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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:40 am 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Like so many "threats" hyped by the media, Africanized honey bees haven't been nearly as bad as predicted. There have been some serious attacks and some deaths but they're rare. From a quick search it appears that one or two people are killed in the US every year by killer bees. They've been in California for about 20 years already.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:28 am 
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Kiwi Flat
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Location: In the gurgling maw of the Pacific.
OK 2 encounters. One mine I had to share, and one second hand brought up by SnS and the bees.

I've spent a lot of hours offshore on my kayak this Summer lookin for 2NA. They were good paddles. I'm on 5 species of whale this Spring/Summer --Gray, fin, blue, Bryde's, humpback. Anyway on Sunday it was a beautiful morning. Lumpy but glassy, as the W wind hadn't come up yet. Me and a couple friends were fanned out by about a 1/4mi.

In the distance, about another quarter mile, I spotted some birds congregated, that had just popped up as if after a dive on bait. Some smaller ones seemed to be chasing a larger one. Terns and a pelican, I thought. We kept paddling toward them and the big bird was not a pelican but a heron! About 4mi off of the Ritz. To my eye, which is in tune to finding birds, I saw the birds at water level and rising w the terns following. Which, is normal for a pelican as they aren't tidy eaters. It was a great blue heron, and its heading through the encounter was roughly toward San Clemente Island. Bizarre.

Bees. A friend just got back from Sequoia w his wife and 3 kids (2girls, 1boy) and about a dozen other people of mixed ages. They were on a hike in the big trees and the kids were grabbing sticks and hopping off logs etc. My friend sees a big slab of bark and bets himself theres reptiles under it. Hes got his kids loving bugs and snakes and squids. Before he even touches it he's getting nailed in the hand, then swarming and stinging his head. He was walking w his middle girl, 4, and the bees really started to swarm so he grabbed her like a football and sprinted back the other way, as mom sees them disappear and only hears her kids shrieking echo in the canyon.

He eventually ditched them after near 30stings. His daughter only got it twice but had a bunch stranded in her hair, and after a 1/2hr was back to laughing and having fun. This was a good half hour from their cabin and any sort of 1st aide. My friend is not too allergic, but doesn't like bees. He didn't know how his kid would react. But it was all fine in the end. He did say that he thought they were hornets/meat bees, but he was picking stingers out of himself and his daughter so I'm thinking honey, and pissed off.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:54 am 
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Rodger's Ridge
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"Meat bees" are yellow jackets which are wasps? Yikes for your friend getting stung so many times.

What is a Bryde's whale?

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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Kiwi Flat
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Location: In the gurgling maw of the Pacific.
Ok hornets yellowjackets meat bees sweat bees.
All of these are closer related to each other than to honey bees. All the above dont routinely leave their sting behind and die.

Now which is the yellow and black "meat bee" that all campers know? The google tells me the names are interchangeable.

I took this pic in MEX of a green sweat bee.
Image

A Bryde's whale is a smaller bayleen whale that eats anchovys. Its about 40ft. I went headon w it in fog. It spouted right off my bow just in my vis range and went back down as I slid forward to w/in a yak length of its dorsal. Scared the shiz outta me. I had just read they were spotted offshore and up pops one right in front of me. They are uncommon.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Location: Little slice of heaven in the Eastern Sierra
Just another average walk to the Hayden Cabin and back today to pick up some stuff. The willows along Mammoth Creek have begun to turn yellow. Small herd of teenage and juvenile bucks with velvet munching on the sage in back of the Mammoth Unified School District office along the paved path. Lots of young bucks in herds all around town right now. So beautiful to see, but they weren't even phased by my presence.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:10 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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Those are some great pictures! I swear every time I go to Mammoth I look for deer herds and rarely do I ever find any.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Location: Little slice of heaven in the Eastern Sierra
Thanks! Come walk in my 'hood along the paved path where there is tall sage and you'll see deer often! The can be well camouflaged. :)

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"You can’t get too much winter in the winter." — Robert Frost.
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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:42 am 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Tonight as I was heading up Sherwin Grade a mountain lion ran across the highway in front of me. It was about 8pm and already dark and at first I thought it was a coyote then I realized it wasn't a coyote when I noticed the way it was running (more like bounding) and then the long tail bouncing around.

First time I've seen a mountain lion in the wild and I'm sure glad that I didn't hit it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:12 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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OK - I'm gonna weigh in on the Africanized bees here. Never had a problem with bees, as kids we would cup them to see if they would sting, but they would never attack. Occasionally over the years I got stung but I always felt it was accidental, stuck in the hat or whatever. I like bees, get along with them just fine, eat their honey, enjoy the fruit they help along etc..

This year though I have been attacked without provocation on three different occasions, always by more than just one bee. This last time (today) I got stung in the finger, forearm and forehead as a few aggressively kept at me and told me to get the hell out of my backyard.

So ya, I think a lot of our local bees today are somewhat genetically different then the imported European honey bee we are/were used to.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:49 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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I've been chased by yellow jackets, ground wasps or meat hornets a few times in the sierras. And they will sting repeatedly and chased us up a hill for nearly a mile once, although the trail had switch backs so it was still within a half mile of their nest. The nest was on the ground right next to the trail and we inadvertently disturbed it as we went by. So it really sounds like 2NA's friend found yellow jackets but they don't usually leave stingers, just big welts with a dark spot where the sting occurred. Not sure if Africanized bees can survive the cold at higher altitudes, but things have been warming up.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:36 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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URBAN COYOTES!
I had just read an article that said they will only hassle humans if they have dogs with them - small dogs they see as a food source, large dogs (like my 95# lab) they see as a territorial threat. as long as you keep them on a short leash though you will be fine.

Well what do you know? I'm glad I read that article after this AM. I run with my dog @ 5a every morning by Marine Stadium in Long Beach. We had finished our loop out to the boat house and were headed back when we saw a coyote cross the road to the big field at the end of the stadium. I kept my dog close and moved closer to the field on the other side of the road when we saw a SECOND coyote, only now we were MUCH closer - I'd say only about 15 feet away. I kept my dog running and to everyone's credit, they all kept to themselves with only a hint of interest. That did wake me up though - I never thought I'd be running between two coyotes before the sun came up.


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:45 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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This guy was by the front door wanting in, I told him to go around to the back cause couldn't tell if he was stumping for the Trump or not..

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Kiwi Flat
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Location: In the gurgling maw of the Pacific.
^Lynx!
They jump!

I just saw a flock of cedar waxwings down the back slope on the red berries. Haven't seen them in years. Epic no doubt.

Some beasties from my last trip:

This thing was as big as a kiwi fruit.

Image

Had a house full of chirpy house geckos. They were everywhere but nowhere. Sly little things and noisier than they should be for their size.

Image

Katydid. Yes she did...

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Bizarre Encounters With Nature Pt. II
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Location: 240 Hours Out
Any guesses on what these are?

Mysterious creatures wash ashore in Southern California

Jelly-like critters cover beach, stumping scientists

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