Monday, October 5, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2015.  Sunday's rainfall was light and the Red Car Property was totally walkable Sunday.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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

October 4, 2015: 0.25"
Season to Date:  3.25"

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Corralitas Red Car Property: Watch Your Step! Broken Glass, Toxic Material & A Dishwasher

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2015.  Saturday morning, a small, but no less dangerous pile of broken glass, mirrors and plastic, dismantled fans, cellphone cases, bottle caps, mini blinds, earbuds, hose parts, a bathtub faucet and assorted trash appeared on the meadow of the Red Car Property. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2015.  The waste is considered toxic: at least one broken fluorescent tube (pictured here) and a large brick sized battery was among the debris.

We've seen this type of broken glass dumping a few times before. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 3, 2015.  The dishwasher was dumped under the same tree where 2 dishwashers were dumped in August.  This tree seems to be a favorite dumping ground for someone who strips large appliances and home electronics then dumps the carcasses by driving several hundred feet up onto the Red Car Property to leave them where they often sit for months or years.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 3, 2015.  The pile of debris was dumped almost purposely, close enough to the trail where unsuspecting kids and dogs are likely to step on the sharp glass, particularly once the grass grows up around it.

This is vandalism plain and simple. 

You can't use the excuse, it's toxic waste, you didn't want to put it in the trashcan, if you're just going to dump it on the ground.  

The City's toxic & e-waste collection center is about a mile up the 5 Freeway from here, open 9AM-3PM, Saturday and Sunday.  If you're already stripping the wiring out of the electronics, dump your broken glass in a trash can and bring the toxic crap to the City's S.A.F.E. Drop Off Center.  It's free and they even take it out of your car for you.  

But if their intent is to vandalize the Red Car Property, the only thing that will stop people from driving onto the property to dump large items, are serious heavy duty fire gates like the City has on the fire roads of Griffith Park and Elysian Park and some minor landscaping improvements.  Emergency services have a master key to those gates. 

The City will not pick up the dumping from the Red Car Property.  It is private property.  If you see someone dumping, take photos, get a license plate, description, and call 1877-ASK-LAPD and report it immediately.  If you've taken a photo - it also records the time and date.  

Click here for all our dumping related posts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Corralitas Drive: MOTHRA!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 2, 2015. White Lined Sphinx Moths have bodies the size of my thumb, and are known as hawk moths and hummingbird moths (they do hover like hummingbirds).  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I was walking through my neighbor's dining room Friday night when I noticed the giant moth near the ceiling.  Wingtip to wingtip it was 4" across in this pose.  I had to grab my camera and shoot some photos before allowing the neighbor to scoop up the really beautiful moth in a plastic container before releasing it off the back deck into the wilds of Corralitas.

We've seen these significant moths before, usually resting in or around one of the homes on the east facing side of Corralitas Drive.

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: Giant Swallowtail

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 7, 2015. Giant Swallowtails are seemingly everywhere in the Red Car Neighborhood.  They are particularly attracted to pink and red varieties of bougainvillea.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)   
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 7, 2015.  Giant Swallowtails are the largest butterfly in the United States, and their bold black and yellow patterned wings make them all the more eye-catching. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 7, 2015.  Last summer was the first time I'd ever seen Giant Swallowtails, but only occasionally.  This year, they're practically common, but no less spectacular flying by. 

Their larval food plants are citrus trees.  To everyone who took advantage of those free citrus tree giveaways, thank you for encouraging the population growth of this spectacular butterfly.  

Learn more: What's That Bug? 
Butterflies and their larval food plants (UCI) 
Butterflies of Orange County (UCI)
Bug Guide

Friday, October 2, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Campfire Last Night

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, October 2, 2015.  Someone is trying to scare neighbors by having a campfire in Red Car Canyon.  Luckily, things have been pretty damp at night and the grass is green right now.  They clearly tried to hide it by arranging the large tree stumps to block the view from the Corralitas end of the Red Car Property - the most likely direction from which the LAPD or LAFD would have entered the property.

Wednesday night, neighbors called the police when a noisy party of  teenagers with expensive bicycles went on for hours near the Riverside Place entrance to Red Car Canyon.  One neighbor reported that shortly after email regarding the loud party went out to the canyon neighborhood watch list, the group took off on their bikes down Riverside Place. 

After yesterday's campsite on Lot C, Howard Fields, owner's rep for the Red Car Property, immediately updated the trespass order with LAPD Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis.  If someone is having a campsite, blocking emergency access, partying, vandalizing property,  call the non-emergency 1-877-ASK-LAPD.  A copy of the trespass order is on file at the Northeast LAPD.  If a serious (violent) crime is taking place or you see fire call 911. You may need to leave your phone number and give them directions to the property as sometimes they come from another division. 

DO NOT CONFRONT THESE INDIVIDUALS.  If you see them littering, be polite and ask them to take their trash with them.  Neighbors who have encountered the partiers, day or night, say they just appear to be kids from the neighborhood, not gangbangers.  So if you know them, have a chat with them, but do not get confrontational. 

If you smell fire, step outside and investigate.  Just because the grass is green now, does not mean the trees have recovered from the drought.  Eucalyptus, pine, palm trees, arundo and bamboo are highly combustible year round.  If you have these trees and plants around your rear fence, you might want to take a look at them this weekend and do some pruning.  Brush clearance is a year round responsibility.

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

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 29, 2015.  Dawn warms up the north end of the Red Car Property, above Historic Landmark #770, the Pacific Electric Viaduct Footings.  The public staircase, retaining walls and footings, seen here on the opposite side of Fletcher, are not included in the City Cultural Historic Landmark.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Red Car Property Lot C: Camping Is Not An Approved Land Use In R-2 Zoning

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, October 1, 2015.  This is not an unpaved public street.  It is private property: APN: 5438-007-001, also known as Lot C, north of India Street on the County Assessor's maps.  The Acura is parked there with someone hanging out inside.  The engine was not running. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

When a neighbor sent photos early this morning of the campsite and cars blocking the trail on Lot C of the Red Car Property, I immediately sent them to the property owner's rep Howard Fields, LAPD Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis, City Councilmember O'Farrell's Deputy Adam Bass (CD13) and City Attorney William Larsen.  There has been an ongoing squatter problem with a couple of properties adjacent to this end of the Red Car Property.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 12, 2015.  Since March, neighbors have been complaining about squatters on 2340 Riverside Drive, a vacant lot adjacent to the Red Car Property, just about 50' from this morning's campsite.  

As of September, there was an increase in activity on the 20-30' portion of the downslope where all the construction debris, tires and junk is stored, as suddenly it was being moved around.  The downslope 20-30' belongs to the Red Car Property not to 2340 Riverside Drive.  The flat portion of the lot was being used as a bathroom and dumping ground again.  I let all the aforementioned authorities and the Red Car Property owner's rep know about it several times in September.  Neighbors reported an increase in activity too, including when someone had tapped into the DWP transformer on the telephone pole at Gilroy with an extension cord to another adjacent garage known to house squatters.  

Since early May, things had been quiet on the Red Car Property.  Do not confront these squatters.  These people appear to have been living on the street a long time and may not be entirely stable.  

Until we know how to best deal with this situation, I suggest sending photos of problems on the Red Car Property to CD13: with Red Car Property in the subject line.  If it is an emergency call 911.  

Red Car Property: Enjoy The Grass BeforeThe Sun Dries It Out

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 27, 2015.  The grass won't stay green much longer unless we get some more rain or foggy mornings.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Red Car Property: Not A Park, Nor Is It An Unpaved City Street

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 25, 2015.  The LA Times and some mapping services incorrectly identify much of the Red Car Property as Silver Lake Court.  They are wrong.  The Red Car Property is private property. Silver Lake Court is a an unbuilt paper that is west of and inaccessible from this part of the Red Car Property.   (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Red Car Property North: Dawn Will Not Bring The Eucalyptus Back From The Dead

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 29, 2015.  We've documented the two dead trees on right since February this year.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The dead Eucalyptus trees are on the Red Car Property, right up against the fence of a home below, on Riverside Drive.  The trees are not only a fire danger, but they are at risk of falling on the home below.  The slope is extremely steep. Note: this is not "an unpaved City street," it is private property.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Monarch Butterfly

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 28, 2015.  While walking his kids with dogs through Red Car Canyon, Vandiveer discovered Monarch Butterfly, just barely clinging to life.  It was a rare opportunity for his kids to see one up close.  Summer Monarchs live 2 - 5 weeks, winter Monarchs up to 9 months.
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 28, 2015.  This time of year, the Monarchs flock to Red Car Canyon because of the Silk Floss Tree blooming on a street directly adjacent the canyon.  On sunny afternoons, the wooded canyon becomes magical, as beams of light filter through the trees with dozens of Monarchs fluttering through.  It is very cinematic.  

Learn more about Monarchs: 
Monarch Watch
Butterflies and their larval foodplants (UCI)
Butterflies of Orange County (UCI)

Click here for all our Monarch Butterfly posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

Red Car Property: Eucalyptus Went Down Before The Rain, Now A Fire Hazard

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 12, 2015.  This smaller Eucalyptus looks like it rotted near the base of the trunk and crashed down on the Red Car Property. (It was growing behind 2 Lake View Ave side homes, just north of Rose Scharlin.)  It's not unusual for Eucalyptus to go down in the  summer and fall months for no apparent reason. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 25, 2015.  A few weeks and 3" of rain later, the  leaves are dry.  Now it's a fire hazard. Eucalyptus is an oily, combustible tree.  Brush clearance is a year round responsibility.

Historic Viaduct Footings: Dawn

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 25, 2015.  Historic Landmark #770 has seen better days, but if you're blinded by the rising sun you might not notice the layers of day-glo paint and graffiti vandalism.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

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

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 27, 2015.  Looking south from Red Car Canyon toward the meadow, which is usually dry this time of year.  

Charles Fleming took a walk on the Red Car Property for the LA Times.  Too bad he didn't just take Fletcher to the river and come back up Newell to Riverside.  It only adds about a mile onto the round trip. 

Blood Moon, Supermoon: Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 2, 2015.  Full moon rising over the Eastside.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It sounds like astronomical Armageddon, a total lunar eclipse while the full moon makes its closest pass by earth, exerting higher than usual pressure on tides, looking larger than normal, with a red cast to the moon. Oh yeah, and there were some good sized solar flares expected to reach earth this weekend too.

Weather permitting, we should be able to see the total lunar eclipse, exact at 7:37 PM, or you can just watch it on NASA TV where they'll be live streaming the event - including a feed from Griffith Observatory.  

Learn more about the Blood Moon and its myths of Armageddon on NASA's

Schedule for this and future eclipses: Time and Date
Los Feliz Improvement Association sent out an email warning on Friday, regarding expected heavy traffic on the Los Feliz end of Griffith Park for the Observatory and an event at the Greek Theatre starting in the afternoon hour.  Stay home and enjoy the view from home. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Red Car Property: Dawn Through Black Walnuts

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, September 25, 2015.  It's official: photo of the year so far.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

With the high heat and humidity right now, the best time to walk/run the Red Car Property is at dawn. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Rose Scharlin Co-op Nursery School: Meeting Reminder

Rose Scharlin Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Update
 Neighborhood Meeting
Saturday, September 26, 2015
 1-3 PM  
Rose Scharlin Nursery School
2414 Lake View Ave 
children are welcome

At the request of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's Urban Design & Planning Advisory Committee (SLNC UD&PAC), City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell (CD13) and the City Planning Zoning Administrator, Rose Scharlin is holding this meeting (after they've heard from the neighbors at 4 previous meetings) to review some revisions they are proposing to their Conditional Use Permit (which expired 28 years ago).  They sent around some revisions via email 25 hours prior to the meeting. So you should attend if you want to know more.

Corralitas Drive: Marine Blue

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 15, 2015.  It is so hard to catch a clear shot of Marine Blue Butterflies when their wings are open and miraculously showing off their blue.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Marine Blues are the most common tiny blue butterfly in Los Angeles.  This one was either spectacularly blue, or the light was perfect, reflecting brilliantly off its wings.  I'd never seen one quite so blue.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 15, 2015.  They are so tiny, you can't see the detail easily in person.  (Shoot photos first; ID species later.)  In these photos, the butterfly is standing on a 1/4" diameter peppercorn from a Peruvian Pepper Tree.  This is the far more typical shot of the Marine Blue I have taken, time and time again.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Fall Fungus Season

Photo: Diane Edwardson, september 21, 2015.  An Agaricus deserticola  popped up in the shade of a Hibiscus, where the communal semi-feral cat likes to hang out.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I'd never seen these mushrooms  in the neighborhood until this year.  According to MycoWeb, they are a desert mushroom.  After 4 years of drought, they fit right in Los Angeles.  I've seen them in the desert, where they look just like rocks.  They seem to sprout about a week after a good rain, just like this one did.  

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.

Click here for all our fungus fun.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Corralitas Walk: Did You Miss The End Of Summer At 1:22 AM Today?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 20, 2015.  Corralitas Walk was created by CalTrans when they took away our secondary access to Corralitas Drive and built the 2 Freeway.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

The Autumnal Equinox was exact at 1:22 AM PDT.  Fall usually brings Santa Anas and Red Flag Warnings, not 3" of rain and green grass on the Red Car Property. This year's weather is so screwed up, trees that would normally be dropping their leaves are sprouting new growth and more sub-tropical extreme heat is forecast this week.