Friday, October 31, 2014

IT Came From The LA River, Happy Halloween!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 30, 2014.  Perhaps that water isn't as clean as they would have you believe. (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Have a safe Halloween.  Slow down while driving our neighborhood tonight, there are a lot of young kids in the neighborhood.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Red Car Propery: Sunset Over "Lot C"

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, October 30, 2014.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Red Car Property: DWP Contractor Trimming Trees In Neighborhood

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, October 28, 2014.  DWP tree contractors are trimming trees growing into the high voltage power lines (the uppermost utility lines on the telephone poles).  Tuesday, they were seen working in Red Car Canyon.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

A month ago, I ran into the supervisor on the Red Car Property.  He was prioritizing trees in the area.  He said they'd be in the neighborhood for a few weeks.  He was well aware of the Red Car Property as he'd been working this neighborhood for the past 10 years.  I reminded him of the 2011 windstorm that brought down so many trees in the canyon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Red Car Property: Property Owner Asserting Rights

Photos: Red Car Property Neighbor, October 28, 2014.  A new sign and a parking gate returned to the India Street entrance to the Red Car Property yesterday.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
For now it appears the gate is open, but it seems the Red Car Property owner means business this time around.  (According to the owner's rep, pedestrian access is still allowed.)  Earlier this month, vehicles were towed from Lot C, north of India St. 

Steel parking gates used to block all but pedestrian &  emergency vehicle access to the Red Car Property.  In the 1990s, they disappeared.

As a side note, Silver Lake Court is an unbuilt (City) paper street that does not actually intersect India St.  It intersects the public staircases of Roselin & Silver Lake Ave.  Silver Lake Court runs along the crest of the slope with the palm tree, behind the telephone poles; it dead ends out of frame to the right. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Another Random Fungus

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 24, 2014.  a patch of pale yellow fungus sprouted seemingly overnight from the dead Eucalyptus tree trunk in the backyard.  The largest was about 5" in diameter.  It might be Chicken of the Woods ( Poplypore species) as they grow almost exclusively in Eucalyptus.  However these mushrooms never got any larger.

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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Red Car Property: Signs Of Fall

Photo: Diane Edwardson. California Black Walnut Tree leaves are turning yellow before they drop for fall.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Read the City of LA Protected Native Tree Ordinance

Link to the City of LA Dept of Urban Forestry 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2 Freeway: Another Day, Another Bomb Scare, Another Morning Of Diesel Particulate Matter

Photo: Diane Edwardson, Saturday October 25, 2014.  The 2 Freeway was shut down for several hours between the Terminus & the 5 Freeway for a bomb scare this morning.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 25, 2014.  For some reason the southbound 5 Freeway ramp to the southbound 2 Freeway ramp remained open, keeping a mass of cars  and large trucks idling on the 2 Freeway between 9 AM & 11:30 AM.  Yet the southbound 5 Freeway (in the background) remained more traffic free than usual for a Saturday morning.

The steep topography of the canyon between the 5 Freeway & the Terminus plus the lack of wind meant all of the pollution from the southbound lanes concentrated close to the homes on the Silver Lake side of the 2 Freeway.  (CalTrans doesn't want to give us more trees - they cut down the trees adjacent to Corralitas Drive in the above photo 20 years ago.  After years of letter writing & phone calls, we got some shrubs - not trees - most of which they killed when they stopped watering them.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 25, 2015.  At one point I noticed cars were being directed OFF of the on-ramp to the SB 2 Freeway at Allesandro Elementary School on Riverside Drive.  (Usually the traffic is going the opposite direction on the ramp in the foreground).

Today's bomb scare story: The Eastsider

Wednesday's bomb scare at Riverside Fletcher: The Eastsider

Why We Need Trees

Riverside Place: Spider Problems?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 20, 2014.  When the spiders are catching cats, it's time to call an exterminator.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Red Car Property: If It Comes Out Of Your Dog's Butt, Pick It Up & Throw It In A Trashcan!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 20, 2014.  If you're going to bother pick up after your dog, throw it in a trashcan - don't leave the bagged poop on the ground.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Some inconsiderate person has been leaving bags of poop all along the Red Car Property lately - most noticeably around Rose Scharlin PreschoolRed Car Canyon & here, near the Adelbert cut-through.  

Be a good neighbor, this is not an acceptable trail marker.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SR 2 Freeway: Why We Need Trees*

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 22, 2014.  Yesterday, bumper to bumper traffic on the southbound 2 Freeway started around 7 AM & lasted until about  noon.  Pictured here from Corralitas Drive, that's Corralitas Walk - a less than 10' wide public sidewalk adjacent to the freeway & the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

*The trees on the opposite side of the northbound lanes 2 Freeway, between Oak Glen & Rosebud, will be replaced with a sound wall.  CalTrans claims the wall will go at the top of the slope and minimize tree loss - but those trees are growing right at the top of the slope in a narrow parkway.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 22, 2014.  By 10 AM the 2 Freeway was still bumper to bumper with the added  joy of heavy diesel exhaust from the hoards of big-rig trucks.  The fumes were overwhelming as there was no wind.  Traffic continued this way until around noon.

Yesterday showed how much one or two incidents can screw up the entire area.  Before dawn, CalTrans called a Sig Alert for the molasses spill from a big rig, closing the southbound 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights for a while.   

Then there was a bomb scare (lasting until about noon) at Riverside & Fletcher that had people scrambling for alternate routes through Elysian Valley, Atwater & Silver Lake. 

It was a good day to stay home with the windows closed & the air purifier cranked up to high.

Click here for all our sound wall posts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Riverside & Fletcher: This Morning's Bomb Scare

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, October 22, 2014. Riverside Drive closed at Gilroy earlier today.

LAPD's Bomb Squad had Riverside, Fletcher, Gilroy & Glendale Blvd blocked & apparently a news blackout for most of the morning, leaving lots of neighbors calling, texting & emailing for info.  See The Eastsider for full story.  Photos here.

Historic Viaduct Footings: Brush Clearance Done!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 21, 2014.  Even the tiniest leashed dogs can enjoy the view from atop the Historic Landmark Pacific Electric Viaduct Footings now that the brush clearance was finally done.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lot C: Trash Chute Gone

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 19, 2014.  The renegade trash chute on Lot C was dismantled over the weekend, 8 months after it first appeared.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)  

Let's see, brush clearance, dead trees cut down, trucks towed off the lot; they seem to try this every couple of years.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Corralitas Drive: If It Comes Out Of Your Dog's Butt, Pick It Up

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 20, 2014.  Of course, the plastic bag ban does make it harder to on those of us who reused those bags, but come on, buy some damn poop bags and pick it up!  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It's not just Corralitas Drive, it's happening throughout the neighborhood, the Red Car Property, parks, the river.  I wonder if there's been a marked increase since the plastic bag ban?  At least one neighbor, who always picks up after her dog, complains the pet store she frequents always seems to be out of poop bags (you'd think by now, they'd order more).   One ban-the-bag lobbyist told me use bread bags, used sandwich bags - clearly he doesn't have a dog.  They poop more than once a day & I don't eat more than a loaf a bread in a week.  Most of us stockpiled bags for a year before the ban and we sometimes run out of bags while walking, and have to dig through a nearby recycle bin for a bag or newspaper to pick it up.  

However, there is a serious increase in the amount of poop on the sidewalks lately.  Pick it up!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Red Car Property: Yellow Butterfly Near Adelbert

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 16, 2014.  These large bright yellow butterflies have been all over the Red Car Property this year.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

They've been another one of my white whales.  They flutter by so quickly & erratically I can never get a shot of them.  This one stopped for at least a minute or two on a Castor Bean plant near the Adelbert cut-through, then landed on a nearby California Black Walnut who's leaves were starting to turn yellow, so I lost sight of it. 

It may be a Cloudless Sulfur, but it's hard to tell.  I refer to Butterflies of Orange County because it's easier to use than Butterflies & Moths of North America (BAMONA), so my research is not comprehensive.

2014 has been a banner year for butterflies in the neighborhood.  Click here for all our butterfly posts.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Red Car Property: Dead & Dying Eucalyptus Victims of Disease, Pests, Drought?* updated

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 10, 2014.  Brush clearance contractors cut down some of the smaller dead Eucalyptus behind the Arco station this week, exposing the inside of a diseased tree.*  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Some tree activists in the local community, as well as neighbors who lost a number of large Eucalyptus trees in the past two years, speculate the Eucalyptus are dying from a fungus spread by Shot Hole Borer beetles, accelerated by drought and a very humid summer. Without consulting a licensed arborist it is hard to determine the exact cause of death (more below).*
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 10, 2014. Neighbors alerted us to  trees being cut down on the Red Car Property.  On the north end of the property, there were at least 9 dead & dying Eucalyptus in May.  Tree contractors appear to only be taking those trees down so far.

The current Eucalyptus die-off started on Adelbert in March 2013 & moved down the Red Car Property toward Riverside Drive.  The trees appear to die rapidly once they started to go.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 24, 2014.  In May, we advised the property owner's rep of the 9 large dead trees.  The dead 3 trees in this photo were the small ones.  

Without an expert examining these trees & bugs, we don't know exactly what killed them.  We advise you to seek expert advice quickly if your trees are starting to die off. 

In response to a large, seemingly healthy tree going down near his house last week, one Riverside Place neighbor said, "This seems to be the time of year when big Eucalyptus Trees fall or drop large branches for no apparent reason."  It's also a good time of year to trim back your Eucalyptus trees so they don't get blown over in a Santa Ana windstorm, potentially causing property damage or fire.

*UPDATE 10-18-14: One of our neighbors, who is a tree expert, pointed out: "Trees are often hollow in the middle - they are only "alive" in the cambium layer, between the bark and the wood. This is where they actively move water and sap between their roots and leaves. The inner rings/wood is the old cambium from previous years."

I apologize for any confusion this post may have caused.  However there is no doubt Eucalyptus trees are dying all over the neighborhood.  They are non-native, highly combustible (even when they are alive) & can cause great damage when they fall. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Historic Viaduct Footings: Haven't Seen A Shopping Cart There In A Very Long Time

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 12, 2014.  Friday, brush clearance was finally done on the lot with the historic viaduct footings.  Like magic, a shopping cart appeared on the slope below the bags of foam dumped under the California Black Walnut Trees in August.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 11, 2014.   The flattish grade on the Red Car Property makes it an ideal trail for those of all ages & abilities.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Red Car Property: Focus

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 7, 2014.  The big Red Tailed Hawk focused on a squirrel on the Red Car Property slope, a couple hundred feet away from the the telephone pole at the Corralitas cul-de-sac. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

That squirrel got away.  However, for the next week, expect to see the big Red Tailed Hawk hunting from telephone poles around the Corralitas end of the Red Car Property.  Brush clearance finally got done yesterday.  Brush clearance always brings the Red Tails out because there is less cover for prey - particularly their favorite meal - squirrels (who get caught running between California Black Walnut Trees).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Riverside Place: Monarchs Flocking To Silk Floss Flowers

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 12, 2014.  Dozens of Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) were feeding excitedly on Silk Floss flowers in a huge 30' tree near the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

There were several species of butterflies flying among on the branches, but the Monarchs were the most showy and majestic of the bunch.  You know it's a Monarch  by the polka-dotted body.  Their numbers are in steep decline and their annual migration between Canada & Mexico is monitored closely; their actual migration is endangered.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 12, 2014.  The Silk Floss Tree (Chorisia speciosa) is non-native.  The flowers & Kapock-like seeds are messy to pick up.  But once a year, the drought tolerant South American tree puts on a spectacular show of color, attracting butterflies, birds & bees.  The Wiki page even highlights Monarch Butterflies as pollinators.