Point Vicente lighthouse

I stopped by the lighthouse on the way home.  I hadn't been before, and there's a delightful native plant garden and "wild" area adjacent on the bluff tops.

The best scenery is out towards the ocean, however.

Up at the inland edge of the "wild" area there's a wooden rail fence.  On the right is the wild area.  On the left is some developer's or homeowners' association idea of compatible plantings.  This photo has Agapanthus and sprinkler irrigation.  Indian Hawthorne, sheared to a fare-thee-well and Fortnight Lily adorn the irrigated hell strip adjacent the road.  If only they had used smarter choices. 

Don't do this.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


A low-functioning ecosystem - Western Ave hillside at Dodson

I had emailed my local CNPS Chapter Vice President, David Sundstrom, a couple weeks ago about some Broom plants growing above Western on the untended hillside.  I was hoping that he could call out the troops to eradicate the Broom.  There's little of it on the peninsula, so keeping it out is a lot easier than trying to remove it once it's got it's hooks in. (Added 09 May: I used the What's Invasive web interface to add Broom to the list of invasive plants on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  It's there in a combined Genista / Cytisus spp category.  I believe this Broom is French Broom, Genista monspessulana, based on the hairy pods, though I didn't take close enough observations to be certain.)

Since we live in a relatively affluent community, there must be City resources to do this job, no doubt supported by an annual gala fundraiser, right?  Not so much.  David and I were the "troops" and we met for about two hours on Sunday to demo the Broom.  My childhood spent doing yard work stood me in good stead this day as I wielded lobbers with samurai-like precision cutting the plants to the ground.  One plant appeared to be the mother ship, as David called it, and he had to take that on with a saw - the trunk was maybe 4-5 inches in diameter.  Most others were amenable to the loppers.  Seed pods for this year were not deemed viable yet, so we mulched the plant material in place.  However, there were signs of multiple years of growth on some plants with last season's dried seed husks still on them.  I guess we're due for a few years of return trips to knock down the sibling plants.  Our cooler coastal climate is probably not ideal for Broom.  I would guess it likes the hotter and more inland foothill and mountain ranges more, so perhaps the plants have been held in check by local climate conditions.

These snails of unusual color were on many Broom plants and on the mustard as well.

A functioning ecosystem - Backbone Trail to Circle X Ranch

I had the great pleasure to lead a group of Scouts on a backpacking trip in the Malibu mountains last weekend.  We hiked a segment of the Back Bone Trail, a trail that is nearly a complete 65 mile run from Will Rogers State Historic Park to Point Mugu.  I was a bit outwardly focused, especially when starting the trip, and forgot my good camera.  I still had my trusty cell phone camera, however.  What I saw was a beautiful and functioning ecosystem.  I saw flowering lupines, blue eyed grass, mimulus, and salvia species and much more.  Lots of pictures below:


Rain 0.48" rain in the last week; Season total 8.94"

25 April 2012: 0.46" of rain (0.35" at the San Pedro annex)
01 May 2012: 0.02" rain

Rains are late this year compared to normal and scant.