. of Urban Forestry.)

The dead Eucalyptus are all still standing just a stones throw from here.  The Black Walnut was a large multi-trunked tree that was doing quite well despite the drought.  Other trees in the area have not fared well.  People seem to have something against healthy native trees this year. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2014.  Native trees help hold our crumbling slopes together, especially here in the Adelbert Landslide Zone. They evolved for our soil and drought conditions.  

Southern California Black Walnuts are a sensitive plant species disappearing from our local slopes.  The tree was just upslope from the Riverside Drive lots where more than a dozen Black Walnuts were clear cut just a few weeks ago.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 18, 2012.  A quick search of my recent archives turned up this photo of the same tree showing it was indeed a Black Walnut.  (This part of the Red Car Property is usually so overgrown & green, year round, that it is hard to distinguish individual trees unless you catch them in the fall when they're dropping their leaves.) 

Read the City of LA's: Protected Native Tree Ordinance

More info on permits for removing protected native trees: City Of LA Dept of Urban Forestry

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Rat Catcher

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2014.  One of the very large Red Tailed Hawks landed in the tree next door with a creature in its talons.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

I had run outside with my camera because two of the large Red Tails were calling excitedly & swooping low in my yard.  This usually is the sign they've caught a meal.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2014.  It wasn't until I looked at the photos, I could tell that breakfast was a tree rat.  (This is one more reason not to use rat bait/poison.  It works its way up the food chain and is causing harm to predators.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 26, 2014.  The juvenile Red Tail landed in the tree the adult just left behind.  Clearly, the adult was keeping the rat for herself.  The youngster kept calling from the tree then chasing after the adult for the next 10 minutes.   

Read more about anti-coagulant rat poison: Urban Carnivores

Save the date! Ojai Raptor Center Open House Sunday October 26, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Red Car Property: Respect Your Neighbors, Haul Your Trash Away!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 25, 2014.  Several weeks ago the Riverside Place homeowner promised the pile of trash outside his back gate from his recent home improvement project would be gone that same day.  Yet the pile keeps growing.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 25, 2014.  Yup, that Xmas tree's been here a really long time.  Chop it up and put it in your green bin.

And people wonder why others come here to dump on the Red Car Property? Respect your neighbors.  Haul your trash away in a timely manner.  Leaving it out only attracts more problems.  The City is not going to come back here and pick it up.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Corralitas Public Staircase: Tiny Flowers, Deadly Berries

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 2, 2014.  The flowers on this (most likely native) Nightshade plant are so small you practically need a microscope to see them.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Normally, we have a number of different types of the HIGHLY TOXIC Nightshade growing around the neighborhood.  However, they may have fallen to the extreme drought we're in.

Learn more about Nightshade: CalFlora 

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity.  We often get email suggesting some plants are edible. 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. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Red Car Property: Bee Alert! Bee Hive Tumbled Down Hill From Adelbert

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  This morning, I heard a loud buzzing sound about 50' ahead on the trail near Adelbert.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

A large box box had either been shoved or had fallen down the hillside from a backyard on Adelbert.  Bees were swarming angrily around the box & on the slope.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  The angry bees are midway between the large Coast Live Oak Tree (the large, dark green tree to the right of the arrow) & the path leading up to Adelbert (a.k.a. "the Adelbert cut-through").  It's also about 25' from the log with an established bee hive inside.  This was about as close as I got.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  The bees seemed pretty mad & were swarming.  So I relied on the zoom to get this shot of the bees tending their honeycomb on the  slope.  It is probably best not to aggravate the bees further while they establish a new home.  It is unlikely  they are Africanized Bees or we would have heard of attacks in our very urbanized area.

Red Car Canyon: Afternoon Hawkwatch

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  A huge Red Tailed Hawk has taken up residence in the Red Car Property neighborhood. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Unlike our resident nesting pair from the 2 Freeway, who were very open in hanging out atop trees, balcony railings and open branches, this Red Tail likes to hide amongst the dense branches of trees.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  Late in the afternoon, I happened to be walking up the Red Car Property, when the huge Red Tail flew toward me, low through Red Car Canyon & landed in the branches of a pine tree.  You can tell it's an experienced hunter.  It landed in the tree with the sun just above and behind it, so any potential prey might be temporarily blinded should it look up toward the hawk.  Neighbors report seeing  hawks routinely using this technique in the morning & afternoon.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  The hawk has a very large dark beak.  It may be the same hawk I photographed last month.  Overall, its feathers are darker in color, including a more reddish chest & belly than the Red Tails we're used seeing in the neighborhood. (These photos are overexposed due to the light in the canyon, so the hawk appears lighter that it really is.) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Red Car Property Adjacent: Can The Cult Of The Birdman Be On The Horizon?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 25, 2014.  Yeah, it's esoteric, but some of us know our Easter Island history.  It's what comes once all the natural resources are depleted; trees cut down, drought, infighting, cannibalism.  But for now it's a great photo op.

Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox exact today at 7:29 AM Pacific Daylight Time.   

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Last Week, It Was So Hot Even The Squirrels Did Not Want To Get Out Of Bed

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 21, 2014,  It's hard to believe it was so hot  even the squirrels preferred to lie around in big pile in the nest.  I count at least 3 big squirrels in this frame.   (Click on photo to enlarge)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Where Are The Red Tails When You Need Them?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 5, 2014.  Our resident Red Tailed Hawks have definitely been slacking off - the squirrels never used to nap out in the open like this.  This branch is within the line of site to their nest at Rosebud & Allesandro.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

He's just biding his time so he can steal more heirloom tomatoes!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Cooper's Hawk Hunting In Eucalyptus Tree

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 18, 2014.  Around 4:30 pm something caught my eye jumping & flapping between the densely overgrown branches of the Eucalyptus out back.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It was a very small (maybe 12" tall) Cooper's Hawk. It was stalking a flock of little chirpy birds who make the rounds of my yard in the late afternoon.  The bird hunter was so focused it didn't care that I stepped outside to take photos of it just 20' away. 

Lacking a larger format camera, my photos don't compare to the awesome Cooper's Hawk photos shot a few months ago by Jonathan Vandiveer.  Cooper's Hawks are one of my White Whales; they always seem to show up when I don't have a camera in hand. 

Cooper's Hawks get special consideration during environmental review under CEQA for development projects. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, September 11, 2014.  Last week, the young Red Tails were seeking relief from the heat in the shade of the log cabins.  The youngster was one of two that had been in the Eucalyptus trees for hours.  Earlier, in the blazing midday sun, I watched the adult miss a squirrel in our palm tree, while a youngster was calling to be fed nearby.

Over the past few years, Vlahakis shot countless frames of our resident Red Tailed Hawks who nest on the 2 Freeway at Rosebud Ave.  He's documented our incredibly urban hawks, nesting on a freeway, feeding young, enduring construction, interacting & even hanging out on the railing of his house.  After you've edited hundreds of frames, you do recognize individuals quite easily.  This was a new face.

When a neighbor alerted us to the hawk below his house, Vlahakis immediately shot a few frames, sent this photo with the note, "definitely young."   

We are grateful to Gary Vlahakis for sharing his fantastic photographs of the Red Tailed Hawks.  He's given us an opportunity to see what only a few of us have witnessed when these magnificent hunters pay visits to our backyards.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Red Car Canyon: Lower Red Car Creek

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 24, 2011.  After big rainstorms & throughout El Nino years, Lower Red Car Creek flows both north & south out of Red Car Canyon.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The adjacent steep hillsides drain to the Red Car Property.  

Related: Red Car Creek 
"Lot C" Creek 

We've been looking at cooler & greener days on the Red Car Property for some relief from the extreme heatwave we're currently in.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Red Car Property: Remember Rain?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 26, 2011. We're running photos of cooler days on the Red Car Property to cope with the excessive heatwave & insane humidity.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 24, 2010.  With the current record drought, it's easy to forget how green the Red Car Property used to be when it rained.  It doesn't take more than a half inch of rain to make Red Car Canyon Lake reappear.  (Yes there were once really big tadpoles in it!)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 24, 2011.  After big rainstorms or particularly heavy El Nino seasons, the water can be chest deep for my dog in some of the vernal pools on the south end of the Red Car Property

Monday, September 15, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Keep Thinking Cool Thoughts

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 20, 2011.  2011 was the last time we had a ton of snow & rain for that matter.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

We're doing our best to run cool photos until the excessive heatwave lets up.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Why Is The City Dept. Of Sanitation Doing Routine Maintenance On A Hillside Street...On a Sunday Morning??

Photo: Diane Edwardson, Sunday, September 14, 2014.   The City Department of Sanitation work crew was digging out the manhole covers with a jackhammer up & down Corralitas Drive, a Substandard Hillside Street with only one means of access: Rosebud Ave.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

I questioned the crew when they were having trouble making the turn at the top of the hill, in the narrow cul-de-sac.  I asked if there was an emergency, since 1. it was Sunday & 2. there had been a lot of Dept Sanitation crews on our street recently.  A man identifying himself as the night & weekend crew supervisor politely responded, it was just "routine maintenance" since our street was recently repaved (in March). He did not know what the other crews who work week-day hours were doing here.  There was no emergency.  

To the crew's credit they were polite & worked quickly.  But, Sunday morning is not when most people expect to hear jackhammers on the street.

Digging out the manhole covers to the sewer is important, but it would seem a waste of City resources (taxpayer dollars) to assign a crew to a residential Hillside neighborhood on a Sunday morning when it was not an emergency.  Shouldn't they be working Downtown or in an industrial area on nights & weekends?   

Of course, this wouldn't be necessary if they just paved around the manholes.  It is possible. I witnessed it in another city earlier this year.

There was no notice, so neighbors had no opportunity to move their cars.  They were jachammering near cars.  Rubble was not swept from the street.  They had to stop work several times to let cars pass.  You have to wonder how many more cars they damage on weekends than on weekdays when there are fewer cars parked on the street.  They didn't even get to all the covers because cars were parked too close. 

On the other end of Corralitas, a Dept of Sanitation Vactor RamJet truck was working, similarly blocking residents.  Again, not an emergency.  

Clearly there is no oversight at the Dept of Sanitation. 

We sent an email of the incident to City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell & City Controller Ron Galperin with these photos, copied to the entire Corralitas Neighborhood Watch list. 

Lake View Ave: Found Dog Taken North Central Animal Shelter On Lacy Street

This little guy was wandering around on Lake View Ave this morning, 9-14-14. He has a bite wound on his neck and seems to have been on the loose for a little while - he's pretty dirty and scrawny. He's also a total sweetheart and was super excited about human contact once he stopped being terrified. 

He was taken to North Central Animal Shelter on Lacy Street.  He is not microchipped. They said that they'll clean him up and that dogs that size/breed usually get adopted soon after the 4-day holding window. 

His impound # at the North Central Animal Shelter is 1507830. 

Thanks to Amy & Russel for taking care of this little dog.  Taking him to the pound is the right thing to do.  It is the first place people look for their dogs when they are lost.  Be sure you microchip your pets - even if you think they won't get lost - and be sure your contact info is up to date.  It is one of the best ways to reunite lost dogs with their owners. 

Corralitas Drive: April Snowstorm 1950

Photo: Smith Family Archive, probably 1950 April snowstorm.  We never tire of this photo*.  There were very few houses on Lake View or Silver Ridge until the 1980s' building boom. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Apparently there were snowstorms in both 1949 & 1950.  True to form, the Red Car Property neighborhood got way more than the 0.3" of snow - take a close look at the laundry hanging on the line. 

*We're running cool photos until the excessive heat wave lets up.   

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: We're Just Going to Run Cool Photos Until The Heatwave Ends

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 20, 2013. Snow on the San Gabriels from the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)