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April 1 2020: Signs of Spring

Date: 1 April 2020 12pm

Location: Tustin, California

  • Latitude: 33.742070
  • Longitude: -117.819770
  • Elevation: 138′

My House:

  • Has a lot of different plant types, in the front we have a water conscious landscape that resembles the natural environment rather than the prototypical green lawn with a white picket fence.

Signs of Spring

  1. I notice the change in the temperature. When I first came back home for spring break, its was still cool and rainy, typical of Winter, not Spring. The past week however, has been filled with summer like days, a nice change. Sun and rising temperatures play major ecological roles, their effect on the landscape is starting to become apparent….
  2. Birds. Birds. Birds. In my back yard we have fairly large trees, with good protection and lots of branches. They provide refuge too many different kinds of birds: Crows, Hummingbirds, Sparrows, even Parrots (Parrots were accidentally brought to OC around 1963). The chicks are also starting to hatch! Just this morning my cat and dog tag teamed a baby bird (species could not be identified). Birds can be heard all different times of day. Throughout the day different birds make their calls, and this lasts until the sun sets. This may be apart of the niche they occupy, what time they get to call to mates, or socialize.
  3. The final sign that I have noticed has been the emergence of flowers, or the formation of bulbs. Flowers all around my house and in the surrounding area have starting blooming, which as been a big indication of the arrival of spring. My front yard is about to be covered in bright red roses, so I am excited to see how that looks.

Leaves:

  1. Wine Grape (Vitis vinifera) On my back wall there are extensive Grape vines which lose their leaves during the winter time, but grow back during spring, and eventually even form little grapes. They have broad green leaves that are able to absorb a lot of sunlight.

2. Garden Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) are small little plants that we have throughout my backyard in pots. They have small thick green leaves with bright red flowers that form on the top.

3.  Rose (Rosa) Like I was talking about earlier I have Rose bushes in my front yard. We have your traditional bush Roses, but also roses that grow more like a shrub, similar to the Sticky Monkey Flower.  The more standard bush Roses have thick dark green leaves that have a smooth texture on the top, and a softer/ lighter feeling on the bottom. The bulbs are forming, and some have even started to bloom like the one pictured below!

 

 

https://www.10000birds.com/red-crowned-parrots-at-irvine-regional-park-orange-county-california.htm

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March 25 Hiking Trip (Actually my Neighborhood)

  • I took this walk on the 25th March 2020
  • Location: Tustin, California
    • Latitude: 33.742070
    • Longitude: -117.819770
    • Elevation: 138′
  • Description:
    • I was only able to get a walk around my neighborhood with my dog, relatively flat and most of the different foliage and animals were located in peoples front yards. It is becoming popular within my local community to redo traditional grass front yard to more desert or Mediterranean Shrub which is closer to Southern Californias biome type
  • List of 5 Species:
    • Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)
    • Stonecrops (Crassula)
    • Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)
    • Sedum (Crassulaceae)
    • Purple-flowered Rock-rose
  • Detailed Species Account:
    • Unfortunately I could not capture a high quality photo of any of the perching bird species that encountered on my walk. However I did take a decent photo of the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), on a telephone line. The sleek black feathers gave the large bird (about 18 inches tall) with a wing span of about 2 feet, a nice contrast to the gray sky. The Crow, perched on top of a telephone pole, was apart of a larger grouping of crows in the area, which is common for the crow species. It was calling to other members, but did not seem to be a call of distress of of mating intentions, just a few simple calls.
  • Narrative:
    • Like I mentioned before I was unable to make it on a traditional hike, but ended up taking roughly an hour long walk with my dog. It was a cool day with overcast clouds and a slight breeze. There were many people walking around because of the state wide quarantine, would typically be quieter because people would have been at work. It generally was not that interesting of a walk, but it was fun to actually pay attention to all of the different plant and animals species that I came across on my walk.
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