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.