Saturday, December 20, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Marauding Blue Jays, Stuff You Missed This Year

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 25, 2014.  A Corralitas neighbor  reported Blue Jays raiding nests & killing baby birds in her yard.  The next day, I found 3 dead babies on the the sidewalk nearby.  The ants were not letting the carcases go to waste.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)


Stuff You Missed This Year is our annual wrap up of interesting photos and things we just didn't have a chance to run, because everything seems to always happen at the same time.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some Neighborhood Wildlife Definitely Found Us Today

Today's post is from Red Car Property neighbor, Russell Bates.
Photo: Russell Bates, December 18, 2014.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

We often let our chickens out of their pen to run around and forage; they seem to have a great time and always act very proud of themselves. We knew it was a risk, because we often hear the hawk screeches all along the Red Car property. But we decided to live dangerously.

Well today, our (or Patsy's, really) luck ran out. I heard the chickens making a big ruckus and went outside to see what was going on. As I got to the coop a big startled hawk flew off gracefully, leaving carnage behind. I guess I should be glad the hawk decided to stop and eat instead of going on a long killing spree.
Photo: Russell Bates, December 18, 2014.  The culprit appears to be a very large Red Tailed Hawk.
Photo: Russell Bates, December 18, 2014. 
  
The hawk hung around for a while in a tree across the street, hoping I'd leave the buffet out. No such luck.

So, fellow neighborhood poultry keepers, be forewarned. The hawks enjoy finding something that REALLY tastes like chicken.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Riverside Drive: Might Want To Slow Down When Driving In The Rain

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 16, 2014.  Not only did the car flip & end up on the northbound curb of Riverside Drive, just south of Fletcher, it also took out at least one sad street tree.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 16, 2014.  The car is on the sidewalk just southeast of the Gilroy St overpass of the 5 Freeway.  Riverside Drive is almost a blind curve at Gilroy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Red Car Property: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 17, 2014.  Sunrise over Lot C: muddy, yet walkable.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge...
December 15-17 (10AM): 1.0"
Season to date: 5.79"
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 17, 2014.  Adelbert cut-thru: muddy, yet walkable (north end of the property).  The soil has not yet reached saturation after 3 years of drought.  Hopefully, all this rain will revitalize the trees in the neighborhood.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 17, 2014.  Lake Corralitas: smaller than last week, after more than a half inch last night, seemingly in one downpour.  One neighbor, who was trapped in her car by the wind & rain just as she parked, described it "as if someone turned on a firehose."

Stuff We All Missed This Year: Rain

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 26, 2014.  We  saw no rain at all in January 2014, leaving the Red Car Property drier than most of us had ever seen.  We had a total of 7.55" on the Corralitas rain gauge for the 2013-2014 rainy season ending June 30.
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  The same view last Friday was decidedly more green after 2" of rain in just a few hours brought the vernal pools back to the Corralitas flood plain.

Check back later for updated rainfall totals

Stuff You Missed This Year is our annual wrap up of interesting photos and things we just didn't have a chance to run, because everything seems to always happen at the same time. 



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Warning, Blind Corner Ahead, Stuff You Missed This Year

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 1, 2014.  A few months ago, a new sign appeared rather mysteriously on Corralitas Drive - which is not a through street in either direction.  One neighbor said it's now easier to direct pizza delivery, since it points directly to their house.  Some neighbors remarked it should be a curvy arrow rather than a sharp turn arrow.  Either way - it's a blind corner on a narrow hillside street - slow the heck down!

Note: Technically, driver going uphill has the right of way.  However, as this is a very difficult corner with parked cars on it, if you're going up hill and have room to pull over between cars more easily than the person coming downhill who may have to back way up and around the blind corner...please use some common sense and courtesy.

Stuff You Missed This Year is our annual wrap up of interesting photos and things we just didn't have a chance to run, because everything seems to always happen at the same time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Frosty's Joined The Winter Wonderland

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 11, 2014.  It's starting to look a lot like Christmas.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Red Car Canyon: 4 Months Later, Pile Of Dumping Still There

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 11, 2014.  That pile has been there since August.  The glass tabletop was added in November.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Red Car Property: Strangely Walkable

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 12, 2014. Regarding walking this section of the Red Car Property after the rain, around 1 PM Friday, "I usually have to walk WAY [over] on either side of the road.  But firm ground abound today.  Was strange."  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Let's hope the soil absorbed the rain, rather than it running off into the downslope neighbors' homes.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 11, 2014.  In fact, this part of Red Car Property doesn't look too different than it did on Thursday.  (It certainly helps that Rose Scharlin is not currently driving and parking on the property.) 

Note: The pile of dumping migrated around the the native Black Walnut trees, again.

Red Car Canyon Creek Flows North & South

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  One of the oddities of the Red Car Property is the creek running out of Red Car Canyon flows both north (photo above: behind Rose Scharlin Nursery School) and south. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Lower Red Car Creek: Drying Up By Yesterday Afternoon

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014. Friday morning, Lower Red Car Creek flowed south out of Red Car Canyon, feeding vernal pools in the Canyon & the southern end of the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 12, 2014.  By early afternoon the creek slowed to a trickle.
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014,  A wider swath of water flowed out of Red Car Canyon in the morning.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 12, 2014.  Vlahakis wrote, "Amazing it isn't complete mush as usual.  Could actually still walk it early afternoon."
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 12, 2014.  The Red Car Canyon Lakes were still pretty good sized vernal pools, so it's best to tread carefully through the canyon.

Friday, December 12, 2014

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

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  Red Car Canyon Lake was swampy, yet beautiful after 2" of rain.

Lake Corralitas: Vernal Pools Return
Updated Rainfall Totals

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  Lake Corralitas returned in a big way with nearly 2 inches of rain this morning.*  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Yesterday the trail was dry.
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  Much of the southern end of the Red Car Property is under water this morning.
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  The vernal pool at the Corralitas end is very deep.  Where will the water go?

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 12, 2014.  Much of it will drain to the street on Corralitas Drive, into the storm drain, then off to the LA River. The network of gopher holes in the slope help drain the water to the street.**

*Updated rainfall totals 
December 12, 2014, 4:15 PM: additional 0.2"
Season to Date: 4.79"

Thanks Jonathan for heading out into the mud between downpours this morning!  We'll post more of his photos shortly.

UPDATE: A Red Car Property neighbor who is also a landscape designer, writes, "Hopefully most of the water will be absorbed into the soil and filtered into the aquifer. That's the goal for stormwater, and the gophers help in a big way."  

Corralitas Drive: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, December 12, 2014.  "Driving past at 9AM today. The hill was actively crumbling and falling as I sat there to take pics. Hope it holds up."  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Another Corralitas Neighbor writes, "Just the barest of sprinkles, then .  . . Someone turned the hose on - full blast at 3:30am!"

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

From 10:30 PM last night to 9:30 AM, 12-12-14: 1.8"  
Season to Date: 4.59" 

If you're walking the Red Car Property and see mud slides, trees down or other storm damage email us .jpg photos: redcarproperty@gmail.com
or on Twitter @RedCarProperty

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Corralitas Red Car Property: Big Storm Warning

Photo: Gary Vlahakis. December 10, 2014.  Green is a color we're just not accustomed to after 3 years of the worst drought ever. 
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Batten down the hatches, forecasters are talking about a "squall line" coming in early Friday morning - wind & rain.  

You might want to trim back any suspect branches from your trees today,  take steps to prevent mudflows and be alert if you are in an area with predictable mudslides

If you see power lines down, call 911 and alert your neighbors.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Red Tailed Hawk

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 11, 2014.  A young Red Tailed Hawk has been hanging around the top of the big pine tree in a Corralitas yard.  From there it has a sweeping view of the entire south end of the Red Car Property, from which to hunt unsuspecting rats, gophers & squirrels.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 11, 2014.  If you look very closely, you can see the Red Tail atop the pine tree.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Silver Lake Court: Squirreling Native Black Walnuts Away For Another Day

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 23, 2014.  Caught in the act, a squirrel was sprinting across the expanse of Silver Lake Court (a paper street) near the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase, with a Black Walnut in its mouth.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)


Monday, December 8, 2014

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

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 2, 2014.  The light in Red Car Canyon is magical.  (Click on Photo to enlarge.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Red Car Canyon Lake: Damp, Walkable

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 3, 2014.  Red Car Canyon was surprisingly dry after a bit more than 2" of rain over 3 days.  I guess 3 years of extreme drought made the dirt act like a sponge for this rain. 

Another neighbor commented, "Can already see a tinge of green in all the brown we've been looking at, for awhile now."

Note: That dead Eucalyptus, we first wrote about in May, is still hanging over the trail.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Mudwatch, Blocked Sidewalk *Updated Rainfall Totals

Photos: Corralitas Neighbor, December 3, 2014.  Earlier this summer, the owner of this vacant Corralitas Drive lot denuded the entire lot of all vegetation.  After 2 inches of rain, a lot more dirt is blocking the sidewalk.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

No application for construction has been submitted to Building & Safety.  How many times do we have to say it?  Don't cut down all the vegetation on your slope until you are ready to break ground for construction, permits in hand. This is not the extent you need to clear your slope for brush clearance.  This lot had exceptional fire resistant defensive landscaping prior to the current owner's misguided brush clearance. 
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, December 3, 2014.  At night, this is a very dark part of the street on a blind curve.  If you walk your dog after dark, you have to leap out of the way of speeding cars.  Additionally, we have at least one vision impaired neighbor, one hearing impaired neighbor, several older neighbors and those who prefer to walk on the sidewalk rather than the middle of the street.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, December 3, 2014. That one protected native tree, a California Black Walnut has been cut down a few times, and just keeps coming back.  But it's not large enough  to hold back the erosion on the entire denuded slope. 

Back in June, neighbors were predicting mudflows as soon as we see big rain.  When the slope is saturated, we should see a lot more mud on the street.  Good sized rocks usually tumble down here too. You might want to beware parking here.

*UPDATE 12-4-14: As of 8 AM we had additional 0.2" in the Corralitas rain gauge
Season to date: 2.79"