Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bee Tree

These overlapping honeycombs are located 15 feet or so out in the open up an old tree snag. With cooler weather the bees are moving more slowly but are still buzzing in and out. (Photo by Andy Honig)

Beautiful Bobcat

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Western Bluebirds

A flock of Western Bluebirds, 30-40 of them, have been spotted on the Preserve. They are distinctive with their rusty red breasts and, of course, bright blue feathers. No one we have talked to so far remembers bluebirds in this area (although in February a much smaller group of Mountain Bluebirds briefly visited; the weather at the time was very cold.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monty Byrom concert SOLD OUT

INHALE Opening Reception

Where? at the Younger Gallery Downtown! This art exhibit is co-sponsored by the Preserve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Parkway Benefit Concert

Did you know that the Panorama Vista Preserve is the largest private component of the Kern River Parkway? On Oct 30 (Sun), at 5 pm, local musician Monty Byrom will be appearing in a benefit concert for the Parkway at the home of Phil and Janada Shepard. Tickets are $30, which includes wine, beer, and snacks. Only 100 tickets will be sold. Call Phil or Janada at 588-7278 for reservations; no tickets will be available at the door.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More photos, Sept 8

A little additional excitement was a small fire off near the river, possibly caused by one of the many lightning strikes we had in the night.

Workday at the Preserve, Sept 8, 2011

Saturday was a workday for volunteers from the Kern Audubon Society and also for the Interact Club from Foothill High School, led by teacher Jan Graves. In these pictures we see Jan and a tree she helped plant 2 years ago, Harry Love, Al Caetano, Madie Elsie, Rod Lee, East High student Trevor Sutton, and Foothill students. Bill McDonald was there too. The job of the day was to walk the drip lines looking for breaks and then repairing them. Thanks, everyone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brice Drewry Memorial

A large thank you to friends and family of Brice Drewry for donations of more than $400 to the Preserve. A tree will be planted in his memory. A World War II vet and former oil field worker, Mr. Drewry died in Bakersfield on July 18, 2011 at age 88. Donors included Mary L. Williams and Lorene Chandler of his hometown of Seminole, Oklahoma; David and Krikett Perea of Denver, Colorado; Linda Lee McKenzie and Katherine L. White of Fresno; Linda Vaughn of Banning; and Steve Edwards, Richard & Sharon Hall Hoffman, Louise Lacy, and Garden District Flowers of Bakersfield. Again, thank you.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Aug 24 12:30-4pm: East PV entrance to be blocked

Chevron has notified the Preserve that it "plans to hydrotest our production lines that run under the bike path near Darrell’s mini storage. The testing is currently scheduled for August 24, 2011 in the afternoon from 12:30 – 4pm. In order to ensure the safety of the public, Chevron would like to block the entrance where the testing will occur."

Equestrians will also be affected by this temporary closure.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seniors Visit Panorama Vista

Thursday morning, August 12, ten residents of Carriage Estates toured the Preserve, guided by Andy Honig, from the comfort of their van. They enjoyed seeing and handling samples of native vegetation, such as coyote melon, that Andy handed around and were impressed by the size of the cottonwoods and other trees, about which they had good questions. At Rocky Point Weir they got an excellent view of the rushing river.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coyote Melon and Jimson Weed Blossoms

Georgia O'Keefe painted jimsonweed (aka Datura) often, perhaps because of the graceful form and purity of its white blossom.

The coyote melon is a stinky plant (aka Cucubita foetidissima) but has a lovely flower, much like its squash cousins.

Empty killdeer nest

A shallow depression shows the location of the former nest. Not a speck of shell to be seen.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Killdeer Eggs Now All Hatched

There were 4 eggs in the clutch and as of today (July 16, 2011) there are none. The first and send hatched July 11-12, the third on July 14, and the fourth on July 16. Since the parents make a point of carrying off all the shell fragments, it is now really difficult to see the nest site.

Here is one of the parents as of July 12, sheltering the two remaining eggs and the first two chicks.

Peter Cottontail Makes Himself at Home

Do you see the bobcat?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Hide in plain sight" seems to be the rule when killdeer choose a nest site. Not for them are hidden places under bushes or rocks or up in tree branches or cavities. They prefer open spaces such as this nearly barren stretch of ground near the plant nursery, not far from the road. The red arrow points to the nest which even at a short distance is easy to pass by.

But, if the parent is there, it will do its level best to lead you away by going into its "broken wing" routine: tottering (but perhaps complaining in a loud voice), dragging a wing, flopping and toppling over but somehow still leading its unwelcome visitor away.
[Photos by Andy Honig]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Killdeer Eggs Begin to Hatch

The first killdeer egg hatched sometime between yesterday evening and this morning (July 12). The parents were nowhere in sight. Killdeer remove the shell fragments after a hatching and this had already occurred. You can see the chick's fuzzy body, one leg, head, one eye and beak in this picture. It won't be long before it is up and running around.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Air-Conditioning Killdeer-Style

This killdeer has just flown over to a nearby pond, taken a dip to wet its feathers, and returned to hover over its clutch of 4 eggs. The air temperature was 100 degrees on this particular afternoon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hunting has been good on the Preserve for hawks and coyotes. We recently also spotted a juvenile red-tailed hawk flying off with a rabbit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Western Kingbirds

Western Kingbirds have been seen in great numbers this season, usually flitting about in the grass but occasionally posing on top of poles.

Bakersfield Cactus in Bloom

The Bakersfield Cactus is now in bloom! Bees and other insects are having a field day.

Photographed Ap. 26, 2011 (A.H.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nuisance vandalization

Someone is getting his kicks fooling with the locks on the west gate; two, one after another, disappeared altogether; the third replacement was removed the next day after its installation; this lock was found on the ground at the gate. It obviously was cut with a bolt cutter. The sheriff has been informed as have Chevron security, River Ranches neighbors and equestrians who ride the area; we appreciate their help when problems like this crop up.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bakersfield Cactus and Succulent Society field trip

On Sunday, April 3, members of the BCSS met in the parking lot and got a tour from Andy Honig. First stop, naturally, was a patch of Bakersfield Cactus. It was a shock to discover that a vehicle had gotten in illegally and had driven right over the cactus, one wheel grazing the clump, damaging several pads. (See photo). Perhaps the driver did not see the cactus although it is in a clear area, not in deep grass. In any case, it was a close call.

Otherwise, the cactus society members toured the nursery, learned about California sycamores (vs. the unwelcome London Planes that line the road into River Ranches), and walked over to lupines and whatever else was there to see. Lynn McDonald took these pictures of old fence posts, and a gigantic rotting log that has become home to a swarm of bees. It is not too smart to get too close to this log but later on the tour, Lynn was able to get a picture about a mile away of a bee -- maybe from this log?

Why did the snake cross the road?

Bill Cooper saw a king snake crossing the road near the Chevron Grove and pulled out his trusty cell phone to get this picture. He and Andy estimate it was 2-3 feet long.