Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Corralitas Red Car Lion Safari Park*

Photo: Shawnda Thomas Faveau, March 18, 2015.  Humans will have a chance to interact with lions for a hefty fee, once they've signed a waiver of liability.

There may yet be hope to save the Red Car Property as a wildlife preserve.  This afternoon, the mayor, along with property owner, in partnership with the zoo, announced a pride of African lions would be relocated to the Corralitas Red Car Property as part of the ongoing privatization of the zoo. 

The mayor said this was just another creative zoning technique and a part of ongoing efforts to preserve the open space in our hillsides west of the river while also revitalizing the river.  He's proposed the Exotic Endangered Species Breeding and Preservation Overlay Zone (EESBPOZ) which would include Griffith & Elysian Parks, the river, all unbuilt hillside parcels and K-zoned parcels (horsekeeping parcels) in Atwater.  

The mayor said, "The proposed EESBPOZ will give residents a chance to see exotic species right in their own backyards.  We expect to obtain a herd of giraffe next to help with tree trimming on those steep slopes on the Red Car Property."  

Why not a jaguar preserve in Elysian Valley; Amur leopards on the northeast slopes of Elysian Park; cayman in the river? The possibilities are limitless.  City Planning already approved the Komodo Dragon Preserve on Corralitas.

Parents at the local preschool are not happy about having to run the gauntlet of maneaters as they park on Corralitas Drive and walk their kids through Red Car Canyon to school.  The mayor responded, "Think of it as a teachable moment.  Not only will the parents and children bond with each other in a potential life and death situation, they'll gain a healthy respect for exotic non-native wildlife, all while working on their fitness." 

*DISCLAIMER: This post should NOT be used as proof of anything more than April Foolishness.  Photo by Shawnda Thomas Faveau was shot on the Corralitas Red Car Property, March 18, 2015.  It is a large Golden Retriever dog with a "lion" haircut. 

Corralitas Komodo Dragon Preserve

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 30, 2015.

Komodo Dragons are coming to Corralitas Drive in Silver Lake!  At a press conference this morning, the mayor, together with a Corralitas Drive homeowner, announced the arrival of 6 Komodo Dragons, an endangered species, to the former Corralitas Panda Preserve

Four years of drought took its toll on the bamboo, making the Panda Preserve unsustainable.  The Chinese government recalled the Pandas to their home province of Hunan.

The mayor expressed his pride in "the creative zoning solution to allow an important California breeding program for an endangered species in a residentially zoned neighborhood, so close to schools and the LA River.  It's a win-win for the entire community."  

The Indonesian reptile, known to grow 9 feet long, weigh 200 lbs and can run 11 miles per hour, feeds on carrion, so there were quite a few health codes to get around hurdles to clear.  

The homeowner plans to sell close up viewing tours of the backyard preserve to help finance the aquisition of the Red Car Property, "Celebrities and politicians have been making reservations all week."

DISCLAIMER: This post should not be taken as proof of anything other than April Foolishness.  Photo is a 6" Fence Lizard shot in Red Car Canyon, March 30, 2015.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lot C: We've Said It Before, Leave The Trees Alone

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 30, 2015.  The native Coast Live Oak on Lot C has taken more than its share of abuse through the years. 

Red Car Property: Black Butterfly - New To The Neighborhood

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015.  For the past month and for the first time,  I'd been seeing these 1.5-inch, black to black-brown butterflies with a narrow band of white on edge of their rear wings.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

They are very hard to get a photo of, as they are in constant motion.  Since they were new to me, I consulted Dan Cooper, biologist, Cooper Ecological. He confirmed, "It's a skipper, called a Funereal Duskywing. Actually the duskywings are tough to tell apart, but funereal seems to be the dominant 'urban' one."
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015.  Wild radish flowers have been attracting all kinds of butterflies, particularly on the north end of the Red Car Property.  Cooper added, "They love legumes, especially deerweed, but probably nectar on just about anything."

This particular duskywing was more brownish.  Most of what appears to be the same species were very black little butterflies.  That's what caught my attention.

Read more: 2011-2012 Common Butterflies of Griffith Park Field Guide

Monday, March 30, 2015

Red Car Property: Spring Cleaning

 Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015.  You know it's spring when the mattresses spring up like weeds around the neighborhood.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015.  Same mattress, opposite angle.  The mattresses & bag of trash are just north of India Street on the Red Car Property.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Red Car Canyon: TVs Dumped. Good Neighbor Hauls To Them E-Waste Center

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015, 10:34 AM.  My dog is tired of posing with all the dumped TVs in the neighborhood for scale.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

After a long period with no new dumping on the Red Car Property, it's spring cleaning time. Here we go again.  

It takes effort to dump here.  Someone had to drive in from either India or Corralitas to dump them. They would not be intact if were launched over anyone's fence, more than 30 feet up the canyon walls.

It takes even more effort to get them picked up, since the property owner won't even pick up the piles of dumping that have been in the canyon or above the viaduct footings since last summer.  The City will not drive onto private property to pick it up. 

After shooting some photos, I texted one to a neighbor on Riverside Place.  He called back (after the joyriding episode) & said he was taking some stuff to the City's E-Waste Center, would the TVs fit in his car?  I thought they might be too big, but let's give it a try.

The Red Car Property owner's rep is always bitching at us when we tell him there's dumping on the property.   He fails to understand, as long as anyone can drive onto the property, dumping is going to continue to happen. He thinks we should be picking it up.  Well, some neighbors do way more than their share.  Here's more proof...
Photo: Diane Edwardson,  March 28, 2015, 11:30 AM. Walking toward Corralitas, I met the neighbor in Red Car Canyon.  It was a tight squeeze, but he got the the first TV in the back pretty easily.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015, 11:32 AM.  The smaller of the 2 large TVs actually fit in his back seat.  Thank you for being a good neighbor and hauling the crap away.  

March 28, 28, 2015, 11:51 AM.  Less than 20 minutes later,  I received a text from the neighbor.  He'd already dropped off the TVs at the City's S.A.F.E.-Waste Center just off Colorado exit of the 5 Freeway in Glendale.  It's that easy. It's free.  You don't even have to get out of your car.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Red Car Property: Saturday Joyriding *updated 3-29-15

Photo: March 28, 2015,  10:44 AM.  A man with at least 2 children in the backseat of a new Toyota truck (with dealer paper in the license plate frame) sped onto the Red Car Property at India, fishtailing as he turned south, kicking up clouds of dirt rising 20-30 feet high.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

I lost sight of him as he headed toward Rose Scharlin Nursery School & Red Car Canyon.  In the photo above, the truck is headed south after passing the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase. A few minutes later he sped north past India toward Adelbert & the historic landmark viaduct footings, again, kicking up big clouds of dirt the entire way up the property.  

A few minutes later, while chatting with a neighbor, I watched a second, black truck speed onto the property, even faster & more recklessly.  The black truck was also heading south toward Rose Scharlin & Red Car Canyon, kicking up even larger clouds of dirt.  Police were called. A few minutes later, the black truck left the Red Car Property at India, driving very slowly up from the south. 
Photo: March 28, 2015, 11 AM.    The white truck came down from the northern end of the property, also driving very slowly. 

This morning, like any Saturday (or Sunday), I ran into a number of people out walking, running & playing with their kids & walking their dogs on the Red Car Property.  Driving & pedestrian trail use do not go well together.  This morning, I was afraid at one point I was going to get hit by this white truck as it sped toward Red Car Canyon.

*UPDATE 3-29-15: This morning, I received an email alert from Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch citing a similar incident on the LA River path late last night.  A Honda drove recklessly onto the 12' wide pedestrian/bike path Elysian Valley.  According to the email residents made calls to 911 as the Honda drive at high speeds north & south on the pedestrian/bike path.  It was pointed out there are certain "unchecked access points" to the River path that residents have highlighted public safety issues for years.

There are LAFD approved fire gates on every fire road in the Hollywood Hills, Griffith Park & Elysian Park.  Emergency crews & park rangers have master keys to those gates. There is no excuse for The LA River to be neglected in this way.  

Similarly, for the past 20 years, we requested of each subsequent Red Car Property owner to reinstall the fire gates that were on the Red Car Property at Corralitas, India & just above Gilroy.  They are a very heavy gauge steel that cannot be driven through by joyriders.  

Red Car Properrty: Party Is Almost Over For Native Blue Fiesta Flowers

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 12, 2015. You can still catch a glimpse of the native Blue Fiesta Flowers (Pholistoma auritum) below Adelbert Ave on the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 12, 2015.  Blue Fiesta Flowers usually last a little longer in the shady slope below the native California Black Walnut Trees off Adelbert.  Unfortunately, the north end of the property has been hit hard by the unseasonably intense sun & hot temperatures in the past 2 months. (Photos were shot earlier this month.) 

Last summer, ore than a dozen big dead Eucalyptus Trees were cut down on the north end of the Red Car Property. (Another 4 Eucalyptus were cut down in 2013.) The Eucalyptus likely died from a pest that spread a fungus, accelerated by the severe drought.)  

Also last summer, just below this same section of the Red Car Property on adjacent Riverside Drive lots, real estate speculators cut down more than a dozen protected native California Black Walnut & Coast Live Oak, as well as a number of non-protected & "significantly" sized trees.  Together, these incidents radically changing the the micro-climate, reduced the watershed & carbon storing potential of the soil.  The north end of the Red Car Property has a lot less shade & is drying out faster than most years.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Red Car Property: Summer Wildflowers

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 5, 2015.  We usually don't see native Jimsonweed blooming on the Red Car Property until everything else has dried up.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

However, CalFlora shows Datura wrightii blooming February through October.  

CalFlora also no longer lists its toxicity, but Wiki doesCalifornia Poison Control lists Datura species as highly toxic.

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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Corralitas Public Staircase: Native Dandelions

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 18, 2015.  Native Dandelions returned to the Corralitas Public Staircase last week.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2 Freeway: Native Coast Live Oak

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 18, 2015.  The Coast Live Oak on the 2 Freeway (off Corralitas Drive near where the dead bobcat was picked up earlier this month), bloomed massively, now the flowers are dry.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

We haven't seen acorns on the local oak trees in the past 2 years - most likely due to the megadrought.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Adelbert Ave: Wildflowers As Art

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 22, 2015.  The wildflowers are really just starting to bloom at Site #1 on Adelbert Ave.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Wildflowering LA was an art project that didn't do as well in all the sites last year (2013-2014) year due to the severe drought.  This year's longer, steady rain seems to have been just right for the Adelbert site planted on October 31, 2014.  The limited light on the slope helps keep it greener, longer.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 22, 2015.  Some of the wildflowers in the Adelbert garden seem to attract color-coordinated hummingbirds.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 17, 2017.  Many of the wildflowers are so small you would probably miss them if you drove by.  You are rewarded by walking and looking for that little splash of color in the dappled light. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Adelbert Ave: Native Wildflower Garden

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 22, 2015.  A house on Adelbert has a spectacular native wildflower garden.  This is some kind of Solanum, which, according to California Poison Control System's  "Know Your Plants" is majorly toxic.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

I'm no plant expert, so I'm not going to try ID these plants.  However, I do know the homeowners' have spent years allowing their native garden to thrive.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 17, 2015. Native wildflowers are a treat for those who take the time to walk & observe the often tiny scattered spots of color along the steep slope.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 17, 2015.  You can still get a good look at Miner's Lettuce.  Nearby, Miner's Lettuce on the Red Car Property has already been buried by 3' to 4' weeds.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 17, 2015. Bees were going crazy for the flowers of this Toyon-like bush.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Red Car Property: Where's A Hawk When You Need One?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 19, 2015.  I believe this is a small gopher trying to threaten my dog on the Red Car Property, behind Rose Scharlin Nursery School.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 

While walking just before dark, I noticed a strangely shaped rodent running back & forth across the Red Car Property in a panic. It was about 3-4" long.  At a distance, I couldn't tell what it was, but thought it might be an escaped hamster from Rose Scharlin. While it was running, it was very flat to the ground.  So I stopped quite a ways back to take photos.  I didn't want to spook it, if it was an escaped pet.  Once I zoomed in, I could tell it was definitely not a hamster.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 19, 2015.  It was not a hamster:  round head, little eyes & longer tail.  It must have gotten away from a cat. I've never seen a a gopher run around above ground.  It probably could not find its way back to a tunnel.

I let it go about its panicked runaround, hoping a hawk would spot it next.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Q: How Do You Do Brush Clearance On Those Really Steep Lots?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 14, 2015.  A: Very carefully.  And it usually involves a rope.  Check out the 3 guys way up on the hillside.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Red Car Property: Vernal Equinox

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March15, 2015.  There are lots of Monarch Butterflies taking the trail on the north end of the Red Car Property, particularly around the historic landmark viaduct footings..  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Vernal Equinox is exact today at 3:45 PM, PST.  Get out there and take a walk!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Red Car Property: Not A Park, Parts Of Lot C Look Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 14, 2015.  Other parts of Lot C look like a parking lot.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: Clean Up Day Saturday, March 21, 2015

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase Clean Up
Saturday March 21, 2015
9-11 AM

Silver Lake Neighborhood Councilmember John Wingler adopted these stairs & will lead the clean up effort.  Wingler also helped lead the clean up effort on Riverside Drive a few weeks ago.  

Neighbors have long maintained parts of the public staircase.  Yet the section between Lake View & the Red Car Property is the most neglected.  (Clue: the City owns the 24' wide adjacent lot on the north side of the walkway/stair street, between this set of stairs and Lake View Ave.)
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, March 18, 2015.  As bad as the section between Lake View & the Red Car Property is, it has been much worse. Our neighborhood's most used public staircases are the most neglected.  So tear yourself away from your computer this weekend & get some functional exercise; pulling weeds & cleaning up graffiti.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Unexpected Wildlife Encounters: In 2008, It Was A Fox. More Unusual & Just Plain Strange Neighborhood Wildlife

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2008. Gray fox. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Today's Eastsider story on the bobcat found on the 2 Freeway just off Corralitas Drive, got us thinking about all the other out of the ordinary wildlife encounters we've highlighted on this blog. 

I lived in the neighborhood for 18 years before I saw a gray fox - living not far from where the bobcat was recovered on the 2 Freeway.  More than a dozen neighbors witnessed the fox on different parts of the street, day & night over a several week period in 2008.  (The fox is alive but asleep in the above photo - it was having running dreams like a dog has - all 4 feet were moving.)  See all our fox related posts.

Sometimes you only know what lives in the neighborhood once it turns up dead...

Photo: C.Weir, 2009.
A Ring-necked snake turned up for the first time in Red Car Canyon in 2009.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2011.
A blue-green bee should not have been surprising since we'd seen a green bee in 2010.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2012.
A scary looking alien type bug turned out to be an Angle-Winged Katydid.
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, 2008. No, that's not MOTHRA! with a 7" wingspan, but a Black Witch Moth Vandiveer found on his doorstep.

Then there's the unexpected...

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2014.
Giant Swallowtail Butterflies suddenly appeared on Corralitas last summer.

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, 2009.
Vandiveer documented Slender Salamanders for the first time just off Red Car Canyon.

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, 2011.
While not the first daytime Great Horned Owl sighting in the neighborhood, it was the first documented daytime sighting on the Red Car Property.  See all our owl related posts.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2013.
Red Car Canyon was the site of Cooper's Hawk vs Great Horned Owl

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, 2010.
Wonder why it took so long to document a praying mantis?  There's no way we'd have seen her in the wild.

Now for the just plain strange & scary...
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, 2013.  The male praying mantis can walk around for days after the female cuts his head off.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2014.
The Tarantula Hawk is the stuff of nightmares, first documented on the Red Car Property in 2013

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2014. 
One of the strangest bugs I've ever encountered was the Green Lynx Spider, who looked like a refugee from the day-glo 1980s.

SR-2 Freeway: Bobcat Hit By Car Off Corralitas Drive, Silver Lake

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 18, 2015.  Last week, we learned a bobcat was killed on the 2 Freeway adjacent to Corralitas Drive was retrieved by a LA County Natural History Museum biologist earlier this month.

Read the full story: The Eastsider

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 14, 2015.  Rosebud Ave from Corralitas Public Staircase, looking under the 2 Freeway.

If wildlife were trapped by 2 Freeway, so would about 120 residents of Corralitas Drive.  Coyotes, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, opossum, rats, even snakes have been seen using the Rosebud Ave Undercrossing both day & night.

Ever since we documented Gray Fox on Corralitas in 2008, we've wondered about bobcats, figuring they would use the wildlife corridors through the hills between Griffith Park & Elysian Park as coyotes do.  We don't know where this bobcat came from: the river, Elysian Park or Griffith Park.  If bobcats are in the area, places like the Red Car Property should remain as open space to preserve natural wildlife corridors with minimal road crossings between wildlife populations in Griffith & Elysian Parks. 

We don't know why the bobcat was on the 2 Freeway, or if it knew it could just use Rosebud Ave like everyone else (wildlife included) to cross under the 2 Freeway.