Gary Valle's Photography on the Run
Images taken on trail runs, and other adventures, in the Open Space and Wilderness areas of California, and beyond. All content, including photography, is Copyright © 2006-2014 Gary Valle. All Rights Reserved.
# Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saddle Peak from BackBone Trail on Bulldog Loop.
Saddle Peak from BackBone Trail on Bulldog Loop

Was up early, hoping to beat the heat and do a local run. It looked as though thick high clouds would keep temps down for a while, so several good runs were a possibility. After some debate, I decided on an out and back run to Saddle Peak.
Sunday, June 25, 2006 10:12:21 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Friday, June 23, 2006

Humboldt Lily (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum) in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve.

I had been running for nearly an hour, and the heat was oppressive. Following an unusually cool Spring, it had been tough to adjust to afternoon temperatures of nearly 100 degrees. The refreshing green hills of Spring had turned a golden brown, and the muddy ruts of a Ranger's truck had been baked to the hardness of concrete. In Las Virgenes Canyon there had still been a little water in the creek, and I poured the cooling liquid over my head and down my back.
Friday, June 23, 2006 2:47:27 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Thursday, June 22, 2006

Snow Plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) is so different from the norm that each encounter is memorable.

Snow Plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) is so different from the norm that each encounter is memorable. In a world where most plants are green, its startling red color and unusual structure always make an impact.
Thursday, June 22, 2006 10:36:25 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Blue Milkweed Beetle (Chrysochus cobaltinus) on Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis).

A Blue Milkweed Beetle (Chrysochus cobaltinus) on a somewhat insect eaten Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis).

Photograph was taken on a run on Laskey Mesa in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (formerly Ahmanson Ranch).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 3:07:01 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Monday, June 19, 2006

Bee Fly on a Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum).

The fuzzy critter with the beady eyes is a Bee Fly. Its darting, hummingbird-like movements caught my eye while running on the Tumamait Trail near Mt. Abel (Cerro Noroeste) on Sunday. It was feeding on a Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum). Fully consumed by the morning's experiences, I had been marveling at the vibrant yellow of Wallflowers along the trail.
Monday, June 19, 2006 10:38:24 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mt. Pinos from the Vincent Tumamait Trail
Mt. Pinos from the Vincent Tumamait Trail

There are several options for runs and hikes in the Mt. Pinos area. On the long side is the 25+ mile run from the lower McGill trailhead to Mt. Abel (Cerro Noroeste). Another valley-to-summit adventure is the approximately 20 mile out & back run/hike to the summit of Mt. Pinos from Three Falls Boy Scout Camp in Lockwood Valley. This day I was looking to escape the heat of the San Fernando Valley, but do something a little less ambitious than either of those runs.
Sunday, June 18, 2006 7:40:59 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Saturday, June 10, 2006

Old Santa Susana Stage Road

Running or hiking up the Old Santa Susana Stage Road, if you stop and listen carefully, you may hear a sharp whistle, a raspy shout, or a few choice expletives echoing from the canyon walls. It would have taken a barrage of such oaths, and a lot more, to get a stage up and over this harrowing grade.
Saturday, June 10, 2006 8:48:41 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This showy, if somewhat bizarre looking, flower (Clarkia unguiculata) blooms late in the Spring, and is also known by the common name Farewell to Spring.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006 1:55:17 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mt. Williamson from the PCT above Windy Gap.
Mt. Williamson from the PCT Above Windy Gap

There's more of a wilderness feel in the Angeles Forest high country today. A big chunk of Angeles Crest Highway is closed. From Eagles Roost to Mt. Baden-Powell, and back again, the absence of vehicle noise has been startling. There have been no squealing tires, warbling sirens, or red-lined RC51's echoing up from Highway 2. Instead, the loudest sound is Little Jimmy spring water splashing at my feet. High on a ridge, a Clark's Nutcracker tells me I'm in the mountains. and overhead, the wind plays quietly in the boughs of an immense Incense Cedar.
Sunday, June 04, 2006 8:55:24 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria)

Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria) was prevalent at Sage Ranch prior to the 2005 Topanga Fire. It may be somewhat more widespread than I've generally seen, but this could be due in part to last year's record rainfall and this season's late rainfall. It doesn't appear to be a fire follower in the same sense as Large Flowered Phacelia, Star Lily or Dicentra, whose populations have increased dramatically this year.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 12:44:29 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Sunday, May 28, 2006

New growth on a Big Cone Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Bright green highlights new growth on a Big Cone Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) in the San Gabriel Mountains near Josephine Peak and Strawberry Peak.

These peaks are popular lower elevation summits, that can be snow-free in Winter, or a blast furnace in Summer. Josephine Peak (5558 ft.) was once the site of fire lookout, and a fire road leads from Clear Creek Station to its summit. From the west, via Clear Creek or Colby Canyon, Strawberry Peak (6164 ft.) is a more difficult ascent that requires careful route-finding and rudimentary rock climbing skills. Many hikers prefer to do Strawberry from the east, starting at Red Box.

The day this photograph was taken, I wasn't climbing Strawberry Peak, but instead was running a circuit around the peak. Part of the Mt. Disappointment 50K course, the circuit is an excellent 15 mile loop with an elevation gain/loss of about 2700 ft. Here's a Google Earth image and Google Earth KMZ file of a GPS trace of the Strawberry Peak Circuit. A longer variant of this route is described in Fall Leaves on Bear Creek and Strawberry - Bear Canyon Loop.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 12:54:27 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #   
# Saturday, May 27, 2006

Giant Rye Grass (Leymus condensatus) can grow several feet tall.

Giant Rye Grass (Leymus condensatus) is a member of the grass family that can grow several feet tall. These, out at Sage Ranch, are in the 5-7 ft. range.

Later in the year, after its large green blades turn brown, they have a peculiar, almost ghostly, way of rustling in the wind; sounding as if an animal or person has gently moved through them. (Photograph from a run on May 26, 2006.)

Saturday, May 27, 2006 7:47:37 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #