January 5, 2021 Las Virgenes Canyon

I hadn't been to Las Virgenes Canyon for quite some time. Since that time it has continued to be dry and until recently, very warm. We had about an inch of rain a couple of weeks ago....barely enough to wet the ground. The habitat is clearly under stress. The beautiful large old oak you see upon entering the trailhead was dried up and looking very poorly. I hope it survives. I took a photo of another oak tree up on a hill to show what several of them look like. At the same time that the oak trees and sycamores are stressed, a non-native Peruvian peppertree looked like it had plenty of water.

In spite of the dismal state of most of the terrain, there was still a bit of water in some of the riparian areas. I was pleased to see that. I didn't hear a lot of birds but I think most of the wildlife was taking advantage of the better habitat near the water sources.

The best find of the day was the small green sharpshooter I found in the creek. Otherwise I didn't see anything super unusual but noted the abundance of red tailed hawks--at least four to five in different areas along the trail and above. It seems that raptors in general are quite abundant this year.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, January 05, 2021 23:08

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Grass Sharpshooter (Draeculacephala minerva)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 5, 2021 10:50 AM PST

Description

Las Virgenes Canyon
Landed on the water in the creek for a a few seconds

Photos / Sounds

What

Oaks (Genus Quercus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 5, 2021 11:34 AM PST

Description

Las Virgenes Canyon
Posting to show an example of what is happening to many of the trees due to the ongoing drought

Photos / Sounds

What

Peruvian Pepper Tree (Schinus molle)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 5, 2021 11:35 AM PST

Description

Las Virgenes Canyon
At the same time the oaks are dying this non-native Peruvian peppertree is flourishing--all new growth and about 4 feet high

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