Neighborhood Activity

A neighbor moved an oak from one part of his property to a place by his driveway.  This happened in early March.  Of course right after he moved it we got an unexpected heat wave.  

Now in mid-June, it's not looking good.  Bummer.  
Update 9/2016:  the above oak did not survive.  
Update 8/2017:  the neighbor planted three ankle high oak seedlings.  One died, but the other two are growing.
Another neighbor spent last summer calling, calling, calling the county, trying to get some brush clearance done on the county-owned drainage areas.  The County promised action.  It only took a year.  Better late than never--we are thankful.
This was filled and refilled several times.
 This area had several trash palms (Washingtonia) and a lot of dead brush.  It is now mostly cleared out.  You could see no soil--it was all crammed with brush.  I wish the native oaks and Toyon could take over, which they could if the county would remove the Eucs and trashy ash trees.  
 Another area, more brush to clear.  The mass of Poison Oak engulfing a Schinus molle was scary.
 Coyotes live back in there.  These are all non-native invasive weeds, excepting the native Poison Oak.  Just because something is 50 feet tall, doesn't mean it isn't a weed.  There are a couple of native oaks back there.
 There is one native plant in the next photo, the Sambucus mexicana.  They'd done some clearing out here, but more needed.  I can hear the whine of the chain saws and the roar of the chipper going right now, as I type.  Hopefully those trashy palms go, because they are a serious fire hazard.  So are the Eucs and the Schinus.
 Since this is sort of a foliage post, how about some Agaves, Aloes, and a Senecio, creating a soft mix of greens and blue-greens under overcast sky.
 Or Begonia luxurians, recently planted, and growing:
Update 8/2017: the begonia is slower growing than I expected, but it's doing well. 
Or a new plant yet another neighbor kindly gave me, Pyrrosia lingua. Really pretty epiphytic fern that climbs trees and rocks in Japan, China, and southeast Asia. I'm concerned the light will not be sufficient here--but thought I'd give it a try.  It would make a beautiful green carpet in that unfortunate corner, if little light is enough light. Might have to move it.
Update 8/2017: Pyrrosia lingua is doing great in that spot.  
Same kindly neighbor gave me a 'Diamond Dust' Euphorbia.  What wonderful neighbors!  I have a spot for it, too.  It likes heat and it doesn't reseed.  Whee!!!
Update 8/2017: the Euphorbia is doing okay.  I think it would like a little less sun and a little more water, but it's okay.  
Speaking of new plants, I did a stupid thing a month or two back and bought one of those tiny tiny packaged rooted Clematis stems you see at the big box stores--it was 75% off.  I looked though all the packages and found one that contained a plant still alive.  

These are so tiny it is very difficult to grow them into viable plants, (at least for me) and I should have left it to die, know how it is.  So far it's growing mostly because of our extended May-Grey/June-Gloom, but I'll have to baby it through the summer without error and even then...survival will be iffy.  Misguided compassion, I guess.  At this moment, looks so happy.
Update 8/2017: planted in the ground in early 2017 the Clematis grew to about 5' tall.  It's surviving, which is enough at this point.  Next spring a cut down to 6" and we'll see if it can produce multiple stems and hopefully flowers.  Nothing this year.
Not so happy, the keening of a fledgling Hawk(?) that was very difficult to photograph.  The past couple of days it has been keening and chirping for its parents, judging by the plaintive sound.  It was in one of the neighbor's wretched Eucs yesterday for a couple of hours.  It's young(?) and hungry(?) and alone(?).  It has been wrenching to listen to its cries.  I dearly hope it finds something to eat, that it is strong enough to survive, but there's nothing I can do to help.   
So many little things, minor things, trivial things go on in a garden.  Every garden has its own drama, life and death, joy, tragedy, struggle, beauty, pain, the kaleidoscope of the here and now.  

Update 6/18:  a neighbor reports seeing the youngster being fed tidbits by Mom & Dad.  Hope you make it, Junior!


  1. Your Agaves, Aloes, and a Senecio picture is gorgeous. Grow little clematis, grow! So sad about the hawk. Will they accept food left out for them or will they only take live prey?

    1. If only I could throw squirrels to the Hawk. We'd both be so happy.

  2. giant bushes of poison oak are always scary! I hope the city finishes cleaning everything out. Do they just leave everything bare after they're done?

    1. Yes, they just leave everything bare, but the Eucalypts cover it all with litter pretty quickly. I haven't yet gone to see if they removed the Poison Oak or not. Probably not.

  3. I spy a Cooper's Hawk! One nest was in the large eucs on La Limonar between Bimini and Arroyo. I've been watching the drama unfold. They hunt on my street and I have a video of one that caught a bird and was defending it's catch from a family of crows trying to chase it away. Also a barn's owl nest in the Phx canariensis at the corner of Arroyo/La Limonar. I can hear the begging calls of the nestlings at night in late summer. I love our wildlife! What do you think the coyotes will do with their cover blown on the county land?!?!

    1. There was a Cooper's nest in a Euc here last year, a neighbor could sit on their patio and watch them being fed. A big lack of gophers and rabbits last year, yay! I know that Phoenix, it's a big one, lots of cover. Best wishes to the owls! We hear them late at night.

      Still considerable cover for the Coyotes. Since there are rabbits everywhere, I hope they get to work.

  4. I hope the hawk finds his way. It must be the time they get pushed out of their nests. I saw what looked like a juvenile hawk yesterday being harassed by 2 crows. The crows must be nesting in the vicinity - I also saw them dive-bombing a young coyote Tuesday morning.

    I'm glad your neighbor persevered with the county to clear the brush. The Santa Barbara fire affirms my fear that this is going to be a tough summer. The harbor and LA Basin are blanketed by a thick haze this afternoon and taking a deep breath is difficult - not good signs.

    1. There was a bit of haze here, but no smoke smell. Yes I am worried about the summer and was thrilled to see the brush clearance. There are still too many trash trees in the area but any improvement is an improvement. Stay cool this least it cooled down overnight last night. Already hot here at 7:23 am... :(

  5. All that brush, would be pretty scary in your area. Glad they're cleaning it up.

    We have Red Shoulder Hawks nesting here. The babies can make a lot of noise. Like you, I wish I could throw them a squirrel, or three.

    1. Yep, squirrels definitely need to be made throwable. We get Red Shoulders here once in a while. Last year there was a pair in the park.


Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts