Monday, January 16, 2012

habitat ~ 01/16/12 ~ Garland Ranch - Garzas Creek

Garland Ranch Regional Park - Garzas Creek
January 16, 2012

posted 01/19/12 - I never thought I'd say this, but I need lots of rain to help pull me out of this year's winter doldrums. Sure, just about everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere would think this sunny warm weather we've had here on the CA coast is a blessing, but I'm feeling parched. Hopefully, we'll get some rain by this afternoon.

This was the biggest hill I've hiked in quite a while, and I'm still feeling some soreness in my thigh muscles. I'm fascinated that the slippery downhill was somehow more difficult than going uphill. I don't have many specific pictures to post, because the hike was its own reward for a change. I wanted to see Veeder Pond, which truthfully is actually a vernal pool. Compare how dry it is now to only 3 1/2 months ago on October 1, 2011. There's a fire tower on the highest hill in the first picture, and there's the Carmel Valley Village airstrip in the second picture, which was utilized as temporary housing for firefighters during the 2008 month-long Basin Complex Fire. In 2008 there were hundreds of fires across CA. I really hope we're not looking at another intense fire year for 2012. Most notable from our hike was an owl we saw fly right by us near the vernal pool. I also noticed dropped leaves on the ground from silver bush lupine, which I believe may be due to the lack of rain, and yellow blooms on CA bay.


Imperfect and tense said...

Weather, eh, it's a puzzle. In the UK, we don't seem to experience the same thing for very long, but I recall that when we lived in Germany, the seasons seemed to go on forever. There was a rain or sun fever that developed, depending upon the time of year. An almost physical manifestation of the yearning for a change in the sky. I don't miss it!

That's some serious geography in the photos. No wonder you had aching muscles. Yeah, downhills are the worst. Just when you think gravity and momentum might work for you, o-oh, time to zigzag off the slope.

Sending you thoughts of heavy clouds, laden with serious precipitation and the odd rumble of thunder! (this statement contains no euphemisms)

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful natural photos.

Randy said...

I'm with you Katie. I would be really happy to see some good rain storms right now. I was beginning to get a little concerned about this years low rainfall. I'm feeling cheated because we should be doing waterfall hikes by now.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Graeme, we usually have much more rain by this time of winter, but I do understand that feeling of longing for change. I've hiked higher in elevation (when I've been in better shape than I am now), but what really got me was the short, slippery trail to get up there with no steps.

Thanks, Bob. I've really enjoyed your winter bird photos.

Randy, looks like the rain has already passed for at least a week, even though there were red(?) thunderbolts in yesterday's forecast. All is not lost yet for the season as we should have another 3-4 months of potential rain. I worry any late green growth may be an issue for summer wildfires.