Animal Trails

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Animal Trails

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:55 am

CBS ran this good story about the wildlife bridge that will eventually cross the 101 freeway near Los Angeles. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california- ... s-angeles/

It seems that a mountain lion, called P22, who once lived in the Santa Monica Mountains and somehow made it across the 405 and the 101 into Griffith Park, partly inspired this project. About one lion per year attempts to cross the 101 or the 405, and dies. Only P22 has made it. As we know, many creatures are hit and killed on roads. I read that about 100 people die too, each year, from hitting animals.

The wildlife bridge is a small step towards possibly slowing the extinction of the wild beasts. It somewhat enlarges the free range large predators like P22. In Griffith Park, P22 has a limited range, limited by freeways, only 8 square miles and no female to mate with. The normal range for his kind is 250 to 500 miles.

I wonder if there will be a trail across the bridge.

I live in the heart of a city. I am one of the few residents who has planted trees in the small spaces allotted to unpaved soil in front of houses in the city. The trees drop leaves on the sidewalk and street. As you know, many people think of fallen leaves as litter. I think of the leaves as a small extension of the biotic world, a minor attempt to reclaim what has been lost, something like a wildlife bridge. One of my neighbors rakes the leaves on the sidewalk and street in front of my house. I don't know why, for sure. What I would love to see, and do see sometimes in my imagination, is my neighbor coming out one day with a sledge hammer and removing the pavement, even a little at a time.

Meanwhile, I have plans to remove my driveway. I plan to replace it with bushes, another tree, fallen leaves and a trace of a trail. A scraggly coyote visits sometimes. Maybe, in a small way, I can increase his range, I can make his passage into the canyon behind my home somewhat more like it once was.

Wilderness need not be a place apart.
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Ulysses » Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:58 pm

That is a very interesting story. Thank you for posting. I had the pleasure of speaking with a wildlife biologist for the State in Anza Borrego Desert State Park a few years ago and asked her how many mountain lions they estimated "lived " within the park. I was amazed by her answer that they really don't know because the animals range can be over 250 miles. They have tracked collared mountain lions travelling through the park (and it's a big park) from as far as from Mexico into the San Gabriels and possibly beyond.
I have yet to see one of the big cats in the local mountains or deserts. Plenty of tracks and scat, but never a live sighting. Still hopeful.
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:41 pm

Ulysses wrote:They have tracked collared mountain lions travelling through the park (and it's a big park) from as far as from Mexico into the San Gabriels and possibly beyond.
:shock:

Yeah, that's quite a lot of travelling.

HJ
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby HH8 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:55 pm

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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Sally » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:46 am

Thank you for the interesting story, Wildhorse. It is ironic that the method man uses to make it easier for us to get around (busy roads) makes it impossible for the critters to get around!

That is funny about your neighbor raking up your leaves for you! About a year and a half ago I was trying to fix a leaky pipe in my already inefficient lawn-sprinkler system. I REALLY fixed it when I accidently broke the pipe and caused a geyser. I turned off the water, said "Heck with this stupid lawn anyway" and disconnected the irrigation altogether. It took a half a year for the lawn to die, then I planted native plants. I also built a front-yard patio where hubby and I sit to watch the sunset and the talk to the neighbors having their evening walks. It is interesting hearing their comments about our landscaping. My favorite is "It looks like a desert." Duh, Temecula IS a desert! We really enjoy watching the hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies the shrubbery attracts. I have 2 varieties of wild lilac, sticky monkey flower, yarrow, succulents, cacti, and many more interesting and colorful plants. Today I will spread a big packet of wildflower seeds. This is the best time of year to plant!
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:09 am

Sally, your yard sounds wonderful. It is a refuge, a bridge. Temecula is not too far from Las Pilitas nursery. I am wondering if you found your plants there.
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Sally » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:57 am

Wildhorse, although it is easy to find drought resistant plants, I have had a difficult time finding NATIVES. I have heard that there is a native nursery somewhere on Ortega Hwy but I haven't checked them out yet. I will surely look up Las Pilitas nursery. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:32 pm

At Las Palitas you can often even see the actual plants that produced the seeds that grew into the plants you buy. It is just off 15 between Escondido and Temecula.
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Sally » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:14 pm

I just checked Las Palitas' website and I can't wait to visit. I work in Escondido two days a week, so I pass right by there! Thank you so much, Wildhorse! My yard is a work in progress, I will post pics as things fill in.
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Re: Animal Trails

Postby Wildhorse » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:00 am

My garden is also a work in progress. I think a real garden is always a work in progress. If it is really in sync with history, it can only be that. Our story is evolution. Change. That synchronization with history is what natives in a garden help to achieve. Without it, there is good reason to believe that there is no future.

I look forward to the photos.

I think it is a great way to think about a garden, as you are, as something beyond a residential landscape. It is soil and wildlife. It is a diverse community of organisms, that includes ourselves.

One of my favorite books is "Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition." It is written by Robert Pogue Harrison, a Californian.

Wildlife bridges help us remember where we are and who we are.
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