Saturday, November 1, 2003

Audubon California Field Trip

Today, Nov.1st, a group of 13 of us met at Hi Mountain Lookout for an afternoon field trip. Following yesterday’s rain showers there was no dust on the road, everything had a fresh smell after the first fall rains, the skies were deep blue, flat-bottomed white cumulus clouds were scattered widely over the Santa Lucias, and a brisk cold wind blew (wind chill was 36*F in the late afternoon). Viewing conditions were excellent far out to sea and inland to the Temblor Range.

Audubon California staff (employees of the National Audubon Society) who made the long trip to the lookout were Craig Palmer from San Francisco and John Culpepper from Los Angeles, and their invited guests Robert and Margie from Sacramento. Morro Coast Audubon Society members attending the field trip were Barbara Burke, Joanna Frawley, Gerry Montgomery, Penny McCaula and Lisa Trayser (visiting from Salem, Oregon).

After lunch, I gave an overview of the Hi Mtn. Project and a lookout tour. Kathleen Intorf demonstrated condor radio tracking using the telonics equipment, and later gave a training session for our new student volunteers Michelle and Megan, who are Animal Science majors recruited through the Cal Poly Wildlife Club.

A new improvement at the lookout is all the nice rock work being done- initiated by Paul Andreano and being completed by Lisa Andreano and Jeff Osborne- with rock borders along the perimeters and lining the
footpaths. Several truck loads of heavy rock materials have been transported up to the lookout from down below to work on the project. Also, ‘thank-you’ to Mike Tyner who was so concerned he made an unscheduled trip to the lookout yesterday to check on how it ‘weathered’ the first fall rains (ok, Mike, no more convenient distractions…now you can get back to work writing that term paper that’s due soon!)

The group today was very appreciative and supportive of the lookout project. Kathleen and I stayed after they departed and ‘worked’ until after sunset, then drove down the mountain in the dark, with a quarter
moon and Mars rising bright in the east.

Steve Schubert