The Joys and Sorrows of Working Away From Home

[Featured image: Camp at Harris Beach State Park, Oregon in May 2018. This was one of several basecamps during my recent work on a wildlife assessment for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.] I have always had an affinity for travel and exploration of the outdoors. It began when I was young with family campingContinue reading “The Joys and Sorrows of Working Away From Home”

A Night at West Fork

The degree to which I am enamored with the freedom of backpacking is not reflected by the frequency with which I go. For awhile now, I’ve taken an interest in expanding my knowledge-base of the fauna of the San Gabriel Mountains by backpacking into remote campgrounds, preferably on a weekday when no or few peopleContinue reading “A Night at West Fork”

The Under-Appreciated Black-tailed Jackrabbit

[Featured image: A Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) attempts to hide on a cold day during the Owyhee Roads Fuelbreak Project in northern Nevada, October 2017.] We are walking our fifteenth mile of the day. The accumulated sun and wind exposure while walking around sagebrush and over unstable volcanic rock has taken its toll. Attentiveness isContinue reading “The Under-Appreciated Black-tailed Jackrabbit”

Islip Ridge, Little Jimmy, and Windy Gap

I decided yesterday was a good day to traverse some trails I hadn’t done before, so I grabbed my Angeles High Country map and drove up Highway 39. I sought out a trail the map labeled as the “Islip-Wiwona Trail”. There were no signs where the trailhead should be. The area was overgrown with aContinue reading “Islip Ridge, Little Jimmy, and Windy Gap”

Raptors in Flight

In response to a question about hawk identification on nextdoor.com (a neighborhood-based social media site), I posted a long discussion about the status of various raptors in our neighborhood. Someone posted a follow-up question about how to tell hawks from falcons in flight. I thought the easiest way to do that would be to postContinue reading “Raptors in Flight”

Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 2

For part 1 of this trip and race report, see here. Two days before the race, we took a trip to Pearl Harbor to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. While Google Maps did a good job of getting us temporarily lost on Honolulu’s confusing roads, we still arrived early and only had to wait aContinue reading “Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 2”

Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 1

We look out over the vast Pacific that forms our temporary backyard and watch the sun set as large waves break on the volcanic rock in front of us and Brown Boobies fly northward just offshore. This is our first of ten nights on the island of Oahu. It’s my first time in the stateContinue reading “Hawaii: History, Honeycreepers, and the HURT 100 – Part 1”

Land Use Changes in the Antelope Valley

[Featured image: A Northern Harrier flies over a solar farm outside of Bakersfield, California in May 2016] Google Earth’s time feature allows you to easily take a look at how land use changes over time. I produced this video, without commentary, showing land use changes in the western Antelope Valley from 1985 – 2016.

Sometimes Rare Birds are Easy

[Featured image: Grasshopper Sparrow at Viña Vieja Park, Pasadena, 10 November 2016] I decided to do a “chase” today for a rare species: a Grasshopper Sparrow that was reported at Viña Vieja Park in Pasadena, approximately 10 miles from my house. While that species is certainly not a life bird for me (as they aren’t allContinue reading “Sometimes Rare Birds are Easy”

Lewis’s Woodpecker and Other Things

[Featured image: Lewis’s Woodpecker at Bette Davis Picnic Area, Burbank, Los Angeles County on October 26, 2016] As today was not a running day, I decided to make it a birding day. There was a report on the LaCoBirds listserv yesterday of a Lewis’s Woodpecker at Bette Davis Picnic Area near Griffith Park. As thatContinue reading “Lewis’s Woodpecker and Other Things”