Friday, April 18, 2014

We've Said It Before: Don't Use Rat Poison

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 5, 2010.  Dead rat near Adelbert on the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Rat poison travels up the food chain, causing disease & killing predators including hawks, coyotes, foxes, bobcats & even mountain lions.  See yesterday's story about the Griffith Park Mountain Lion, P-22: LA Times

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: City Painted Out Graffiti In Record Time

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 16, 2014.  The graffiti was painted out by Central City Action Committee (a City contractor) in less than 24 hours after the graffiti vandalism was reported to My311 on the City's website.

My311 is a more effective way to report than through the Board of Public Works' redundant Anti-Graffiti Request System because you can submit photos for hard to find places like this with no street address. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: Reported To City, We'll See How Long It Takes For Removal

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 15, 2014.  A neighbor who diligently paints out graffiti in the neighborhood & on the Red Car Property, was pressed for time yesterday & asked me to report this to the City for removal. 

City contractors never seem to be able to find the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase between Riverside Place & Lake View Ave, let alone the portion between the Red Car Property & Lake View.  Technically this portion of the public staircase is at the corner of Silver Lake Ave & Silver Lake Court.

It can be confusing to make a request for graffiti removal to the City, as there appear to be 2 different departments dealing with it.  One is the City's Office of Beautification Anti-Graffiti Request System from the Board of Public Works.  That website does NOT allow you to submit a photo - really important in places like this.

The best place to submit is via the City's My311 website, where you can include photos.  Photos are important so the graffiti removal crew can see what color the wall is, & give important clues to its location if there is no address. 

You can also download the My311 app for your phone

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Red Car Property: Maybe They Can't See The Dumping Through The Trees

Photos: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 11, 2014.  The Red Car Property owner's rep said the most recent pile of TVs & tightly wrapped garbage would be picked up by last Friday.  As of Monday, April 14, 3:45 PM, the pile was still there. 
At least the rain brought the hills back to life again. 

*UPDATE 4/17/14: Pile was removed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Ruthless Red Tails

Photo: Tracey Glynn, April 10, 2014.  Glynn caught sight of a Red Tail Hawk having breakfast right outside her window, so she ran for her camera.  Glynn reports one of the "BIG" Red Tailed Hawks was dining on a whole nest of baby birds while the parent birds dive bombed the hawk to no avail.  Great shot!

Other Red Tail NEWS: Eggs have hatched!  Gary's been watching the nest.  He sent an email today.  He's not been able to get a clear shot yet, but there's definitely at least one white fluffy head bopping strongly around the center of the nest,  "doing a lot of moving around and VERY difficult to focus on in that spot, will attempt to catch it on the other side of that branch later."  Considering how large the nest is, it's pretty amazing we get to see chicks when they're small and fluffy.  

See all the Red Tailed Hawk videos from 2012

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Stalker

Photo: Esteban Gonzalez, April 9, 2014.  Gonzalez found himself in the icy stare of an Alligator Lizard as he got out of his car.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Elections: VOTE This Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 15, 2013.  Riverside & Fletcher is an overlooked & frequently overwhelmed commuter corridor through Silver Lake. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The entire Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is up for an election this Saturday.  Learn more about the candidates (including several from the Red Car Property Neighborhood) on the Empower LA website.

Saturday April 12, 2014
10 AM - 4 PM
Micheltorena Elementary School
1511 Micheltorena St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
More info on if you're an "eligible stakeholder", parking, curbside voting for the disabled, etc:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lot C Adjacent: Haunted Houses, Some Things Never Change

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, March 10, 2014.  It looks like some work was done on the haunted house above the Red Car Property's Lot C, prior to Building & Safety issuing a stop work order due to the lack of permits.  The haunted house is responsible for the bin & trash chute we've talked about recently.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 12, 2013.  it looks like they took out the broken glass & the ripped plastic.  Wow that's progress. 

The piles of wood in the foreground may be apart of another house's backyard; not the haunted house's yard.  In years past, Building & Safety issued orders to comply issued to clean up both their lots.   The orders sat open on the Building & Safety website for years before they were considered resolved.  Maybe Building & Safety was confused & couldn't find these homes from their street addresses. (The yard in the foreground was cleaned up considerably a few years ago - so that order to comply must have finally spurred them to action.) 

When your property backs into Lot C, the tendency is to treat it like a trash pit.  As one neighbor put it, "The Red Car is a lawless place."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Red Car Property: Why Dump Here?

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 4, 2014.  Neighbors, pleased the large pile of dumped computers was finally cleaned up a few weeks ago, were no so pleased to discover 2 freshly dumped TVs and several tightly wrapped & full trash bags in the same location.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

This is not just by the side of the road.  You actually have to drive up onto the Red Car Property and off to the side below Lake View at the entrance to Red Car Canyon, just to dump here.  Neighbors on Corralitas have been alerted to be on the lookout for such activity, as several homes have a clear view of this part of the property.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 31, 2011.  The location is often hidden by the tree, so many neighbors assumed it was a homeless encampment, but we discovered it was dumping. 

Since the Red Car Property is private property, there's not much you can do other than call the police when you see dumping occurring.  Get a vehicle description & license plate.   

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lot C: Dumpster Gone!

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 4, 2014.  We can only hope the trash chute is next.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Corralitas Drive: Dodgers Opening Day, Today

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 18, 2013.  Corralitas Drive residents who face the 2 & 5 Freeways don't have a whole lot of love for the Dodgers, especially on Opening Day, when the traffic and loud radios on the freeways can start as early as 10 AM for a 1 PM game. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Red Car Canyon: Mudwatch Circa 2005
This Week's Rainfall Totals

Photo: Diane Edwardson, January 2005.  Record rainfall in 2005 had trees down all over the Red Car Property: a far cry from record drought we've been in for the past few years.

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas rain gauge:
March 31 - April 1, 2014: 0.2"
April 2, 2014: 0.2"
Season to date: 7.35"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lawless Lot C: Trash Chute & Bin Remain Almost 2 Months Later

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 6, 2014.  A trash chute & bin showed up on the most unstable potion of the Red Car Property, Lot C, without the permission of the property owner.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

The bin seemed to be for work on a house on Roselin.  Looking at the Building & Safety website, permits might have expired years ago for this site. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, March 10, 2014.  As of April 1, 2014, neighbors report that the demo/construction site has been idle for more than a month now.  Although police were called a few weeks ago for some late night activity on the site that did not sound like construction. 

"Broken windows" only attract more problems.  If you hear or see any activity on a construction site after dark, call the police immediately, especially if it's this one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Corralitas Drive: ALERT! Mountain Lion Sighting In Silver Lake

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 1, 2014.  Authorities are warning Red Car Property neighbors to stay in their homes & keep their children & pets inside, with their doors and windows closed.  A mountain lion was seen lounging on the patio of one of the last houses atop Corralitas Drive this morning.  

Rangers from Griffith Park were alerted when P-22, the Griffith Park mountain lion, slipped his radio collar.  The collar was found at the Mulholland Fountain around 5 AM this morning by a jogger who turned into the ranger station.  There was an unconfirmed report of the big cat had been seen near the miniature pony ride late last night.

P-22, a male, has started to roam from the park, most likely looking for love.  He was last seen on Hollyridge in the Hollywood Hills on March 5.  He has no competition for deer, his primary prey, in the park.  There have been no recent mule deer sightings in Silver Lake.

Every spring seems to bring a flurry of mountain lion sightings to this part of Silver Lake.  Usually the mountain lion sightings are on the other side of the hill, toward the Silver Lake Reservoir, near Hildago, at dusk.  Perhaps the big cat enjoys the scenic sunsets over the reservoir.  

It's possible the mountain lion took El Pueblo Trail Corridor from Griffith Park, along the hills adjacent to Riverside Drive, crossed just a 2 large streets overnight, then took the Red Car Property to Corralitas Drive, got lost, like so many people do, on its way to Elysian Park through the hills. 

If you believe this, you really need to check the calendar, and perhaps your eyes.  This post should not be used as proof of anything other than April Foolishness.  Notso is a semi-feral domestic short haired cat (photoshopped blonde), not so much a mountain lion.  Click here for what real mountain lion looks like.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Riverside Place: Katydids Have Ears On Their Front Legs

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, March 22, 2014.  Last week, we first identified this as a katydid, but issued a correction when an LA Zoo entomologist (reviewing the photo on an iPhone in bright sunlight) identified it as a juvenile grasshopper who'd just molted.

Then we received an email from Nathan Harness, biologist at the University of Missouri who studies katydids.  Harness confirmed it was a katydid with a number of scientific details, including those long antennae, but mostly that small dark oval on its front leg, which is its ear (see arrow in photo).  

From an evolutionary standpoint, what purpose does having ears on their legs serve?  It would seem to be a liability if they lose a leg in escaping a predator.

Harness replied:
"This is a good question. Insects have ears pretty much everywhere except their head. Some on their wings, abdomen, legs, lots of places. I'm not sure there is a good answer other than, "that's where they evolved." It's hard to ask why something didn't happen (why didn't they evolve on their heads?), because the answer simply could be that there wasn't a mutation or variation that let an ear evolve somewhere else- and for katydids there was some kind of mutation or variation that let an ear evolve on their foreleg (probably evolved on an ancestor of katydids...). Perhaps there was a good reason to keep the legs far apart- like directional hearing (that's what katydids use their ears for)

As far as why there isn't selection against ears on forelegs, I have never caught a katydid that didn't have both forelegs. And usually if a leg is gone, it's a hind leg. They drop their hind legs readily, like a lizard loosing it's tail." 
And for those of you who want confirmation on the ID:
"It's in the subfamily Phaneropterinea, we call them "pheneropterans" (phen sounding like "fin"). I know that because it's ear is exposed, not covered by cuticle, it's antennae are located in the right spot, and it's hindwings are longer than it's forewings."

Learn more about katydids, see perhaps the cutest little katydid, ever, by following Harness on Twitter: @nathan_harness.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Riverside Place: Ready For His Close-Up

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, March 27, 2014.  A visitor crawled into Vandiveer's studio yesterday.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, March 27, 2014.  He estimated the Alligator Lizard at 6-8" long.

Looking at California Herps, it is most likely a male San Diego Alligator Lizard, common to Southern California. 

Learn more about identify Alligator Lizards: California Herps 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Rainwatch

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, March 12, 2014.  Hawks over Corralitas.

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas rain gauge:  We had a whopping rainstorm overnight Tues-Wed:

March 26, 2014: 0.1"
Season to date:  6.95"

Allesandro & Rosebud: Active Raptor Nest

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, March 24, 2014.  Both adult Red Tailed Hawks have been focused on the center of the nest lately.  Vlahakis said, " I have a feeling the eggs have been deposited."  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The eggs would likely hatch mid-April if they follow their usual schedule, even if we don't see the babies until the end of April.

Learn more about the nesting habits of Red Tailed Hawks on the Cornell University Red Tailed Hawk Cam FAQ.

Click here for all our 2012 Red Tailed Hawk nest videos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Hope You Got Out Early Today *Updated With Video

Photo: Esteban Gonzalez, March 25, 2014, 8:46 AM.  "Trapped...if you didn't get your car out. Woke up @ 7:30, moved my car across Allesandro and hoped everyone else got their car out too."

With only one means of access for the entire hill, on days like this, we appreciate the City expediting the process.
Video: Gary Vlahakis, March 25, 2014.  And this is the wide part of Corralitas Drive!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Better Leave The Hill Early Tuesday

Photo: Esteban Gonzalez, March 23, 2014.  While it's great news that 2/3s of the hill is paved, the City left work Monday at the first narrow, blind corner coming up the hill.  Get out early Tuesday or you might not get your car out until late in the day.