Sunday, September 29, 2013

habitat ~ 09/29/13 ~ Rocky Creek

Rocky Creek
September 27, 28, and 29, 2013

There was only a core group of 10 of us with 4 small dogs that camped this time.  The girlfriend invited her recently engaged friends, and I invited a fellow local blogger, Bread on the Water, and her husband down for a visit.  We had a bit less revelry than in the past, with no cocktail hour visitors and an evening honoring 2 of our friends who died recently.  Rocky Creek is a special place filled with fond memories.

The pond was engineered by one of the family members who's a hydrologist.  The overflow goes right back into Rocky Creek.   There are several decent sized fish that jump around on occasion. 

I'm always amazed at the power of the wind to mold redwood trees into sculptural shapes.  And, yes, there always seems to be something in bloom, such as this silver bush lupine.

Here's what happens to tanbark oaks when Sudden Oak Death hits them.  SOD first started appearing in this canyon maybe about 10 years ago (?).  

And last, here's a view of Rocky Creek Bridge from the lower property road.  Caltrans is still working on repairing and upgrading a section of Hwy 1 just south of the Bridge that slid into the ocean 2 years agoBigSurKate has excellent updates on road closures there.

ps 10/22/13 - For a blog post about a recently released paper on SOD and redwoods, check out BigSurKate.

rubber boa ~ 09/29/13 ~ Rocky Creek

I first saw this snake as I was walking up the road to greet a fellow blogger whom I had invited for a Rocky Creek tour.  I figured it might be the same kind of snake that I saw last year during our now annual excursion.  All I remembered was last year's snake belly was orange, similar to this one.  My blogging visitor jokingly expressed disappointment that I didn't know the name off the top of my head.  Hey, I tend not to remember everything from Nature ID, but at least I can easily track past information. That's kind of the point of this blog.  Of course, when I got home I looked up my blog entry from last year.  Ring-necked snake?  Definitely not. This one has an unusual rubbery appearance to it with lots of bite marks down the length of its body.  Apparently, body scars are common in rubber boas.  During the course of the visit, I passed it 4 times total.  It couldn't have been entirely dead, because it changed positions each time, but it was still on the road.  Neat!  Here's a new-to-me snake that I never knew existed around here.