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Bizarre cloud formations
During the wet winter of 2004/2005 the trail actually got snowed in!
Taken December of 2003
Taken from the same spot in May of 2004
Same area taken during June of the drought year 2007
May 2006 (below as well)
Deerweed in bloom, with a detail on right
Colorful fire-followers include Penstemon, Beavertail Cactus, and Our Lord's Candle
More bloomers: L-R: San Felipe Monardella, Chamise, and White Sage
Fringed Spineflower on left; Sugarbush on right (including some that got a little moldy...)
The fires didn't seem to discourage Black-chinned Sparrows from breeding in the burned areas! Females (right) and juveniles lack the black chin.
Although not the proper habitat for Black-throated Sparrows, we had many post-breeding dispersals of juvenile birds up along the PCT near Ranchita.
Apparently territorial adult Black-throated Sparrows started showing up in spring of 2006!
The burned areas attracted gazillions of Lazuli Buntings; this fledgling confirmed breeding along the PCT.
This Spotted Towhee along the PCT could put any tenor to shame!
The Mountain Quail was another species that seemed to explode the first year after the burns; this is a chick along the PCT near Ranchita (see Momma on the San Diego Birding Pages).
Rock Wrens were also attracted to the newly-opened areas; here is an adult (left) and fully-grown fledgling.
On a clear day you can see the Salton Sea from the trailhead!
"San Diego Dad" Floyd Melson joined me on one Jasper Trail route...
(He's got a lot more energy than I do...)
California Thrasher hiding in the chaparral along the Jasper Trail
This cute Brewer's Sparrow was a winter visitor along my Japer Trail control route, but in May of 2003 I actually had one singing! Other routes had evidence of breeding as well, but unfortunately the birds have apparently lost interest...
A perky White-crowned Sparrow along the Jasper Trail
Even Montezuma Grade Road (also part of the control route) produced nice birds, like these Western Bluebirds!
The Arroyo Seco/Pine Ridge Trail showed little growth the first spring after the Cedar Fire of 2003.
Taken near the same spot during the summer of 2006
Phil Unitt (my "boss", who heads up these burn surveys) on our first dry run during the spring of 2004
In the winter of 2004/2005, growth is returning (note the Poodle Dog Bush springing up)
In spring of 2005, the Poodle Dogs are taking over!
In winter of 2005, the fuzzy heads are back but the long stalks remain.
It's summer 2006, and they've taken over again!
Green Valley was spared, but the surrounding hillsides weren't.
Now the hillsides are starting to look green again!
Summer of 2006
Rocks protect a sapling in the trail
Odd bark pattern in one of the burned out pines
A pair of sibling Red-tailed Hawks along the Arroyo Seco portion of the Pine Ridge loop.
Acorn Woodpecker on burned-out pine along the down side of the Pine Ridge Trail
"Worn out" Bewick's Wren
Black-chinned Sparrows took advantage of the burned areas quickly; at left is a Mom with food for the babies, and at right is a worn-out Pop.
Even more interesting was this sibling gang of scruffy juvenile Sage Sparrows where there was no sign of any adults during any of the surveys!
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