The Last Day in Southern California

Today was the fourth wet and gray morning here in Orange County. Of course everyone tells us how unusual the weather has been but that doesn’t make the sun shine. We were off early to the Newport Pier where we joined dozens of fisherman in the early morning mist. The pier was a polyglot ofContinue reading “The Last Day in Southern California”

Palos Verdes Peninsula

In days of yore the Palos Verdes Peninsula was an island off the mainland of what is now California. All sorts of organisms lived there and many found it inconvenient or impossible to commute to and from the mainland. These populations became suited to the island and began to differ from the source populations. RecentlyContinue reading “Palos Verdes Peninsula”

Coachella Valley Preserve

This morning we started out at the Coachella Valley Preserve, an area bought (in 1984) to protect the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard. It also protects a beautiful swath of California Fan Palms that grow along a one-mile stretch of wet soil. There are eleven palm oases along a crack in the earth (part of theContinue reading “Coachella Valley Preserve”

A Bit of a California Hodge-Podge

This entry will finish off some notes made as we arrived in California and finish with a 6000′ climb in a gondola from the desert floor (near Palm Springs) to the top of the San Jacinto mountains. The temperature dropped about 40 degrees that afternoon and we were actually a bit chilly at the top.Continue reading “A Bit of a California Hodge-Podge”

The Salton Sea

The desert in this area (Coachella Valley) is almost totally without natural wetlands and that makes the manmade sites valuable to migrants. The sewage lagoons in many desert communities are (now) often made into (vegetated) wetlands and the stunningly large Salton Sea is a remnant of a mis-directed Colorado River from some 105 years ago.Continue reading “The Salton Sea”