Birds: Rufus-sided Towee Hummingbirds (various species) Crows Doves Red-tailed Hawk Owl Turkey Vulture Peacock Finches Swallows House Sparrows (we have two nests in our eaves)
Reptiles/Amphibians Rattlesnakes Garden Snakes Desert Frog Lizards: SceloporusOccidentalis longipes: Great Basin Fence Lizard (Spikey head, blue belly)
Insects Bees Ants Hummingbird Moths Jerusalem Cricket Termites (like everywhere in CA)
Spiders and Arachnids: Brown Recluse Black Widow Brown Widow Scorpion
Flora: Quercus Agrifolia: Coast Live Oak Schinus molle: Pepper tree (invasive) Red Apple (invasive) Ice Plants (various types, invasive) Cacti (various taxa, Ferocactus being one of the most pervasive) Aloe Yucca Nettles Succulents
This guy showed up on the ranch the other day.
The Canyon Blog:
Friday, February 28, 2014
Howdy Canyon Folk--
Our evening dining plans were cancelled abruptly when torrential rains flooded our dining room. Here's what happened: our creek is usually no more than a trickle, and the drought of three seasons had turned it into a virtual arroyo. Nevertheless, the frogs had returned and the owls were swooping around and exchanging hoots, and the mountain lions had removed to Shadow Hills in search of greener pastures and grass-fed prey, and the baby rattlers were rattling and gorging themselves on the sleepy spring mice.
Then the rains came, and came. Water is a powerful force, my friends, never forget it. Our cats were on edge, and we watched and waited. Around 4pm we sat in the path of a dark, black cell, and the rain fell in big, heavy, leaden drops. The drops cut into the sandy terrain and coalesced into tiny rivulets and streams and rills. Our patio and dining room were quickly under 1/2 foot of water so we called the fire department.
We learned that water is not the fire department's specialty, but they did know what a good crow bar can do. We sandbagged and dug drainage and the muddy flood began to subside. Around 9pm the rain abated and we surveyed the damage.
We walked out front and the creek had swelled to twenty feet in width, and a neighbor had to move an RV that was parked on the edge of the torrent. We all stood outside in the drizzle and marveled at the power of water and gravity. We thought of the frogs, and the unborn frogs. The frogs in the desert are tiny. We hoped they retired to higher ground but the signs were ominous. The world was hushed by the white noise of rushing water. --Joaquin Bogs, retired DWP, naturalist and protector of the realm