Sunday, May 8, 2011

photo phollow up: lovely day, tho't I wuz gonna die

In reverse story telling order, yesterday/Friday's post is the story, this is the setting.

As I noted to a co-worker. You look out at the landscape and see hills, grass, and rock. What's to be allergic to?

FYI, I decided NOT to include the picture of my super spotty legs (a la thistle). You're welcome. =)

This is a "jumpout" under construction.

Jumpouts are structures to help wildlife that somehow manage to get into this highway corridor to get out. Part of keeping wildlife out of busy road areas, and directing them toward underpasses, is fencing. That also means that if an animal is IN the road (presumably from somewhere at the extreme ends of this sort of project) it can be hard to get out. This structure will aide that.

This is what we affectionately call the Hill of Death.

If you survey this hill in the morning, it's actually my favorite re: habitat. It seems to host the most native species per capita, as it were.

It is called the Hill of Death because (I believe) if you survey it in the heat of the day, you will be very unhappy. Steepest, longest climb on site.

So, now that we know, we tend to tackle it first thing in the morning. MUCH better.

This project site is largely dominated by non native grasses and there's also LOTS of non-native thistles. However, the Hill of Death sports a few native lovelies. I will be getting the species names soon (from co-workers) but here are photos for now...

Nice, right?

This was our "what's that in that tree?" stop.*

Bullock's oriole is the answer.

 Photo by Kevin Cole
This is also the riparian area that, I believe, is responsible for "the eye"
(see yesterday's post).

A treehopper, I believe. On my Honda.

Any help in bug id from y'all is greatly appreciated.

Also from my car, a weevil, trying to evade my camera.

Almost succeeded. Cutie.  =)

Note pollen EVERYWHERE.

So, it is a nice place. Pretty things live there. It's a great job.
And I believe we're helping make it better for wildlife.

But, add a boatload of allergens, and this landscape becomes menacing.

Like a beautiful, charming assassin.

Fun to be with, but will you survive?


As long as there are anti-histimines,
I have my bandanna**,

and I continue to avoid stepping on rattlesnakes,
I believe I will.


*Tribute to the B52's line, "What's that on your head?" (answer: "A wig!")
** Said bandanna is why a co-worker said to me, while I sported the bank-robber look, "You have crap on your face." Yup. No argument here...

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