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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saltos Canyon

Saltos Canyon may have its waterfalls in January, but most of the year it's a dry canyon with a few seeps and stagnant pools.

In late September we searched the lower reaches of the canyon for water where we might place some cameras.

The only water we found were a few small pools, and yellow jackets lined the seeps like drunks in a bar.

The potability of the water is another question.

It leaves a rime when it evaporates, possibly a derivative of gypsum which is abundant there.

But few vertebrates can live without water so we continued our search for a suitable place to set a camera.

After a mile and a half the canyon opened up, and we found a pool pocked with hoof prints.

We set a cam there in the shade of the mule fat.

We returned a month later. 

Wood rats, Peromyscus, and a Heermann's kangaroo rat visited the puddles.

Though kangaroo rats and pocket mice can live on metabolic water from their food, a photo of a drinking k-rat would have been a prize.  

Black-tailed deer and cottontails also showed, but they weren't regulars.

Bobcats were more frequent visitors.

Two of them, though not together, were often snapped in a swarm of moths. 

So the bats were there too. 


JK said...

That's not much of a puddle that bobcat is drinking from. Interesting. As always I really enjoy the bat photo.

brdpics said...


Owlman said...

Excellent results from your hard work! Keep em coming Codger.

Sydney Embry said...

The bat picture with moth is top notch!

Chowzah said...

Ah, that's a sweet shot!!!