Saturday, May 14, 2005

Lookout Visit

Hi all,
Today I drove a van field trip to Hi Mountain Lookout- with 11 participants- for a “Condor Country” class offered through Cuesta College Community Programs. Along Hi Mtn. Rd. we met up with the Pozo
Wildflower Weekend field trip led by Charlie Blair, President of the SLO chapter of the California Native Plant Society. After we looked over the vegetation growing on the serpentine outcrop along Hi Mtn. Rd., the wildflower group of 6 joined us at the lookout for lunch and discussion about the condor radio tracking project. In the afternoon we picked up a signal from one of the Pinnacles condors to the NW…that was the only condor radio signal we detected. Hopefully, a few new volunteers have been recruited for the project. Surprisingly, one of the participants in the wildflower field trip introduced herself as a past condor intern at Hopper Mountain N’tl Wildlife Refuge and this was her first visit to Hi Mtn.
The swallowtail butterflies are now up on the ridgeline in numbers, the deer flies are starting to bite, and this afternoon there was a flight of 1000’s of ladybird beetles all over the chaparral-covered ridgeline at Hi Mountain and swarming around the lookout- a constant movement of flying insects all about.
Compared to only one week ago, along Hi Mtn. Rd. there has been an ‘explosion’ of Mariposa lilies, Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia), Larkspurs, and Chinese Houses flowers.
Steve Schubert