Archive for the ‘Santa Rosa Plateau’ Category



Yellow Mariposa Lily
(Calochortus weedii)

My passion to learn more about the design of nature leads me to examine nature at close range.  I seize on the opportunity to record photographically natural events at the macro level and flowers are often a favorite target.

Recently while photographing Yellow Mariposa Lillie’s (Calochortus weedii) I located a flower that had a small bee with its pollen sacks at full capacity and started to photograph the event. I concentrated on getting the right angle and composition while making sure to get as much in focus as I could. The bee moved around in the flower with great speed and efficiency but I knew I would be able to see the details when I processed the photos.


Female bee with loaded pollen sacs

While photographing the event I noticed a second bee entered the flower but then disappeared. I thought the second bee had left to find another flower.  I continued to shoot more images and while turning away to make an adjustment to the camera when I looked back a second bee appeared in the flower again. My thought was that perhaps the second bee had returned to the flower once again.

The rewards in nature macro photography come in the processing of the photos. You have a pretty good idea of what you captured, or wanted to capture, but you don’t really get to see the details until they are processed. The photos  are static images of moving objects, so what you couldn’t accurately discern while taking the photos are now seen in great detail. This is when you have the opportunity to study the beautiful design of nature and the individual components of the image of interest.

This is also the time that is often filled with wonderful surprises that are not usually seen by the naked eye when studying nature at the macro level. This shoot proved to be one of those times.

When processing the photos, I realized that the second bee that entered the flower never left. It turns out that the bee was a smaller male bee who apparently decided to take advantage of the larger female bee while she was busy gathering pollen from the flower.

Smaller male bee taking advantage of female while she harvests pollen.

Mission completed

After this male bees successful venture he is seen departing the flower, but he won’t be going far. Male bees, having lost most of their internal organs during the mating process, usually die immediately or soon after the event.  The female bee continued on her way seeking more pollen.

Jim Lockyer

© 2012 jl-studio
All rights reserved

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  Mark Twain



After nearly two years of non-intentional ART IDLENESS, a result of our relocation from EAST to WEST, I have recently been reawakened to the wonderful world and pleasures of creating original ART.

It was two years ago, July 1, 2009, that I suspended my ART activities in PA as we began preparation for our relocation west – An exciting time into the unkown for sure.

Since arriving in Southern California in late November 2009 we have spent most of our time settling in to our new home. My post-settlement creative time has been spent photographing everything and anything to learn more about the wonderful natural world in our new location. The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve (SRP), just 5 minutes from our home, has been of particular interest.

The SRP hosts an annual Art Show each summer so in April I decided that it was time to put down the camera for a while and start creating some original ART again. The studio space, until now neglected, was put into full operation. It was great to get back to using brushes, pencils, paints, and paper again.

I will be showing my recent works at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve 14th Annual Art Show, July 9 – August 20, 2011. The beautiful Santa Rosa Plateau provided the subject matter for the work which will include watercolors, mixed-media, and photographs.

California Towhee - watercolor (15 x 22)

SRP Bridge Seasons - mixed-media (12 x 24)

Vista Grande Trail Rockscapes -01 & 02 (each watercolor - 11 x 15 inches)

SRP Wildflowers - Columbine & Poppy (watercolors - 7.5 x 11 inches)

While cleaning out some portfolios so I could use them to transport the new artwork to the SRP I came across an item that stopped my task and warranted my immediate attention.

It was a piece of mat board that I had pasted some items on years earlier. Since this item was so appropriate and timely, I had to stop what I was doing to provide the deserved attention. I found an empty frame that was worthy and proceeded to mat and frame the item so I could hang it in a prominent place in the studio where it belonged.

On Christmas 1994 I received a wonderful gift from our son Jason. It was an assortment of art supplies that was accompanied with a special note.


Here is some paint’in stuff. You should really start painting again you’re really good at it. It wouldn’t take a lot of time to start dabbling and then painting. I think it would relieve a lot of stress and be very beneficial. Look at Uncle Bernie with his wood carvings. You just have to set aside some time. I know it’s hard to find time but there is no time like the present. I think you need to hear this to give you a little push. I hope you start painting again. It would be a terrible waste if you didn’t.

Love, Jason

The item in question was the collection of Jason’s original note scrawled on four 5×7 yellow note pad sheets which now hangs proudly in the new studio.

We are looking forward to the Art Opening this weekend and enjoying Jason and Rita’s company when they come down for the weekend to enjoy the festivities.


Travel is fatal to bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and prejudice.  Mark Twain

SRP RAMBLINGS – Rattlesnake Love?


While on a wildflower photography hike this day, I approached the Tenaja area of the Vista Grande Trail. A family of four were near the bridge crossing at Cole Creek. I overheard the father ask his daughter, “What was the shape of it’s head?” She replied, “Diamond-shaped!”

My interest immediately peaked and I headed in the direction of the voices. I arrived as the two daughters and their mother were moving away from the area and their father was trying to locate the object of concern in a large clump of deer grass adjacent to the Cole Creek bridge crossing.

As I arrived the father had located a large rattlesnake, and then exclaimed, “It looks like there are two snakes in there!” The rest of the family continued to retreat up the bluff on the Visitor Center side of Cole Creek and observed the proceedings from their new location. The snakes were well hidden in the dense grass. The larger of the two snakes would occasionally move to reposition itself finally showing off its 13 button “rattler.”

Two SRP rattlesnakes - head to head.

The family decided to head back towards the visitor center. I thanked them for locating the snakes and continued to observe and photograph the area hoping that they might better show themselves – unfortunately they did not.

The snakes were Red Diamond Rattlesnakes. The larger snake was over 4 feet long and had a 13 button rattle. The second snake was smaller and remained motionless other than occasionally flipping a 7-8 button “rattler.” The second snake was lighter colored than the larger dark-colored snake. The larger snake also displayed a black-and-white “raccoon-banding” on its tail just before the rattle.

The large snake finally departed the area heading north from the observation site, while the smaller snake, as far as I can tell, remained in the original location but deeper into the deer grass.

The large Red Diamond Rattlesnake had a rattle of 13 buttons.

The snakes behavior was unusual with regards to their close proximity to human traffic (5-6 feet). There was no apparent anxiety prompting the snakes to warn of their presence. The larger snake appeared to be preoccupied with trying to evoke a response from the smaller snake. The smaller snake on the other hand didn’t appear to show much interest.

The day before this observation a large-bodied snake track was found on the bluff above the river bed. The distance between the track and this observation was approximately 4-5 yards.

JL – 04.22.2011

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”  – Mark Twain

THERE’S FROST on the SCAT. . .

 Frosty SCATFrosty mornings are becoming more frequent these days on the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve (SRP). I have been venturing out just after sunrise in search of wildlife along trails I haven’t yet tried on the plateau.    

The frosty mornings announce that winter has arrived at the SRP which is also being validated by the settling in of SRP winter birds including White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and others. The resident Acorn Woodpeckers have been actively caching acorns in their granaries while constantly challenging, contesting, and intimidating their fellow kind with their constant “waka, waka, waka, waka” calls as they establish and defend their acorn caches. White-tailed Kites have recently been observed exhibiting mating behavior on the SRP also marking the arrival of the SRP winter season. When hiking from the oak woodlands to the open grasslands the beautiful melodic song of the Western Meadowlark welcomes your arrival.   


Bobcat Tracks

The SRP scat producers appear to be in abundance. Their scat, tracks, and sightings indicate that there is a healthy population of coyote, bobcat, deer, skunk, raccoon, and numerous smaller rodents.   

Recent storms have crossed our area dropping 12+ inches of rain. These rain events unfortunately required the SRP to close the preserve due to the extensive damage to the trails and bridges which have caused dangerous conditions.   


You can still drive the northern and western perimeter of the SRP to enjoy the SRP from the outside looking in. I am sure the wildlife has enjoyed roaming their special place sans humankind. The rain has brought a winter coating of snow to the mountains to the east of the plateau (San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto mountain ranges) resulting in a beautiful back drop for the plateau.  

The rains have also filled the vernal pools that lie along the western edge of the SRP and the waterfowl have arrived to take advantage of the pools offerings. Winter has indeed arrived to the SRP. We are fortunate to have a second straight season where the vernal pools will be full. In drought years the pools often remain dry. 
We’ve been at our new home for almost a year now and are beginning to learn the subtle and magnificent seasonal changes in our area. 




 Jim, Judy, and VELCRO Travel is fatal to bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and prejudice. Mark Twain    


Coyote Trail – Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve – Late Summer

Realizing that the next several days would be creeping towards three-digit temperatures, I decided to head to the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve (SRP) yesterday morning since the temperature was still reasonable.

It was 68 degrees at 8:00 AM when I headed towards the SRP.  During the five minute drive, YES it is nice to live so close to the SRP, I passed the fire station going up the hill to the plateau – Fire Conditions Warning sign read, “HIGH!” 

I had decided to hike a nice 3-mile loop in the center of the preserve which I last hiked in early June. I pulled in to the Hidden Valley parking lot and headed out on the Coyote trail. This was my first summer visit to the SRP and the bunchgrass prairie was very dry reinforcing the message on the Fire Conditions sign. Rounding a corner in a shady spot on the trail I encountered a wonderful creature just off the trail. Judy and I had learned several weeks ago from one of the SRP rangers that the tarantulas were quite active on the plateau during the night (SRP is only open to the public from dawn till dusk). I didn’t expect to encounter one of these wonderful creatures during the day, but there it was. Not the most handsome hairy creature allowed me to photograph him at will. I left him undisturbed and we parted our ways as I went on.  At the junction of the Coyote trail and the Trans-reserve trail I continued my hike on the Trans-reserve trail.

The Trans-reserve trail runs through a beautiful riparian oak woodlands ravine. It is a beautiful stretch of trail with lots of vegetation. The Poison Oak leaves were displaying their fall colors and the Holly-leaf Redberry were showing off as well. This is also a spot where signs of wildlife abound. Animal tracks, scat, scratching, bedding areas, and animal trails are everywhere – watch your step! This surely is one of the preserves major watering holes for wildlife. Now in late summer the water source is dry. I plan to come back to this area to just sit (inconspicuously) with hopes of observing the wildlife activity. I suspect the best time will be spring to early summer when there is an adequate water supply in non-drought years.

Click on photos for larger image

Climbing out of the beautiful ravine the trail rises back up to bunchgrass prairie and leads to a trail junction. The Historical Adobes can be seen only .5 miles away from that junction. I continued on the Trans-preserve trail passing one of my favorite scenic spots – the wooden trail bridge in the bunchgrass prairie. At the junction of the Trans-reserve trail and Hidden Valley Road I took Hidden Valley Road back towards the parking lot.

Prairie Bunchgrass wooden bridge – Spring and late Summer

The change of seasons in Southern California is certainly different and much more subtle from what we were used to in SE Pennsylvania. I am finding however that they are just as impressive if you take the time to take notice and observe. Unfortunately, most people do not take the time to enjoy and learn from their immediate surroundings.

I arrived back at the car a little after 10 AM and it was getting warm. In just two hours the temperature had risen from 70 degrees to 85 degrees. I took the time to read the EXCESSIVE HEAT warning at the trail head, it would probably have been better if I read it before I started my hike. However, I was carrying the suggested amount of water (1 liter for short hikes, 1 gallon for longer hikes) for my hike and headed home feeling refreshed and happy. Oh, it is so nice that my therapy is only 5 minutes away from home – We are blessed!


SRP WILDFIRE VIDEO  – Time-lapse video, CHECK it out – Watch out for the hummingbirds!

While preparing to pay bills, a task that I thought was supposed to end when you retired, I was working on the computer and casually listening to the news. I heard a newscaster thanking an individual for sending photos of the “WILDFIRE ON THE SANTA ROSA PLATEAU!” “What,” I thought and immediately recalled the FIRE CONDITIONS WARNING sign at the fire station earlier in the day.

I jumped up from the computer and ran to the family room where I saw smoke billowing from the plateau. I thought, “OH NO,” the beautiful place I had visited earlier in the day was now going up in flames.

As it turned out the fire was actually across the road from the SRP.  It burned 85 acres and was put out quickly. The fire suppression response to these wildfires is very impressive. The response to this fire brought: 2 Helicopters (still working today), 1 Air Attack, 6 Air Tankers, 10 Fire Crews (280 fire fighters), 4 Water Tenders, 2 Bulldozers, 33 Engines, and 6 Overhead Personnel – Source: Riverside County Fire Department Incident Report.

Click on photos for larger images

Clinton Keith Road is the main access road to the SRP and has been closed since the fire began yesterday (local escorted traffic only) while they continue to do the clean-up work.  This is a simple sacrifice to deal with while allowing our wonderful public servants protect those things that our precious to us.

The CA Settlers
Jim, Judy, and VELCRO

Travel is fatal to bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and prejudice! 
Mark Twain

Santa Rosa Plateau Fog Blog

Today the Santa Rosa Plateau (SRP) was covered with fog which occasionally reached down towards our home but remained mostly on the plateau.

I took the opportunity to visit the foggy plateau with the idea that I might be able to capture the fog burning off the plateau with my camera. Driving up to the plateau, only 5 minutes from our home, the fog became thicker the further west I traveled on the plateau and near the vernal pools the visibility was reduced to under 10 feet. I pulled into the vernal pools trail-head  parking lot, after carefully locating the parking lot entrance. Realizing that the fog was not going to lift for some time I decided to head back east to a lower part of the plateau where the visibility might be better.

I settled on the Hidden Valley trail-head parking lot to explore the plateau where the visibility was much better. The fog ebbed and flowed through the valleys and up the slopes creating dynamic soothing images. I had hoped that the sun would break through so I could capture some contrasting photos. The fog and overcast remained quite heavy and did not provide the best photo opportunities. I was able to capture a number of images that provide an accurate account of the changing fog conditions.


The Santa Rosa Plateau blanketed with fog – click on photo for a larger image.

TOP ROW: Common Mullein-not native (1,2), water droplets on grass, 
MIDDLE ROW: water droplets on spider web, Mariposa Lily, water droplets on foxtail grass 
BOTTOM ROW: , Elk thistle, water droplets on BIG spider’s web
CLICK on photo for a larger image.   

As the heavy fog begin to set in where I was located I decided to head up a trail that I hadn’t yet tried. I only intended on using the trail to gain some elevation so I would be in a position to watch the clearing fog over a larger vista. All I was doing however was moving into an area of denser fog. My camera equipment began to collect moisture looking more and more  like the water-droplet covered vegetation I had been photographing earlier. Realizing that there was going to be no fog burn-off today, I packed up the camera equipment to keep it dry. I continued on the same trail since I felt that I had already passed the half way point of the loop that would bring me back to the trail leading to the parking lot. I was now walking through a thick fog, well let’s face it, I was literally in the clouds. To be more accurate by western meterological terminology, I was actually, smack dab in the middle of  a marine layer that was coming off the Pacific Ocean and riding over the Santa Ana Mountains and lapping into the Temecula Valley.

Hiking on an unfamiliar trail in dense foggy conditions is an interesting experience. Intellectualy I knew I was going in the right direction and I was sure that the trail, well pretty sure, I was on connected to the trail that led back to the parking lot where I had left the car. The trail climbed a ridge adjacent to what appeared to be a deep ravine which was hidden from full view by the fog. Wrapping through oak woodlands the trail finally desended to a somewhat familiar area, but not entirely so. It appeared to be a portion of the Hidden Valley, but an area that I had not yet explored. While continuing on the trail in the fog covered valley the birds came vocally alive. The Acorn Woodpeckers cackled and laughed, while the Mourning Doves provided soothing coo’s. Other chips, chirps, and song were heard penetrating the thick fog. There were several sounds through the fog that did not sound of birds or amphibians. Having noticed a lot of  fresh scat and tracks of both bobcat and coyote along the trail, I wondered. . . . ? The trail did lead to the trail junction that led me back to the parking lot. 

I drove down from the plateau with the marine layer chasing my behind. I am looking forward to exploring this new trail once again when the visibility is better. I continue to be impressed by the many faces of the wonderful Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve.

The Adventure Continues  . . . . . .

Jim, Judy, and VELCRO

Yesterday on the Santa Rosa Plateau

Yesterday, Wednesday, May 12, 2010 I was on the plateau a 8:30 am. I tried some new trails on the plateau that appeared to be underused. I hiked more than 3 miles before getting back on one of the main trails where I encountered the first person of the day. Even then, I met only six individuals on the trails during my nearly 4 hour stay on the plateau. The Santa Rosa Plateau (SRP) is truly a very special place and I will continue to be one of the plateau’s pupils for quite some time.

I was ready and hoping to capture photographs of some of the SRP wildlife with an emphasis on mammals. But, alas, the only mammals I encountered yesterday were the six homo sapiens  (4  joggers, 2 hikers) that I met along the trails.  It is apparent to me that I need to get to the SRP at sunrise or visit the SRP at dusk in order to have a chance of photographing the SRP mammals. I am fully aware that they are on the plateau and know that as I wander through their territory they are fully aware of my presence, and are probably watching me as well. The other strategy is to just find a location with a good view, be inconspicuous, and wait for the wildlife to come in to view. Surely this is what I will do as soon as I complete my continuing exploration of the SRP. I am still checking out the trails on the SRP. To date, I have hiked only about 15 miles of the 40 miles of trails on the SRP.  

I am finding it interesting that each trail on the 8300 acre reserve of bunchgrass prairie and oak woodlands habitat provides a different view, vista and presentation of this wonderful habitat. For more information regarding this wonderful place please check out: or contact the SRP foundation: 

I was able to photograph a few encounters with wildlife yesterday (click on photo for a larger image).

Photos in order: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Callippe Fritillary butterfly, Western Red-tailed Hawks can be confusing, Beavertail cactus in bloom.
In addition to the birds above the following were also seen: Mallard, White-tailed Kite, California Quail, Mourning Dove, Acorn Woodpecker, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Western Kingbird, Western Scrub Jay, Common Raven, American Crow, Violet-green Swallow, Oak Titmouse, House Wren, California Thrasher, European Starling, California Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Western Meadowlark. The Mallard was a female with two ducklings in one of the small riparian pools. I thought to myself that there was little protection from predators and wondered about how large her original clutch might have been.
There are still a few wildflowers in bloom on the plateau including the California Poppy but most have waned and the bunchgrass is now browning up. The cacti are just now coming into bloom. The vernal pools have dried up leaving only the common horsetail (Equisetum arvense)  to define where the vernal pools were.
We feel blessed to have found such a wonderful place to live and enjoy. Each day brings a new adventure and most days close with a beautiful sunset. Yesterday was no exception.
Jim, Judy, and VELCRO in California    

Early Mom’s Day Visit

Mom and Judy admiring mom’s backyard garden

Judy and I visited my mom (93-years young)  yesterday and took her out for an early Mother’s Day luncheon. We wanted to avoid the Sunday Mother’s Day restaurant reservation madness and we wanted to spend some quality one-on-one time with mom.

Mom is a very independent lady and she is surely the influence and source of my own independent nature. My mom is now suffering from dementia but currently still insists on living alone in her home with her cat(s). Mom has wonderful gardens, but her gardening passion has waned over the past several years as her dementia increases. Our next visit to mom’s will probably be a work visit to weed her gardens and bring them up to the standards she kept them.

My sister Joanne is a true saint and  has been the principle caregiver for mom for a number of years now. With our relocation to California we are only a 90 minute drive from mom. We are now finally at a point of our settling in process that we should be able to spend some more time visiting mom and helping out Joanne.

We took mom to Buster’s Beach House ( which has a great view of the Alamitos Bay inlet in Long Beach, CA. It’s a great place to relax and watch sailboats and yachts enter and exit the inlet to the Pacific Ocean. We had a great meal and a very nice time with mom.

Getting to and  from mom’s house is an adventure. Sixty to ninety minutes of high concentration white-knuckle driving on four different high-speed freeways with speeds ranging from 80 mph to 10 mph. Seldom can you make the trip at a steady speed. Having to be constantly alert with what is going on around you doesn’t allow for any sightseeing along the way. Driving the freeways in CA is not for the timid.

MOM’S GARDEN – Christmas in May – poinsettias, Nasturtium Alley, Pink Geranium, White Flower – – Click on photo for larger image


I spent the morning rearranging and filling the bird feeders. I was also looking for new visitors to the backyard since I added a nice backyard bird yesterday while waiting for Judy to get ready for our trip to see mom.

I was scanning the valley below and noticed a white bird flying over the fields along Murrieta Creek. Gulls and Great Egrets fly along the creek frequently and I first thought it was probably a gull. Its flight behavior however quickly ruled that out and I thought,  “it couldn’t be, could it?” I quickly located my binoculars got on the bird and exclaimed, “Yes, it is!” I continued to observe the White-tailed Kite as it worked back and forth through the area occasionally hovering as it searched for prey. I began to wonder whether there might be a pair of kites nesting in the area but then realized that the plateau was covered with a blanket of fog. I suspect that the kite probably came off the plateau to the valley below where the visability was better for hunting. I looked frequently this morning but saw no kite activity in the valley this morning. The plateau was clear this morning as well.

Today, while enjoying my coffee and catching up on the news, I noticed a pair of birds quickly land on the backyard railing checking out the feeders, and then quickly flying off. I thought damn, that was Judy’s bird and the sunflower feeder was empty. Judy had seen an interesting bird a week or so ago in the backyard and described it to me by showing me three different birds in the field guide and explained to me that the bird looked like, “part of the this one, and part of the bird looked like this one, and  the other part of the bird looked like this one – WHAT IS IT?” I just threw up my arms and said, “I don’t know, a complex-hybrid perhaps?”

Well, Judy was right, it was one of the 3 birds she had shown me, and it was the best of the three I thought. When the Black-headed Grosbeak flew in this morning for a brief stay, I said, “there’s Judy’s bird!” I told Judy that I saw the bird she had described and she has since been proudly stutting around all day.

I just went to the kitchen and look what I found was sitting in the refilled platform feeder.

Quick shots of the Black-headed Grosbeak – More Later. Click on photo for larger image

Our backyard bird list continues to grow but we still have had only the Anna’s Hummingbird at the feeders. Yesterday we saw an Allen’s Hummingbird in mom’s garden. The California Towhee that tried to erase his image from the small chrome watering can is still around now trying to eliminate his image from the stainless steel BBQ. Compulsive frustration for sure, or more likely, he is just never found a mate this season and is taking it out on himself.


Though I haven’t yet conducted a serious “birding only” Santa Rosa Plateau (SRP) trip, I may have located a Spotted Dove roosting/breeding site on the plateau  in my recent ramblings. I have had several fly-overs of a dove darker and larger than a Mourning Dove and having no wing-whistle. The heavy oak/riparian woodlands site I located has a good number of doves moving around in the heavy woodlands. The calls coming from the area fit that of the Spotted Dove.  Though the Spotted Dove was an introduced species to Southern California in 1910 it has currently been extirpated in most of its introduced and expanded areas. I plan to investigate the area further.

Jim, Judy, and VELCRO

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness – Mark Twain

Santa Rosa Plateau Today

SRP-Prairie Grass

Santa Rosa Plateau Bunchgrass Prairie - Trans Reserve Trail

It was a wonderful morning although I carried “way too much equipment” which I never used. I need to find the happy medium of comfort and having “what I think” I need. I somehow tend to lean towards the “what I think” end of the scale, and I am most often wrong.  
I arrived at the Santa Rosa Plateau early this morning and hiked a familiar area with hopes of locating some of the SRP’s elusive wildlife. There were numerous signs (fresh tracks and scat) of Bobcat and older signs of Mountain Lion. I suspect that the bobcat are currently raising young and hopefully they might become more active during the day in the near future. I will try in the coming weeks to get the the SRP earlier in the morning (SRP opens at sunrise and closes at sunset) and explore the areas showing the most bobcat sign. Chances of observing a Mountain Lion is pretty slim.
The SRP is now changing with the warming weather, the wildflowers are beginning to wane and the bunchgrass is now going to seed. The lighter colored seed cases of the bunchgrass blowing in the moderate wind today produced a pleasurable appearance of waves moving across the landscape – very nice! I’ve been told that the spring season in this area has been extended by nearly a month this El Nino year.
Wildlife did not elude me entirely today. I was able to capture a blurry photo of the Entsatina Salamander (Ensatina sp.), probably the Monterey Salamander. I also noticed something out of the corner of my eye while photographing another subject. When I examined the area on the ground where I saw the movement I found something quite interesting. It wasn’t until I was processing todays photos that I noticed the mysterious object was a spider or velvet ant – passer-byes beware!Passer By BEWARE! – Spider of Velvet AntEnsatina Salamander (Ensatina sp.)


Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina sp) - Poison Oak as well

Passer By BEWARE! Spider or Velvet Ant