Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Red Car Property: Bee Alert! Bee Hive Tumbled Down Hill From Adelbert

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  This morning, I heard a loud buzzing sound about 50' ahead on the trail near Adelbert.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

A large box box had either been shoved or had fallen down the hillside from a backyard on Adelbert.  Bees were swarming angrily around the box & on the slope.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  The angry bees are midway between the large Coast Live Oak Tree (the large, dark green tree to the right of the arrow) & the path leading up to Adelbert (a.k.a. "the Adelbert cut-through").  It's also about 25' from the log with an established bee hive inside.  This was about as close as I got.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  The bees seemed pretty mad & were swarming.  So I relied on the zoom to get this shot of the bees tending their honeycomb on the  slope.  It is probably best not to aggravate the bees further while they establish a new home.  It is unlikely  they are Africanized Bees or we would have heard of attacks in our very urbanized area.

Red Car Canyon: Afternoon Hawkwatch

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  A huge Red Tailed Hawk has up residence in the Red Car Property neighborhood. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Unlike our resident nesting pair from the 2 Freeway, who were very open in hanging out atop trees, balcony railings and open branches, this Red Tail likes to hide amongst the dense branches of trees.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  Late in the afternoon, I happened to be walking up the Red Car Property, when the huge Red Tail flew toward me, low through Red Car Canyon & landed in the branches of a pine tree.  You can tell it's an experienced hunter.  It landed in the tree with the sun just above and behind it, so any potential prey might be temporarily blinded should it look up toward the hawk.  Neighbors report seeing  hawks routinely using this technique in the morning & afternoon.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 10, 2014.  The hawk has a very large dark beak.  It may be the same hawk I photographed last month.  Overall, its feathers are darker in color, including a more reddish chest & belly than the Red Tails we're used seeing in the neighborhood. (These photos are overexposed due to the light in the canyon, so the hawk appears lighter that it really is.) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Red Car Property Adjacent: Can The Cult Of The Birdman Be On The Horizon?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 25, 2014.  Yeah, it's esoteric, but some of us know our Easter Island history.  It's what comes once all the natural resources are depleted; trees cut down, drought, infighting, cannibalism.  But for now it's a great photo op.

Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox exact today at 7:29 AM Pacific Daylight Time.   

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Last Week, It Was So Hot Even The Squirrels Did Not Want To Get Out Of Bed

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 21, 2014,  It's hard to believe it was so hot  even the squirrels preferred to lie around in big pile in the nest.  I count at least 3 big squirrels in this frame.   (Click on photo to enlarge)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Where Are The Red Tails When You Need Them?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 5, 2014.  Our resident Red Tailed Hawks have definitely been slacking off - the squirrels never used to nap out in the open like this.  This branch is within the line of site to their nest at Rosebud & Allesandro.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

He's just biding his time so he can steal more heirloom tomatoes!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Cooper's Hawk Hunting In Eucalyptus Tree

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 18, 2014.  Around 4:30 pm something caught my eye jumping & flapping between the densely overgrown branches of the Eucalyptus out back.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It was a very small (maybe 12" tall) Cooper's Hawk. It was stalking a flock of little chirpy birds who make the rounds of my yard in the late afternoon.  The bird hunter was so focused it didn't care that I stepped outside to take photos of it just 20' away. 

Lacking a larger format camera, my photos don't compare to the awesome Cooper's Hawk photos shot a few months ago by Jonathan Vandiveer.  Cooper's Hawks are one of my White Whales; they always seem to show up when I don't have a camera in hand. 

Cooper's Hawks get special consideration during environmental review under CEQA for development projects. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, September 11, 2014.  Last week, the young Red Tails were seeking relief from the heat in the shade of the log cabins.  The youngster was one of two that had been in the Eucalyptus trees for hours.  Earlier, in the blazing midday sun, I watched the adult miss a squirrel in our palm tree, while a youngster was calling to be fed nearby.

Over the past few years, Vlahakis shot countless frames of our resident Red Tailed Hawks who nest on the 2 Freeway at Rosebud Ave.  He's documented our incredibly urban hawks, nesting on a freeway, feeding young, enduring construction, interacting & even hanging out on the railing of his house.  After you've edited hundreds of frames, you do recognize individuals quite easily.  This was a new face.

When a neighbor alerted us to the hawk below his house, Vlahakis immediately shot a few frames, sent this photo with the note, "definitely young."   

We are grateful to Gary Vlahakis for sharing his fantastic photographs of the Red Tailed Hawks.  He's given us an opportunity to see what only a few of us have witnessed when these magnificent hunters pay visits to our backyards.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Red Car Canyon: Lower Red Car Creek

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 24, 2011.  After big rainstorms & throughout El Nino years, Lower Red Car Creek flows both north & south out of Red Car Canyon.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The adjacent steep hillsides drain to the Red Car Property.  

Related: Red Car Creek 
"Lot C" Creek 

We've been looking at cooler & greener days on the Red Car Property for some relief from the extreme heatwave we're currently in.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Red Car Property: Remember Rain?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 26, 2011. We're running photos of cooler days on the Red Car Property to cope with the excessive heatwave & insane humidity.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 24, 2010.  With the current record drought, it's easy to forget how green the Red Car Property used to be when it rained.  It doesn't take more than a half inch of rain to make Red Car Canyon Lake reappear.  (Yes there were once really big tadpoles in it!)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 24, 2011.  After big rainstorms or particularly heavy El Nino seasons, the water can be chest deep for my dog in some of the vernal pools on the south end of the Red Car Property

Monday, September 15, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Keep Thinking Cool Thoughts

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 20, 2011.  2011 was the last time we had a ton of snow & rain for that matter.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

We're doing our best to run cool photos until the excessive heatwave lets up.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Why Is The City Dept. Of Sanitation Doing Routine Maintenance On A Hillside Street...On a Sunday Morning??

Photo: Diane Edwardson, Sunday, September 14, 2014.   The City Department of Sanitation work crew was digging out the manhole covers with a jackhammer up & down Corralitas Drive, a Substandard Hillside Street with only one means of access: Rosebud Ave.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

I questioned the crew when they were having trouble making the turn at the top of the hill, in the narrow cul-de-sac.  I asked if there was an emergency, since 1. it was Sunday & 2. there had been a lot of Dept Sanitation crews on our street recently.  A man identifying himself as the night & weekend crew supervisor politely responded, it was just "routine maintenance" since our street was recently repaved (in March). He did not know what the other crews who work week-day hours were doing here.  There was no emergency.  

To the crew's credit they were polite & worked quickly.  But, Sunday morning is not when most people expect to hear jackhammers on the street.

Digging out the manhole covers to the sewer is important, but it would seem a waste of City resources (taxpayer dollars) to assign a crew to a residential Hillside neighborhood on a Sunday morning when it was not an emergency.  Shouldn't they be working Downtown or in an industrial area on nights & weekends?   

Of course, this wouldn't be necessary if they just paved around the manholes.  It is possible. I witnessed it in another city earlier this year.

There was no notice, so neighbors had no opportunity to move their cars.  They were jachammering near cars.  Rubble was not swept from the street.  They had to stop work several times to let cars pass.  You have to wonder how many more cars they damage on weekends than on weekdays when there are fewer cars parked on the street.  They didn't even get to all the covers because cars were parked too close. 

On the other end of Corralitas, a Dept of Sanitation Vactor RamJet truck was working, similarly blocking residents.  Again, not an emergency.  

Clearly there is no oversight at the Dept of Sanitation. 

We sent an email of the incident to City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell & City Controller Ron Galperin with these photos, copied to the entire Corralitas Neighborhood Watch list. 

Lake View Ave: Found Dog Taken North Central Animal Shelter On Lacy Street

This little guy was wandering around on Lake View Ave this morning, 9-14-14. He has a bite wound on his neck and seems to have been on the loose for a little while - he's pretty dirty and scrawny. He's also a total sweetheart and was super excited about human contact once he stopped being terrified. 

He was taken to North Central Animal Shelter on Lacy Street.  He is not microchipped. They said that they'll clean him up and that dogs that size/breed usually get adopted soon after the 4-day holding window. 

His impound # at the North Central Animal Shelter is 1507830. 

Thanks to Amy & Russel for taking care of this little dog.  Taking him to the pound is the right thing to do.  It is the first place people look for their dogs when they are lost.  Be sure you microchip your pets - even if you think they won't get lost - and be sure your contact info is up to date.  It is one of the best ways to reunite lost dogs with their owners. 

Corralitas Drive: April Snowstorm 1950

Photo: Smith Family Archive, probably 1950 April snowstorm.  We never tire of this photo*.  There were very few houses on Lake View or Silver Ridge until the 1980s' building boom. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Apparently there were snowstorms in both 1949 & 1950.  True to form, the Red Car Property neighborhood got way more than the 0.3" of snow - take a close look at the laundry hanging on the line. 

*We're running cool photos until the excessive heat wave lets up.   

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: We're Just Going to Run Cool Photos Until The Heatwave Ends

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 20, 2013. Snow on the San Gabriels from the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Elysian Valley: Frogtown Artwalk, Sat. Sept 13, 2014, 4 - 10 PM, Parking, Shuttles, Pedi-cabs, Transit Map!

There's no excuse to drive blindly around the Elysian Valley neighborhood for this Saturday's Frogtown Artwalk.  Park in one of the satellite parking areas or better yet walk or bike to Elysian Valley.  Thousands of people attend the annual event.  The Red Car Neighborhood (northwest of the 2 & 5 Freeway intersection) is close enough to bike or walk to the event.

All the info: Frogtown Arts

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Riverside & Fletcher: Left Turn Signal Is Operational, Woohoo!

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, September 9, 2014.  You know you've lived here too long when you get excited about a left turn signal.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

For decades, the Department of Transportation has graded the intersection of Riverside & Fletcher with an "F."  Yes that's right, as in F for failure.  For decades, community groups & individuals have written a series of City Councilmembers in CD13 & CD4, asking for left turn arrow signals at this intersection.  Finally, our latest CD13 City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell made the signal happen.  

At last night's Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch meeting, neighbors applauded when the news was announced.  Red Car Property neighbors are already talking about it.  This is long overdue and much appreciated.

Word to the wise - be alert - the arrow is not just a green arrow - it is also a red arrow so you cannot legally turn left on just the standard green light anymore. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Red Car Property: Sharing The Path Is Easier When It's Wider

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 17, 2014.  The Red Car Property offers a wider, yet bumpier alternative to bike riders than the LA River Path through Elysian Valley(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Note the healthy California Black Walnut Trees to the right side of the 2 last riders.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Allesandro Elementary School: Lockdown For The Second Time In A Month

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 9, 2014.  The local media helicopters were lined up and waiting for quite some time before the LAPD helicopter arrived to buzz close enough to rattle the walls of the houses on Corralitas Drive.

For the second time since school started, Allesandro Elementary School was locked down while LAPD searched for supposedly 2 men with shotguns on campus.  There have been a number of similar calls that have turned out to be hoaxes, but who wants to be the one that wasn't a hoax? 

When there's breaking neighborhood news -  the first place I check is The Eastsider.  If I'm in the neighborhood, I'm usually trying to figure out if it's something we're going to need to evacuate over (like the tanker fire that no other media outlet except the Eastsider had coverage as it was happening)  And The Eastsider identifies the neighborhoods correctly.

Riverside & Fletcher: Rainwatch *Updated

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 8, 2014.  There was lots of honking and fishtailing happening at Riverside & Fletcher during a peak drive-time downpour Monday morning. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

We're following the rainfall stats in the Corralitas rain gauge.  

*Updated totals:
September 8, 2014: 0.01"  0.04"
Season to date: 0.07" 0.1"

9-14-14: Our neighbor with the NOAA approved rain gauge, just got back to me with updated rainfall total.  For such small amounts, my rain gauge is not so precise.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Corralitas Drive: If Stephen Sprouse Designed A Spider...

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 4, 2014.  The Green Lynx Spider (outside my kitchen window) was the most colorful spider I've ever seen in the neighborhood.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Day-glo pink legs with black polka-dots, yellow knees with red splotches, don't forget the spikes on those legs & hooks at the tips of the feet, lime-green body with chevrons, red warpaint on her face...it doesn't get much more punk-pop, 1980's iconic fashion designer Stephen Sprouse.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 4, 2014.  I searched What's That Bug? with "green spider, pink legs" & the Green Lynx Spider immediately came up.  Further searching on both What's That Bug? & Bug Guide show variations in the species with regard to their fashion choices.  

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 4, 2014.  Eight eyes of varying
sizes are on a small round cap facing the camera.  Green Lynx Spiders do not spin webs, they are jumping spiders.  It jumps to catch prey!  I'm glad I didn't know that while I was up close shooting photos.  This one appeared to be about  2.5 - 3" across its leg-span.

It was just posing on the yellow hibiscus plant where many Giant Swallowtail Butterflies pass by.  These spiders have been documented taking down butterflies!  That is one badass punk rock spider, even if it is dressed in 80's day-glo fashion.