Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Hairy Beast of Claremont

Well, I have to hand my crown and title of the Hairiest Beast of Claremont over to the little guy who crossed paths with me this weekend.  Went hiking Sunday at Claremont Wilderness Park, to see if the Black Swifts are back, this summer.  Not yet--if at all.  I have been searching the skies above the trail extensively in the afternoons on various days between 4:00 and 6:15 p.m.

I might need to arrive only at 6:00 p.m., and hang out until sundown.  But then again, maybe they just didn't come back, at all.  Hm...

On the way back down the trail I saw somebody staring at something on the ground.  Assuming it was a frog, I stooped, and found out it was a California Tarantula

The photo does not do him justice.  He was a biggie.

Rocket scientist that I am, I had left the Blackberry in the car, because there's no reception.  Now I had no camera.  Fortunately, a ladies' hiking club came cruising by, and asked me what I was looking at.  One of them took the picture with her Blackberry.

Monday I took the kids to San Pedro to look for the Belcher's Gull.  Met Charlie Walker, who said that now he thinks it's a Black-tailed Gull--which would be a nice California bird  (A bird that I have never seen in California, before.  I have seen them in China).  The last 100 yards of the hiking trail down the sea cliffs was too much for my 4 year old and 5 year old.  That, and the lack of toilets and a water fountain made me decide that I wasn't going to torture my kids just so that I could see a bird.  We abandoned ship.  I'm not losing sleep over my decision, though: the gull was flying in every day to a seal carcass that has probably been carried away by the tide, and is no longer there to attract the bird.  C'est la vie.

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